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Literary Precedents for A Canticle for Leibowitz

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Literary Precedents

A Canticle for Leibowitz belongs to a class of novels and stories that warn against the various calamities threatening the human race in the twentieth century. Nineteen Eighty-Four (Orwell, 1949) and Brave New World (Huxley, 1932) are often cited, although Miller's novel is much closer to Huxley than Orwell in its humor and satiric wit. A Canticle for Leibowitz also may owe a general kind of debt to a large group of stories depicting nuclear wars and their aftermaths (see Andre Norton's Star Man's Son, 1952, or Leigh Brackett's The Long Tomorrow, 1955, as fairly typical examples; Nevil Shute's On The Beach is sometimes cited as an antecedent, but it was published in 1957, after at least two of the stories later incorporated in Miller's novel had already appeared). A Canticle for Leibowitz itself influenced most such stories that appeared after its publication. Critics, observing Miller's concern with Catholicism and his frequent (gentle...

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This section contains 234 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our A Canticle for Leibowitz Study Guide
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A Canticle for Leibowitz from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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