In celebration of the 50th anniversary of “Dune,” a critically-acclaimed science fiction novel, Cal State Fullerton is hosting a public exhibition in the Salz-Pollack Atrium Gallery. The exhibition, called “Dune: From Print to Cinema and Beyond,” will include speakers, illustrations, screenings, a costume contest and a silent auction that will run from Oct. 3rd to Dec. 23rd.
“Dune” was written by Frank Herbert in 1965 as the first in a series of five novels called “The Dune Chronicles.” Herbert’s novel has been credited with many awards, including the 1966 Hugo Award and the Inaugural Nebula Award for Best Novel. “The Dune Chronicles” is listed as one of the top five science-fiction series of all time, according to NPR Books.
“Dune” helped bring science fiction into the mainstream, said Patricia Prestinary, university archivist and curator of the event. Fifty years later, the impact that “Dune” has had on readers is still very much celebrated. “Dune” characters are kept alive in readers’ minds through “film and TV adaptations, Second Life communities, video games, parodies, Facebook sites for beloved characters, Tumblr, comic books and aggregate websites,” according to the Pollack Library website.
The exhibit is divided into two parts, both of which required a great deal of reading and researching in an attempt to recreate segments of “Dune.” The first part of the exhibit required the reviewing of manuscripts in order to tell the story of the writing and publishing process of “Dune,” Prestinary said.
“There has been a lot written about ‘Dune’. I have read dozens of articles and listened to interviews of Frank Herbert talking about his writing process,” Prestinary said. In 1967, “Dune” manuscripts were obtained from Herbert himself by way of Willis McNelly, a literature professor at CSUF.
Along with the “Dune” manuscripts, Herbert “contributed manuscripts from his entire ‘Dune’ series (‘The Dune Chronicles’), short stories, California Living and SF Examiner articles, correspondence, personal copies of his books and research files from that point forward until his death in 1986, according to the Pollack Library website.
Pieces of the manuscript are displayed on one side of the exhibit. The other side displays ethereal artwork created by CSUF illustration students and faculty. The original artwork will be sold at a silent auction taking place on Dec. 1st. “It will be a nice way to raise money for the library for special collections,” Prestinary said. The second part of the exhibit will include a combination of screenings, a “Dune” costume contest and several lectures which will cover some of the novel’s themes.
The speaker series will feature explorations on the novel’s political, social and environmental themes. Some of the scheduled speakers include Rosanne Welch, Ph.D., a writer and professor who will shed light on the history of the film adaptations and H. Jochen Schenk, Ph.D., a CSUF biology professor who will speak about Earth’s water cycle in comparison to Arrakis, the desert planet in “Dune.”
The exhibition is located in the Salz-Pollack Atrium Gallery. A schedule of events can be found on the Pollack Library website.