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Friday, November 13, 2020

'Speaking Directly To You'

Carl Sagan was an astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist and astrobiologist who also wrote more than 600 articles and was author, co-author or editor of 20 books.  His novel Contact was the basis for a popular movie, and he co-wrote and narrated the first series of Cosmos, the most widely watched series in the history of American public television.  

Born in New York City in November 1934, he died of pneumonia at the young age of 61, but just before his death he spoke these words about books and writing.

“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." 


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