Arthur C Clarke is no more.
He is one of those that one would have liked to have met and talked to. I wish I had scuba dived into outerspace and traveled in time with Arthur C Clarke (somehow, i always think of him as ‘Arthur C Clarke’ rather than ‘Arthur Clarke’. The ‘C’ adds music and magic to the name. Suggests ‘seeing’, As also one who loved the ‘sea, and scuba diving). He did ‘fore-see’ the coming of communication satellites docked in geostationary orbit…For which reason, the geostationary orbit has been designated as Clarke’s Orbit…
Writing to my college alumni egroup, I mentioned that though I have read some of sci-fi: Arthur Clark,HG Wells, Isaac Asimov, and that other ‘not-that-easily-catagorizable’ genius, Kurt Vonnegut, I havent read enough…and i wish I had read more of Arthur C Clarke’s works.
And my classmate Dan Balan, a writer himself, now settled in Chicago, wrote back:
“Arthur Clarke was a generation ahead of his time. He was one of the foremost Western visionaries who also understood Eastern way of thinking. He’s a must read. He once said ” Genius is indistinguishable from Magic”.
While Issac Asimov understood scientific principles as a chemist, he was not a thinker in the classical sense. He was an engaging writer nonetheless. Vonnegut was in a completely different genre.
America has lost some of its premier writers in the last few years. Mario Puzo, Art Buchwald, Joseph Heller et al. They were the doyens and definers of timeless writing that birthed a cultural movement; one of thinking outside normal confines of disciplines and dailyness; one of blending humor to covertly challenge institutions and entrenchment.
Sadly, we are now living in an age of dumbing down. Literary sharpness has been blunted by populist trash, politically correct toothless prose, and a decline in intellectual rigor. There’s a damn swirling Browninan motion that’s culturally bloodying…”
Gotta go now. My HAL computer beckons.