This classic story is sublimely epic in scope and you feel this every beautiful section of prose that hints at worlds, cultures, religions, and motives.
I love this grand feeling approach to stories. Deep dives into (fictional) human cultures are absolutely fascinating to me. I find that in performing these studies, we actually start to question, investigate, and learn many things about the lifes we live and societies we build and sustain. With his writing in Dune, Frank more than delivers on this goal of storytelling.
Frank describes the desert world and her people imaginatively such that I started feeling this sense of wonder. Arguably, the ecological and religious are also a large focus of the book. I did feel that his writing tended towards a certain objective voice, with clean-cut switches between perspectives on wildly different sides of the story spectrum. This prevents us from getting too attached to any single character, and might instead symbolize the desert planet Arrakis as a character of its own. Thus the objective voice is in actuality the perspective of Arrakis and her ecosystem, which would indeed be objective relative to any human faction.
It also makes me long to read Frank's descriptions of all the other planets in his universe. Caladan would make a very interesting place. With its many waters, it reminds me of the world of Earthsea from Ursula K. Le Guin's writing; a vast archipelago, hundreds of islands, and curious people, looking to do well and live.
I was also delighted to read the context of the sentence which I quoted in the epigraph of chapter three in my Master's thesis.
"I think she got mad. She said the mystery of life isn't a problem to solve, but a reality to experience. So I quoted the First Law of Mentat at her: 'A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it.' That seemed to satisfy her."
There also seem to appear some Taoist themes.
"The Fremen have a saying they credit to Shai-hulud, Old Father Eternity," he said. "They say: 'Be prepared to appreciate what you meet.'"
The Fremen were supreme in the 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.
Then there are the the obvious psychedelic influences in descriptions of Bene Geserit abilities. At least to me the following descriptions hinted highly at those types of experiences.
She saw her own life as a pattern that had slowed and all life around her speeded up so that the dancing interplay became clearer.
He held himself poised in the awareness, seeing time stretch out in its weird dimension, delicately balanced yet whirling, narrow yet spread like a net gathering countless worlds and forces, a tightwire that he must walk, yet a teeter-totter on which he balanced.
Leaving a couple other beautiful phrases here.
She put a palm against his cheek, "I'm no longer afraid, Usul. Look at me. I see what you see when you hold me thus." "What do you see?" he demanded. "I see us giving love to each other in a time of quiet between storms. It's what we were meant to do."
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.
And it came to pass in the third year of the Desert War that Paul-Muad'Dib lay alone in the Cave of Birds beneath the kiswa hangings of an inner cell. And he lay as one dead, caught up in the revelatino of the Water of Life, his being translated beyond the boundaries of time by the poison that gives life. Thus was the prophecy made true that the Lisan al-Gaib might be both dead and alive.
"My brother comes now," Alia said. "Even an Emperor may tremble before Muad'Dib, for he has the strength of righteousness and heaven smiles upon him."