Dark Universe:Upper Level

February 1st, 2014, 5am

This is the first of a planned series of Science Fiction titles called to mind from youth — stories that made me, or at least contributed to what I became. The project (my mission should I choose to accept it) is to create images that depict, or at least in some way relate to, those well remembered novels or stories.

Dark Universe (1961) by Daniel F. Galouye is a short, post-apocalyptic novel, in which Jared, son of the Prime Survivor, lives in a world of utter darkness. His people’s stories tell of an Original World where humans lived amidst “light” and “darkness”, but never far from the Light Almighty. Jared sets out on a quest to find both light and darkness, abstract concepts whose meaning is unknown in his realm. “Darkness must be something real. Only, we can’t recognize it.” Armed only with a pair of ‘click stones’, Jared leaves the safety of his own world (helped by the Zivvers, humans who, like bats, can hear their surroundings). Accompanied by his girlfriend Della, the quest leads them through many adventures ever closer to the Original world.

Clearly in today’s book market, Dark Universe would be placed in the Young Adult category, though it is less well written, and far less sophisticated in its treatment of dark themes, than most such books today. And in any case, one might point out that it appeared ten years after Tolkien’s great trilogy, with which it does not stand comparison at almost any level. Yet I remember Dark Universe for its singular focus on light and dark, and its understanding that one cannot know darkness if one has never known light.

My photo reflects the feeling that the art of photography, which so wonderfully celebrates the manipulation of light and colour, often neglects the nuance and emotional impact of darkness, its shades and absences.

Peter, Richard, Adrian, Sean and 2 others said thanks.

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David Wade Chambers

Born in Oklahoma: 30 years in US. 6 years in Canada, 40 years in Australia. Academic field: history and philosophy of science. Currently, teach indigenous studies online at Institute of American Indian Arts (Santa Fe, NM) and Brandon University (Manitoba). Come visit our B&B on Australia's Great Ocean Road. Mate's Rates for Hi community! (http://www.cimarron.com.au)

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