Summary of "Sirius"

Fifty years ago, the philosopher Olaf Stapledon published a novel, Sirius, which explores some of the depths of loneliness and alienation to which genetic engineering might lead. Stapledon knew nothing of DNA and molecular biology, but he foresaw the possibility of genetic engineering and saw that it would give rise to severe dilemmas. His hero, Sirius, is a dog endowed with a brain of human capacity by doses of nerve-growth hormone given to him in utero. His creator raised him as a member of his own family together with a human daughter. Sirius retains the instincts and loyalties of a dog but thinks like a human. His fostersister understands him and communicates with him on the human level, but humans who do not know him are frightened and see him as a fearsome monster. His story is a mixture of triumph and tragedy. The triumph is the psychological insight that he achieves by harmonizing the two sides of his nature into a seamless whole. He understands humans more deeply than any mere human can understand them, and learns to accept his own predicament with philosophical detachment. The tragedy is the impossibility of finding a place for him in the world of ordinary humans and ordinary dogs. Sirius can neither be fully human nor fully dog. The tragedy is played out against a background of austere lives in wartime Wales. When his foster-sister is drafted for war service, he is left in solitude among strangers, and his life ends in grief and violence.


Folksonomies: science fiction

/pets/dogs (0.565337)
/science/engineering (0.446300)
/law, govt and politics/legal issues/human rights (0.362291)

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Sirius:Movie (0.927851 (positive:0.071886)), Olaf Stapledon:Person (0.441920 (negative:-0.346133)), molecular biology:FieldTerminology (0.263310 (neutral:0.000000)), utero:Country (0.262947 (negative:-0.376664)), Wales:Country (0.224095 (neutral:0.000000)), Fifty years:Quantity (0.224095 (neutral:0.000000))

DNA (0.962653): website | dbpedia | freebase | yago
Molecular biology (0.673857): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Psychology (0.668955): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Apex predator (0.612674): dbpedia | freebase
Olaf Stapledon (0.602796): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Dog (0.602505): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Biology (0.602341): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Philosophy (0.564012): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 Imagined Worlds
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Dyson , Freeman (1997), Imagined Worlds, Retrieved on 2015-05-31
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: science science fiction