Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My 'Contact' with Carl Sagan

Few months ago, I finished reading an important book. Today, I suddenly decided to leave a little note about it to honor the book and the person who gave it to me. This is not a review of the book as it may appear depending on the way people look at it. First it's necessary to mention how it came onto my hand. Nearly ten months ago while I was in South Korea, a 'very special best friend' gave a book as a gift on my twenty sixth birthday. Even though I was really looking for a chance to sit down peacefully in a fine evening and start reading till the end, I was not able to do that. Those days were a period full of troubles and challenges which pushed me to worry about the survival instead of reading a novel in a calm mind. Therefore, I just read page by page for many months until the end of March this year, I return home. After returning to home, I read it straightforwardly till the end. Lot of things have changed since the day I receive this book from my 'special best friend. Now she is not only a 'very special best friend', but also my fiancée. Quite surprisingly, I found a person who love to read just like me.

Now, this is about the book. The novel she gifted me on that day is 'Contact' written by the great astronomer and writer Carl Sagan. I was a fan of Sagan for few years because of his 'Cosmos' TV series however, I was very unlucky for not getting in contact with any of the books he had written until recently. Finally, 'Contact' book came onto my hands. As a science fiction reader, my only favorite writer was Arthur C. Clarke due to many of his books which I love such as 'Fountains of Paradise', 'Profiles of the Future' and 'Rendezvous with Rama'. Reading 'Contact' helped me to place Carl Sagan into my favorites list as a science fiction writer. In the initial days, I was fascinated by the way Sagan speak and explain things verbally. I really enjoyed watching his programs because of his poetic way of explaining scientific facts. He is a great example to show how much it is amazing and beautiful when a scientist is a great poet. That respect I had on him got doubled right after I got to read 'Contact'.

I would like to windup this little note with one of the thousands of great quotes from Carl Sagan. This one is interesting here because its about books (quote is extracted from Wikiquote). I hope I will be able to read many more of his books. This is just the beginning.

"What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic."
- Carl Sagan (Cosmos: A Personal Voyage)


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