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Frank Herbert was an American author, and the creator of the Dune novels and its vast fictional universe.

Herbert was born in Tacoma, Washington in 1920. From an early age, he had literary ambitions, and worked as a journalist and a photographer before pursuing a career as a writer. His early work consisted of short science-fiction stories.

In 1959 he began research for his novel Dune, which he completed in 1965. As with his earlier work, he extended his science-fiction writing beyond the superficial predictions and plots that were common at the time, and adopted complex psychological, social, and environmental themes that resulted in greater depth and subtlety.

In Dune and its sequels - and indeed in most of his novels - Herbert explored numerous themes: politics, the power of love, facets of conflict, human survival, lessons from history, the power of genetics, the complexity of human relationships, and the family, to name but a few. Perhaps the most pervasive theme in the Dune series was the optimistic view of human potential. In the various schools in the Dune universe, i.e., the Bene Gesserit, the Suk School, the Spacing Guild, the Mentats, each represented explorations of hitherto untapped human potential, and taking it to its logical, if fantastical, conclusion.

Not surprisingly considering this bold approach, Herbert initially had difficulty finding a willing publisher for Dune. Eventually, the Chilton Book Company picked up the work and released it to critical acclaim. In 1965 Dune won the Nebula Award for Best Novel, and in 1966 it shared the Hugo Award.

Despite the relative success of Dune, it took several more years before Frank Herbert could become a financially secure full-time novelist. Herbert went on to write 20 more full-length novels, including five more in the Dune series, and in 1984 witnessed Dune become a major motion picture.

Frank_Herbert_-_Interview_on_TV

Frank Herbert - Interview on TV

Frank Herbert: "About Dune".

Frank Herbert died of pancreatic cancer in Madison, Wisconsin, on February 11, 1986. He was survived by his son Brian Herbert.

Quotes from Dune By Frank Herbert[]

  • Frank Herbert: "We have to be careful of charismatic leaders."

'Dune' is a story with many quotes used by Frank Herbert to show the reader his predictions for what humanity, solely dependent on a commodity, looks like.

Frank Herbert’s vocabulary and the literary elements used in ‘Dune‘ heightens the novel’s complexity, as it becomes hard for the reader to keep track of the terminologies used.

Quotes from Dune[]

  • Fear

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

As with every heroic story, the element of bravery persists even in the face of overwhelming fear and discouragement. The character Paul Atreides had to fight the fear that could have clouded his ideology for changing the universe, and only by showing courage was he able to fulfill his goals. Frank Herbert used the quote above to tell the reader that fear starts from the mind, and the only way to fight that fear is to face it head-on and overcome it.

  • Religion and Politics

When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way. Their movements become headlong – faster and faster and faster. They put aside all thoughts of obstacles and forget the precipice does not show itself to the man in a blind rush until it’s too late.

Frank Herbert centered ‘Dune’ on politics and religion. In the story, politics played a crucial role in power dissemination across the universe. The quote above talks of Frank Herbert’s view concerning how religion and politics serve as a tool for domination. In the novel, Paul successfully leads a revolution against the throne because the Fremen saw him as a leader, backed by prophecy.

  • The Power of the Human Mind

The mind can go either direction under stress—toward positive or toward negative: on or off. Think of it as a spectrum whose extremes are unconsciousness at the negative end and hyperconsciousness at the positive end. The way the mind will lean under stress is strongly influenced by training.

Frank Herbert uses the quote above to explore the nature of how the human mind operates. Frank explains that when faced with a problem, the human mind becomes a tool for either positivity or negativity. In the novel, Paul could have made bad decisions that would have prevented him from succeeding in his plans to take down the Padishah empire, yet, he looked toward a future where he won. His positivity, coupled with his superpowers, made a crucial impact on his victory over his enemies.

  • The mind commands the body and it obeys. The mind orders itself and meets resistance.

Frank Herbert uses the quote above to show that the greatest enemy of humanity is humanity. The mind can be a powerful tool for success. However, Frank Herbert says that when there is doubt, then progress becomes limited.

  • The Danger of Greatness

Greatness is a transitory experience. It is never consistent. It depends in part upon the myth-making imagination of humankind. The person who experiences greatness must have a feeling for the myth he is in. He must reflect what is projected upon him. And he must have a strong sense of the sardonic. This is what uncouples him from belief in his own pretensions. The sardonic is all that permits him to move within himself. Without this quality, even occasional greatness will destroy a man.

The ideology of greatness is a concept that leads many people to live disastrous life, and Frank Herbert talks about why they want to be on top of the world is an illusion. Citing greatness as just a phase, Frank Herbert tries to tell the reader that though we value the idea of being great, greatness is nothing but a conceptualization of necessity for power.

  • The Future

Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free. But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.

Frank Herbert tries to tell the reader that the machines humanity trust may be what leads to its end. ‘Dune’ talks about the distant future, when humanity almost gets destroyed by machines but manages to escape and become interplanetary. He passes a message through the quote above, saying that there is a chance that the future for humanity will be bleak, and the fault for such a future happening will be other humans using machines to cause harm.

  • The Value of A Leader

Grave this on your memory, lad: A world is supported by four things…’ she held up four big-knuckled fingers. ‘…the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the righteous and the valor of the brave. But all of these things are as nothing…’ She closed her fingers into a fist. ‘…without a ruler who knows the art of ruling. Make that the science of your tradition!

The quote above explains that a leader makes the difference between success or failure and progress or hardship. Leaders are the spear that drives change. Frank Herbert explored the idea of what power a leader with the ability to attract people holds. Paul became a great leader for the Fremen, a group of people with little chance of conquering the injustice perpetrated on them.

  • The Struggle Never Ends

What has mood to do with it? You fight when the necessity arises—no matter the mood! Mood’s a thing for cattle or making love or playing the baliset. It’s not for fighting.

The quote above describes what it means to fight for what one wants. Paul thought that to fight, a person had to be interested and willing to. However, Gurney told him that the fighting never ends, the struggle never stops, and to be a winner, one has to fight every single step of the way, whether they like it or not.

  • Hope Does Not Solve a Problem

Hope clouds observation.

Hope is a powerful tool that can lead to a positive change, but in the story of ‘Dune,’ Frank Herbert describes why hope does not always lead to change. In Frank Herbert’s opinion, hope creates an illusion for one who decides to rest their entire belief on it, and this act leads to a lack of consideration for reality. Hope causes one to believe that anything is possible in a universe of limited possibilities.

  • Learning

It is so shocking to find out how many people do not believe that they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult.

The quote above talks about ignorance concerning learning. We believe specific areas of education to be difficult, but Frank Herbert speaks otherwise. In ‘Dune,’ He tells the reader that the only thing needed to learn anything is willpower.

Quotes[]

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“The mystery of life isn't a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“What do you despise? By this are you truly known.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“There is no escape—we pay for the violence of our ancestors.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way. Their movements become headlong - faster and faster and faster. They put aside all thoughts of obstacles and forget the precipice does not show itself to the man in a blind rush until it's too late.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“It is so shocking to find out how many people do not believe that they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“It is impossible to live in the past, difficult to live in the present and a waste to live in the future.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“Hope clouds observation.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“The mind commands the body and it obeys. The mind orders itself and meets resistance.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“The mind can go either direction under stress—toward positive or toward negative: on or off. Think of it as a spectrum whose extremes are unconsciousness at the negative end and hyperconsciousness at the positive end. The way the mind will lean under stress is strongly influenced by training.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“Without change something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“He who controls the spice controls the universe.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free. But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“Greatness is a transitory experience. It is never consistent. It depends in part upon the myth-making imagination of humankind. The person who experiences greatness must have a feeling for the myth he is in. He must reflect what is projected upon him. And he must have a strong sense of the sardonic. This is what uncouples him from belief in his own pretensions. The sardonic is all that permits him to move within himself. Without this quality, even occasional greatness will destroy a man.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“The people who can destroy a thing, they control it.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“Fear is the mind-killer.” ― Frank Herbert , Dune

“Survival is the ability to swim in strange water.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“Try looking into that place where you dare not look! You'll find me there, staring out at you!” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife - chopping off what's incomplete and saying: 'Now, it's complete because it's ended here.' - from "Collected Sayings of Maud'Dib'' by the Princess Irulan” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“What has mood to do with it? You fight when the necessity arises—no matter the mood! Mood's a thing for cattle or making love or playing the baliset. It's not for fighting.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“Whether a thought is spoken or not it is a real thing and it has power," Tuek said. "You might find the line between life and death among the Fremen to be too sharp and quick.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“The Fremen were supreme in that quality the ancients called "spannungsbogen" -- which is the self-imposed delay between desire for a thing and the act of reaching out to grasp that thing.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“Grave this on your memory, lad: A world is supported by four things..." she held up four big-knuckled fingers. "...the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the righteous and the valor of the brave. But all of these things are as nothing..." She closed her fingers into a fist. "...without a ruler who knows the art of ruling. Make that the science of your tradition!” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“Any road followed precisely to its end leads precisely nowhere. Climb the mountain just a little bit to test that it's a mountain. From the top of the mountain, you cannot see the mountain.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“Highly organized research is guaranteed to produce nothing new.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“Proper teaching is recognized with ease. You can know it without fail because it awakens within you that sensation which tells you this is something you have always known.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“There is probably no more terrible instant of enlightenment than the one in which you discover your father is a man - with human flesh.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

“There should be a science of discontent. People need hard times to develop psychic muscles. -- Muad'Dib” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

See also[]

External links[]

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