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Dune and the Real World


Dragoon Knight
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I'm not sure if I'm the only one to notice this (most probably not), and neither am I sure that there isn't another post exactly like this... but I'll post this anyway, because it's been nagging at me for a while.  Moderators: feel free to move my post and delete the topic if you can find a place for it anywhere else.

But now to the point.  In Dune, there is the planet Arrakis.  There is also the Padishah Emperor, Shaddam the IV.  Think on that... Arrakis... Shaddam... is it just me, or does anyone see a slight resemblence to "Iraq" and "Saddam" there?  Dune... a desert planet with a really valuable resource: the spice melange.  Iraq... a desert country with a really valuable resource: oil.

Has anyone else noticed these similarities, too?  Are they simply coincidence, or was Frank Herbert hinting at something?  Are there any other similarities that anyone else has picked up on, such as real-life references to House Atreides or Harkonnen?  I think that, coincidence or not, these similarities are quite potent.  Maybe there are undertones in Dune that we have yet to examine?

Just interested...

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Uh...no, sorry. Dune was written in the '60s when Saddam hadn't assumed power yet, if I recall correctly he became ruler of Iraq somewhere in the '70s. So unless Herbert could see the future, I think it is a random coincidence.

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Well, as far as I'm aware, Saddam Hussein was not in power when Dune was written.

Saddam is not an uncommon name, and Shaddam may well be an real-life extant regional variation.

Herbert has acknowledged that there is an intentional parallel between water and oil.

Arrakis... I presume the word Rakis means damp or similar in Arabic or another language: Arrakis was dry,then became wet Rakis, then dry Arrakis. The a- idea is presumably from the greek privative alpha.

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Read:

http://www.dunenovels.com/news/genesis.html

Yes, there are analogs in Dune of today's events-corruption and bribery in the highest places, whole police forces lost to organized crime, regulatory agencies taken over by the people they are supposed to regulate. The scarce water of Dune is an exact analog of oil scarcity. CHOAM is OPEC.

But that was only the beginning.

There are also other places where it is discussed, like in other books and articles.

I would look them up, but do not really have the time right now.

Obviously Frank did not directly mean a link between Iraq and the U.S.

There are also the similiarities between Harklonnen and Atreides to the past, which have been discussed before (don't want to look them up right now).

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Um, yeah, Frank made no secret that there was a lot of Arab influence in his books.  The Fremen worship a form of Islam, and are a kind of derivition of the Beduin tribes.  And Fedakin is a form of Fedayeen, again he makes no secret of it.

As for it being a prophetic view of the future, well, since I just came from a thread on star trek, Gene Roddenberry is quoted as saying that his worst fear was someone in a convention would stand up and call him a liar while he was on stage, because the guy yelling would be right.

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Read:

http://www.dunenovels.com/news/genesis.html

Yes, there are analogs in Dune of today's events-corruption and bribery in the highest places, whole police forces lost to organized crime, regulatory agencies taken over by the people they are supposed to regulate. The scarce water of Dune is an exact analog of oil scarcity. CHOAM is OPEC.

But that was only the beginning.

There are also other places where it is discussed, like in other books and articles.

I would look them up, but do not really have the time right now.

Obviously Frank did not directly mean a link between Iraq and the U.S.

There are also the similiarities between Harklonnen and Atreides to the past, which have been discussed before (don't want to look them up right now).

That article :)

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There are also other places where it is discussed, like in other books and articles.

I would look them up, but do not really have the time right now.

Obviously Frank did not directly mean a link between Iraq and the U.S.

There are also the similiarities between Harklonnen and Atreides to the past, which have been discussed before (don't want to look them up right now).

That article :)

Yeah,a gain nothing new.  Originally the novel was just going to be about the environment period....

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  • 17 years later...

Actually a lot of the story I thought was just written by someone from Iraq, like me, or someone who fought in the war. Realizing the story was in 65 and Sadam came in 70s is crazy accurate. How he came up with this idk, but really crazy. 

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