Erewhon Revisited (英語) ペーパーバック – 2010/7/6
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Erewhon Revisited is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by Samuel Butler is in the English language, and may not include graphics or images from the original edition. If you enjoy the works of Samuel Butler then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection.
A pity my review comes a century too late to give the author an agreeable surprise, for I should put EREWHON REVISITED among those rare sequels which outdo the earlier novel. EREWHON is neither utopian nor distopian -- the reader, at least in our times -- wonders how much of it is Butler's own Victorian England lightly masked; but where the first is a novel of ideas, done here and there in such a way that I cannot feel quite sure where Butler is serious and where satirical (save that the last few pages have to be as savage an indictment as Swift's MODEST PROPOSAL), the sequel is a novel of action. Not, perhaps, heart-stopping action as done to death in the rather tedious "nonstop" definition of modern Hollywood; but this short novel does offer moments of suspense. We finally learn the name of the earlier novel's narrator -- Higgs -- and he seems considerably more lovable in age than he was in youth, as well as being wiser but sadder. We learn there was more between him and Yram than the original adventure (first published 1872) spells out. As in the first novel, there are passages where Butler appears to slip serious food for thought in with the satire. This time, it looks to me as if his target involves the very origins of Christianity; and yet, even while suggesting that our religion, like the newest one of Erewhon, may rest on a superficially false foundation, he seems to propose bedrock beneath that shaky foundation, and the possibility of interpreting good mystic theology into the framework.
Having failed to locate a copy of EREWHON REVISITED at my local used-book shops, I was delighted to find it free in Amazon's Kindle story. This e-edition has good, clear print with few if any typographical errors or missing text. I'm delighted to have it.
Given that increased understanding of addiction is beginning to see certain crimes as caused by illness, this is a somewhat prophetic book, and for all of us modern readers and writers preoccupied with dystopia, this dusty classic is current again.