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Frank Herbert

Birthdate: 8. October 1920
Date of death: 11. February 1986
Other names: Фрәңк Һерберт

Frank Patrick Herbert, Jr. was an American science fiction writer best known for the novel Dune and its five sequels. Though he became famous for science fiction, he was also a newspaper journalist, photographer, short story writer, book reviewer, ecological consultant and lecturer.

The Dune saga, set in the distant future and taking place over millennia, deals with complex themes such as human survival and evolution, ecology, and the intersection of religion, politics, and power. Dune itself is the best-selling science fiction novel of all time and the series is widely considered to be among the classics of the genre.

Works

Dune
Dune
Frank Herbert
God Emperor of Dune
God Emperor of Dune
Frank Herbert
The Green Brain
The Green Brain
Frank Herbert
Children of Dune
Children of Dune
Frank Herbert
Chapterhouse: Dune
Chapterhouse: Dune
Frank Herbert
Dune Messiah
Dune Messiah
Frank Herbert
Heretics of Dune
Heretics of Dune
Frank Herbert
The Godmakers
The Godmakers
Frank Herbert

„A man is a fool not to put everything he has, at any given moment, into what he is creating“

—  Frank Herbert

As quoted in Shoptalk: learning to write with writers (1990), edited by Donald Morison Murray<!-- Cook Publishers -->
General sources
Context: A man is a fool not to put everything he has, at any given moment, into what he is creating. You're there now doing the thing on paper. You're not killing the goose, you're just producing an egg. So I don't worry about inspiration, or anything like that. It's a matter of just sitting down and working. I have never had the problem of a writing block. I've heard about it. I've felt reluctant to write on some days, for whole weeks, or sometimes even longer. I'd much rather go fishing, for example, or go sharpen pencils, or go swimming, or what not. But, later, coming back and reading what I have produced, I am unable to detect the difference between what came easily and when I had to sit down and say, 'Well, now it's writing time and now I'll write.' There's no difference on paper between the two.

„We must develop an absolute priority of humans ahead of profit — any humans ahead of any profit. Then we will survive. … Together.“

—  Frank Herbert

General sources
Context: The thing we must do intensely is be human together. People are more important than things. We must get together. The best thing humans can have going for them is each other. We have each other. We must reject everything which humiliates us. Humans are not objects of consumption. We must develop an absolute priority of humans ahead of profit — any humans ahead of any profit. Then we will survive. … Together.

"Introduction" to New World or No World (1970)<!-- an anthology of environmental writing -->

„The flaw must lie in our methods of description, in languages, in social networks of meaning, in moral structures, and in philosophies and religions — all of which convey implicit limits where no limits exist.“

—  Frank Herbert

Dune Genesis (1980)
Context: No matter how finely you subdivide time and space, each tiny division contains infinity.
But this could imply that you can cut across linear time, open it like a ripe fruit, and see consequential connections. You could be prescient, predict accurately. Predestination and paradox once more.
The flaw must lie in our methods of description, in languages, in social networks of meaning, in moral structures, and in philosophies and religions — all of which convey implicit limits where no limits exist. Paul Muad'Dib, after all, says this time after time throughout Dune.

„If a leader cannot admit mistakes, these mistakes will be hidden. Who says our leaders must be perfect? Where do they learn this?“

—  Frank Herbert

Dune Genesis (1980)
Context: Reevaluation taught me caution. I approached the problem with trepidation. Certainly, by the loosest of our standards there were plenty of visible targets, a plethora of blind fanaticism and guilty opportunism at which to aim painful barbs.
But how did we get this way? What makes a Nixon? What part do the meek play in creating the powerful? If a leader cannot admit mistakes, these mistakes will be hidden. Who says our leaders must be perfect? Where do they learn this?

„It is demonstrable that power structures tend to attract people who want power for the sake of power and that a significant proportion of such people are imbalanced — in a word, insane.“

—  Frank Herbert

Dune Genesis (1980)
Context: Don't give over all of your critical faculties to people in power, no matter how admirable those people may appear to be. Beneath the hero's facade you will find a human being who makes human mistakes. Enormous problems arise when human mistakes are made on the grand scale available to a superhero. And sometimes you run into another problem.
It is demonstrable that power structures tend to attract people who want power for the sake of power and that a significant proportion of such people are imbalanced — in a word, insane. … Heroes are painful, superheroes are a catastrophe. The mistakes of superheroes involve too many of us in disaster.
It is the systems themselves that I see as dangerous.

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„It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible.“

—  Frank Herbert

Source: General sources, Chapterhouse Dune (1985)
Context: All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted.

„The thing we must do intensely is be human together. People are more important than things.“

—  Frank Herbert

"Introduction" to New World or No World (1970)<!-- an anthology of environmental writing -->
General sources
Context: The thing we must do intensely is be human together. People are more important than things. We must get together. The best thing humans can have going for them is each other. We have each other. We must reject everything which humiliates us. Humans are not objects of consumption. We must develop an absolute priority of humans ahead of profit — any humans ahead of any profit. Then we will survive. … Together.

„I now believe that evolution, or deevolution, never ends short of death, that no society has ever achieved an absolute pinnacle, that all humans are not created equal.“

—  Frank Herbert

Dune Genesis (1980)
Context: In the beginning I was just as ready as anyone to fall into step, to seek out the guilty and to punish the sinners, even to become a leader. Nothing, I felt, would give me more gratification than riding the steed of yellow journalism into crusade, doing the book that would right the old wrongs.
Reevaluation raised haunting questions. I now believe that evolution, or deevolution, never ends short of death, that no society has ever achieved an absolute pinnacle, that all humans are not created equal. In fact, I believe attempts to create some abstract equalization create a morass of injustices that rebound on the equalizers. Equal justice and equal opportunity are ideals we should seek, but we should recognize that humans administer the ideals and that humans do not have equal ability.

„By the time we awaken faintly to the awareness that we have been socially conditioned, we find ourselves so indoctrinated that it's difficult, if not impossible, to break the old patterns“

—  Frank Herbert

"Science Fiction and a World in Crisis" in Science Fiction: Today and Tomorrow (1974) edited by Reginald Bretnor
General sources
Context: By the time we awaken faintly to the awareness that we have been socially conditioned, we find ourselves so indoctrinated that it's difficult, if not impossible, to break the old patterns … Survival pressures demanding that we evolve, grow, and change, however, continue to proliferate. We don't want to change, but the floodgates open abruptly and we are overwhelmed.
Crisis!

„Don't give over all of your critical faculties to people in power, no matter how admirable those people may appear to be.“

—  Frank Herbert

Dune Genesis (1980)
Context: Don't give over all of your critical faculties to people in power, no matter how admirable those people may appear to be. Beneath the hero's facade you will find a human being who makes human mistakes. Enormous problems arise when human mistakes are made on the grand scale available to a superhero. And sometimes you run into another problem.
It is demonstrable that power structures tend to attract people who want power for the sake of power and that a significant proportion of such people are imbalanced — in a word, insane. … Heroes are painful, superheroes are a catastrophe. The mistakes of superheroes involve too many of us in disaster.
It is the systems themselves that I see as dangerous.

„There must be limits to any excitement. Drug yourself into a placid "norm." Moderation is the key word“

—  Frank Herbert

"Science Fiction and a World in Crisis" in Science Fiction: Today and Tomorrow (1974) edited by Reginald Bretnor
General sources
Context: The current utopian ideal being touted by people as politically diverse (on the surface, but not underneath) as President Richard M. Nixon and Senator Edward M. Kennedy goes as follows — no deeds of passion allowed, no geniuses, no criminals, no imaginative creators of the new. Satisfaction may be gained only in carefully limited social interactions, in living off the great works of the past. There must be limits to any excitement. Drug yourself into a placid "norm." Moderation is the key word…

„The current utopian ideal being touted by people as politically diverse (on the surface, but not underneath) as President Richard M. Nixon and Senator Edward M. Kennedy goes as follows — no deeds of passion allowed, no geniuses, no criminals, no imaginative creators of the new.“

—  Frank Herbert

"Science Fiction and a World in Crisis" in Science Fiction: Today and Tomorrow (1974) edited by Reginald Bretnor
General sources
Context: The current utopian ideal being touted by people as politically diverse (on the surface, but not underneath) as President Richard M. Nixon and Senator Edward M. Kennedy goes as follows — no deeds of passion allowed, no geniuses, no criminals, no imaginative creators of the new. Satisfaction may be gained only in carefully limited social interactions, in living off the great works of the past. There must be limits to any excitement. Drug yourself into a placid "norm." Moderation is the key word…

„Don't condemn people who need it. Be very careful when that need becomes fanatical.“

—  Frank Herbert

"Conversations in Port Townsend", interview with Tim O'Reilly, 1983. Reprinted in The Maker of Dune: Insights of a Master of Science Fiction (1987), edited by Tim O'Reilly
General sources
Context: What I'm saying in my books boils down to this: Mine religion for what is good and avoid what is deleterious. Don't condemn people who need it. Be very careful when that need becomes fanatical.

„No matter how finely you subdivide time and space, each tiny division contains infinity.“

—  Frank Herbert

Dune Genesis (1980)
Context: No matter how finely you subdivide time and space, each tiny division contains infinity.
But this could imply that you can cut across linear time, open it like a ripe fruit, and see consequential connections. You could be prescient, predict accurately. Predestination and paradox once more.
The flaw must lie in our methods of description, in languages, in social networks of meaning, in moral structures, and in philosophies and religions — all of which convey implicit limits where no limits exist. Paul Muad'Dib, after all, says this time after time throughout Dune.

„It is the systems themselves that I see as dangerous.“

—  Frank Herbert

Dune Genesis (1980)
Context: Don't give over all of your critical faculties to people in power, no matter how admirable those people may appear to be. Beneath the hero's facade you will find a human being who makes human mistakes. Enormous problems arise when human mistakes are made on the grand scale available to a superhero. And sometimes you run into another problem.
It is demonstrable that power structures tend to attract people who want power for the sake of power and that a significant proportion of such people are imbalanced — in a word, insane. … Heroes are painful, superheroes are a catastrophe. The mistakes of superheroes involve too many of us in disaster.
It is the systems themselves that I see as dangerous.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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