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Dune essay [Part II] - Esej o Dini [II Dio]

 2. Paul Atreides - a short biography 

He was warrior and mystic, ogre and saint, the fox and the innocent, chivalrous, ruthless, less than a god, more than a man. There is no measuring Muad'Dib's motives by ordinary standards. In the moment of his triumph, he saw the death prepared for him, yet he accepted the treachery. Can you say he did this out of a sense of justice? Whose justice, then? Remember, we speak now of the Muad'Dib who ordered battle drums made from his enemies' skins, the Muad'Dib who denied the conventions of his ducal past with a wave of the hand, saying merely: "I am the Kwisatz Haderach. That is reason enough."
-from "Arrakis Awakening" by the Princess Irulan
(Herbert, 1990; p. 466)

Paul Atreides was born on Caladan in the year 10175., as the son of Duke Leto Atreides and his concubine Jessica of the Bene Gesserit. He spent his early youth on Caladan, where he was taught martial arts, specific faculties of the Bene Gesserit, political theory, music and history. His main tutors were some of the most famous and celebrated names in the Empire, all of them retainers of his father - Duncan Idaho (a swordmaster of the Ginaz school), Thufir Hawat (a Mentat and a master-assassin), Gurney Halleck (a warrior-troubadour), dr. Wellington Yueh (a doctor of the Imperial Suk School) and of course, his mother, Jessica. This listing of titles and specializations of his teachers might seem as overblown name inventing typical for SF chronicles like Dune, but each of those schools has a philosophy of its own and some root in the disciplines like psychology, sociology, theology, political science or something similar*.

In the year 10190. the whole Atreides household moved from Caladan to the planet Arrakis, a fief bestowed upon them by the Padishah Shaddam IV Corrino. Right after their arrival, their move revealed itself as a trap set by Baron Harkonnen, who literally (by treachery and help from the Padishah Emperor) destroyed House Atreides and killed the Duke, Paul's father. Paul and his mother, Jessica, managed to survive and hide among the Fremen, the wild natives of Arrakis. With help of his mother's Bene Gesserit scheming and his training and special faculties, Paul becomes the center of a Fremen messianic cult and organizes a fanatical army which defeats the legions of Baron Harkonnen and the Padishah Emperor after two years of occupation; and takes over the throne of the empire. The names under which he is mentioned in the Chronicles of Dune are: Usul, Muad'Dib, Paul Atreides and Kwisatz Haderach.

2.1 The Kwisatz Haderach

In literal translation, Kwisatz Haderach** means the shortening of the way or put in simpler words - a shortcut. This is the name the Bene Gesserit used for the alleged goal of their genetic program - a male Bene Gesserit who'd have access to the race memory along the male line. This is how the Kwisatz Haderach project is described in the Dune Encyclopedia (McNelly, 1984, p. 128):

"The quest for the Kwisatz Haderach may have been the longest single-minded project in human history. The Bene Gesserit appears to have been the oldest continuous purposeful organization, and its purpose was to create a "human" who could tap both female and male reservoirs of ancestral memory. At some point along the millennia of Bene Gesserit history, their breeding program focused on power. Thereafter they sought the perfect human, total male as well as total female, in order to control events and impose the Bene Gesserit version of destiny on humankind. The Kwisatz Haderach, who was for ages a goal sought for his own sake, became a means to a narrower end."
 
In this way, in the world Herbert created, the Kwisatz Haderach represents a man who can access the memories of the whole species. This phenomena is based on a hypothesis that memory isn't a result of an interneural activation, but of an intraneural one - an activation and a change that happens in the neuron itself, at the level of DNA or RNA (Mlačić, 2008). Kwisatz Haderach would in that case represent a result of a millennium old eugenics project, which didn't use sophisticated techniques of genetic engineering, but immensely complex and longterm system of crossing and planning reproduction in a Mendelian style - and use of those techniques on the humanity as a whole. 

*a detailed description of all the characters mentioned here and their respective schools can be found in the Dune Encyclopedia (McNelly, 1984)
**The name is probably taken from Jewish mythology and the Torah, in which kefitzat ha-derekh means a miraculous shortening of the way, a shortcut, or even that which we today know as teleportation (Nigal, 1994).

References:
Herbert, F. (1990). Dune. Berkley Books: New York.

McNelly, W. E. (1984). Dune Encyclopedia. The Berkley Publishing Group: New York.

Mlačić, B. (2008). Notes from the class Psychology of Memory. Center for Croatian Studies: Zagreb.

Nigal, G. (1994). Magic, Mysticism, and Hasidism: The Supernatural in Jewish Thought. Jason Aronson: Washington.


***

2. Paul Atreides – kratki biografski opis lika

On je bio ratnik i umjetnik, surovi ubojica i svetac, lisac i nevino janje, viteški galantan i nemilosrdan, stvorenje manje od boga, a više od čovjeka. Pobude Muad'Diba ne treba procjenjivati običnim mjerilima. U trenutku slave vidio je kako mu se priprema smrt, ali je ipak prihvatio izdaju. Možete li reći da je to učinio iz osjećaja pravde? Ali čije pravde? Zapamtite da sada govorimo o Muad'Dibu koji je nehajnim odmahivanjem ruke izbrisao sve konvencije svoje vojvodske prošlosti, rekavši samo: „Ja sam Kwisatz Haderach. To je dovoljan razlog."

Iz 'Arakiškog buđenja' princeze Irulan
(Herbert, 2004, str. 501)
 
Paul Atreides je rođen na Caladanu godine 10175, sin vojvode Leta Atreidesa i njegove priležnice Jessice od Bene Gesserita. Ranu mladost je proveo na Caladanu, gdje su ga poučavali u borilačkim vještinama, specifičnim sposobnostima Bene Gesserita, političkoj teorije, glazbi i povijesti. Njegovi glavni učitelji su bili neki od najpoznatijih i najzvučnijih imena u carstvu, svi redom vazalni sluge njegova oca – Duncan Idaho (majstor mačevanja Ginaz škole), Thufir Hawat (Mentat i majstor ubojica), Gurney Halleck (ratnik i pjesnik), dr. Wellington Yueh (doktor Imperijalne Suk škole) i naravno njegova majka, Jessica. Ovo nabrajanje titula i usmjerenja njegovih učitelja se može naizgled činiti kao tek napuhano dodavanje imena u maniri epskih SF saga poput Dine, ali svaka od ovih škola učenja krije svoju filozofiju i neki korijen u disciplinama poput psihologije, sociologije, teologije, političkih znanosti i slično*.

10190. godine se cijelo kućanstvo Atreidesa preselilo sa planeta Caladana na Arrakis, posjed koji im je dodijelio Padišah Shaddam IV Corrino. Tek po dolasku, preseljene na Arrakis se pokazalo kao zamka Baruna Harkonnena, koji je doslovno (izdajom i pomoći Cara Padišaha) uništio Kuću Atreides i ubio vojvodu, Paulova oca. Paul i njegova majka, Jessica, uspijevaju pobjeći i sakrivaju se među Slobodnjacima, divljim domorocima koji žive na Arrakisu. Pomoću manipulacije njegove majke kao Bene Gesserita i njegova treninga i urođenih sposobnosti, Paul postaje centralni lik mesijanskog kulta Slobodnjaka, te organizira fanatičnu vojsku pomoću koje nakon dvije godine okupacije pobjeđuje vojske Baruna Harkonnena i Cara Padišaha, te preuzima vlast u carstvu. Imena pod kojima se spominje u sagi o Dini su: Usul, Muad'Dib, Paul Atreides i Kwisatz Haderach.

2.1 Kwisatz Haderach

Kwisatz Haderach** u doslovnom prijevodu znači 'Skraćivanje puta' ili jednostavnije rečeno, prečac. Ovo je naziv koji je Bene Gesserit koristio za navodni cilj svojeg genetičkog projekta – muškog Bene Gesserita koji bi imao pristup rasnim sjećanjima i po muškoj liniji. Ovako projekt Kwisatz Haderacha opisuje Dune Encyclopedia (McNelly, 1984, str. 128):

„Potraga za Kwisatz Haderachom je moguće najduži osmišljeni projekt u ljudskoj povijesti. Čini se da je Bene Gesserit najstarija kontinuirana organizacija sa svrhom, a njihova svrha je bila da stvore 'čovjeka' koji bi mogao pristupiti i muškim i ženskim rezervoarima sjećanja predaka. Na jednom djelu njihove Bene Gesseritske povijesti, njihov program razmnožavanja se usmjerio na moć. Od onda su tražile savršenog čovjeka, totalno muško kao i totalno žensko, kako bi kontrolirao događaje i nametnuo Bene Gesseritsko viđenje sudbine čovječanstva. Kwisatz Haderach, koji je stoljećima bio cilj koji je bio sam sebi svrha, postao je sredstvo ka nekom užem cilju.“
 
Na ovaj način, u Herbertovu svijetu, Kwisatz Haderach predstavlja čovjeka koji može pristupiti sjećanjima cijele vrste. Ova mogućnost se temelji na hipotezi da sjećanje nije rezultate neke interneuralne promjene, već intraneuralne – promjene koja se odvija u samoj stanici, na razini DNA ili RNA (Mlačić, 2008). Kwisatz Haderach bi u tom slučaju predstavljao rezultat milenijskog eugeničkog projekta, koji ne koristi sofisticirane tehnike genetičkog inženjeringa, već izrazito kompleksan i dugoročan sustav križanja i planiranja razmnožavanja u Mendelovu stilu – te primjena tih tehnika na razini cijelog čovječanstva.

*Detaljni opisi svih spomenutih likova i njihovih škola se mogu naći u knjizi Dune Encyclopedia (McNelly, 1984).
**Ime je vjerojatno preuzeto iz židovske tradicije i Tore, u kojoj kefitzat ha-derekh znači čudotvorno skraćivanje puta, prečac, ili čak ono što mi danas nazivamo teleportacija (Nigal, 1994).

Literatura:

Herbert, F. (2004). Dina: Prva knjiga Kronika Dine. Izvori: Zagreb.

McNelly, W. E. (1984). Dune Encyclopedia. The Berkley Publishing Group: New York.

Mlačić, B. (2008). Bilješke sa predavanja Psihologija pamćenja. Hrvatski studiji: Zagreb.

Nigal, G. (1994). Magic, Mysticism, and Hasidism: The Supernatural in Jewish Thought. Jason Aronson: Washington.
Tags: dune, literature, psychology
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