25.8.10

Lost in the Cosmos

I am, as usual, reading. Just now, I happen to be reading a hilariously insightful book entitled Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book by Walker Percy.  Heard of it/him? Neither had I.  The book is witty, well written, and, though 27 years old, highly relevant. I am not done yet, so this is not a review, but I wanted to share his introduction, just to give you a taste:

"Lost in the Cosmos: The last self help book
or
How you can survive in the Cosmos about which you know more and more while knowing less and lessa bout yourself, this despite 10,000 self help books, 100,000 psychotherapists, and 100 million fundamentalist Christians
or
Why it is that of all the billions and billions of strange objects in the Cosmos - novas, quasars, pulsars, black holes - you are beyond doubt the strangest
or
Why it is possible to learn more in ten minutes about the Crab Nebula in Taurus, which is 6,000 light-years away, than you presently know about yourself, even though you've been stuck with yourself all your life
or
How it is possible for the man who designed Voyager 19, which arrived at Titania, a satellite of Uranus, three-seconds off schedule and a hundred yards off course after a flight of six years, to be on fo the most screw-up creatures in California - or the Cosmos.
plus
A Twenty-Question Quiz which will not help you become rich or more assertive or more creative or make love better but which may - though it probably won't, considering how useless self-help books generally are - help you discover who you are not and even - an outside chance - who you are
plus
A preliminary short quiz which you can take standing in a bookstore and which will allow you to determine whether you need to buy this book and proceed to the Twenty Questions
plus
A short history of the Cosmo, including a semiotic theory of the Self which explains why it is that man is the only alien creature, as far as we know, in the entire Cosmos
plus
A space odyssey which gives an account of what can happen to an earthling astronaut if there is somebody out there and what can happen if there is no one out there." 


Now tell me that doesn't pique your curiosity? It did mine, hence I am reading the book.  

    

No comments: