Study Guide

A Canticle for Leibowitz Chapter 19

By Walter M. Miller, Jr.

Chapter 19

  • The hullabaloo of the arc lamp quiets down eventually, and Thon Taddeo begins his studies.
  • One day, Brother Kornhoer finds that Taddeo isn't in the library.
  • He's studying the stone entranceway to the refractory.
  • The brother asks him what he's up to, and Taddeo says he's measuring the wear of the stones to determine their age.
  • Rather than rely on the abbey's records, Taddeo will use objective evidence to determine their age. This is a science, Shmoopers.
  • Dom Paulo is also interested in the inspection of their abbey, but he's more curious as to why the soldiers are making such detailed sketches of their fortifications.
  • Gault wonders if Taddeo's influence as Hannegan's kin might get the soldiers to stop, but Dom Paulo must find a way to broach the subject delicately.
  • On the fifth day, Taddeo discovers physics formulas from the 20th century and is totally stoked.
  • Got to love a man who finds equations beautiful.
  • Dom Paulo requests that Taddeo give a seminar on what he's studying—and in the simplest language possible.
  • You know how those stuffy academics can be. Boring and unintelligible, that's how. Yawn.
  • As one of those academics, Taddeo isn't sure he can make his language any simpler. But he agrees.
  • Taddeo also worries about offending their religious beliefs, but Dom Paulo assures him that will not happen.
  • The community of the Leibowitz Abbey looks forward to seeing the world take interest in the knowledge of the Memorabilia once again.
  • The abbot is relieved, believing more communication between the Church and the secular scholars will help ease the tensions between them. Then Gault goes all Commando Killjoy and reminds him of the sketches.