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Stranger in a Strange Land 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:01 pm
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Post Stranger in a Strange Land
In a letter to F. Pohl (dtd. 08/19/61) Heinlein writes:
"Of the two major themes the religious one is by far the most important. The basic religious theme is stated on the bottom line of p.344 and the first 13 lines of p.345. The basic sexual theme is stated on p.340, in these words: "'Love' is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own."
Sadly I don't have access to the edition that Heinlein used (probably the original publication by Putnam) to identify the theme.
I'm using a more recent paperback published by Ace in 1987. The such identified "basic sexual theme" is in that edition on page 363, from which I assume that the differential between the pages that deep into the book is 23 pages. Accordingly I'm looking at pages 367-368 to find the religious theme. Sadly that gives me such a wealth of somewhat general basic statements regarding Mike's religion, that I can pick and chose. I think I got it right, but I'm not sure.
I was hoping to find a kind soul out there who has the edition Heinlein referred to and who could/would give me a short quote that will allow me to find the statement in my edition and (hopefully) confirm what I think it is.

Thank you in advance!

Pia
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Ararelin


Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:07 pm
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Post Re: Stranger in a Strange Land
I'm looking at an original Putnam hardback. I have several, and they aren't all the same. This one comes closest I think to what RAH was referring to. At the bottom of page 344 and the top 13 lines of page 345, the text reads:

"All names belong in the hat, Ben. Man is so built that he cannot imagine his own death. This leads to endless invention of religions. While this conviction by no means proves immortality to be a fact, questions generated by it are overwhelmingly important. The nature of life, how ego hooks into the body, the problem of ego itself and why each ego seems to be the center of the universe, the purpose of life, the purpose of the universe-these are paramount questions, Ben; they can never be trivial. Science hasn't solved them-and who am I to sneer at religions for trying, no matter how unconvincingly to me? Old Mumbo Jumbo may eat me yet; I can't rule him out because he owns no fancy cathedrals. Nor can I rule out one godstruck boy leading a sex cult in an unholstered attic; he might be the Messiah. The only religious opinion I feel sure of is this: self-awareness is not just a bunch of amino acids bumping together!"

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Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:39 pm
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Post Re: Stranger in a Strange Land
Thank you Jack! I didn't expect anybody to respond so fast, so thank you twice!
That is the paragraph that I also tagged as the most probable one.
I wasn't aware that Putnam published different versions, the only thing I new was that they didn't print enough (either hardback or paperback) to satisfy the market after the book had started to take of.


Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:29 pm
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Post Re: Stranger in a Strange Land
No problem at all. I was sitting in my library when I read your post. The differences in the Putnam hardcovers are probably explainable by the fact that some are original publisher editions and others are book club editions. The only way to tell is a small notation in the corner of the inside wrapper. Other than this, and the slightly different typesetting, they are pretty much identical as far as I can tell.

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Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:39 pm
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Post Re: Stranger in a Strange Land
JackKelly wrote:
Old Mumbo Jumbo may eat me yet; I can't rule him out because he owns no fancy cathedrals. Nor can I rule out one godstruck boy leading a sex cult in an unholstered attic; he might be the Messiah.

Is it that way in the original? Or perhaps should that word be unupholstered?

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Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:53 pm
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Post Re: Stranger in a Strange Land
DanHenderson wrote:
JackKelly wrote:
Old Mumbo Jumbo may eat me yet; I can't rule him out because he owns no fancy cathedrals. Nor can I rule out one godstruck boy leading a sex cult in an unholstered attic; he might be the Messiah.

Is it that way in the original? Or perhaps should that word be unupholstered?


Actually, it should read upholstered. Eyes are getting old...

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Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:03 pm
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Post Re: Stranger in a Strange Land
JackKelly wrote:
Actually, it should read upholstered.

(Sound of heel of hand smacking forehead) Why didn't that occur to me as a possibility? Senior moment here, too. I even sort of remember the quote, now that you mention it.

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Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:19 pm
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Post Re: Stranger in a Strange Land
Heinlein and Twain.
I was agnostic by the age 14, damn them. LOL

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Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:15 pm
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Post Re: Stranger in a Strange Land
I have been doing research for some time now on the different original versions of SiaSL printed by Putnam in 1961. Both Trade and BCE were originally 408 pgs. Trade with gutter code C22 on 408 and BCE with gutter code C23 on 408. Besides the BCE notation on the Dust Jacket Flap and the gutter code they were the same. The variations came later after the first printings. Different typsets caused an increased page length of the book to 414 pages. These had various print codes on page 411. This is what I am seeking more information on perhaps straight from Putnam.


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