World War I and America: Told By the Americans Who Lived It (The Library of America) | Susan Sontag: Later Essays: Under the Sign of Saturn / AIDS and its Metaphors / Where the Stress Falls / Regarding the Pain of Others / At the Same Time (The Library of America) | The Unknown Kerouac | The Immense Journey, the Firmament of Time, the Unexpected Universe, Uncollected Writings | Albert Murray - Collected Essays & Memoirs | Carson Mccullers | Jane Bowles
This second volume begins with The Invisible Pyramid (1970), a book of meditations on the origins and possible futures of humankind set against the backdrop of the Apollo 11 landings. As Western civilization attains new heights of scientific awareness and technological skill, is it also blind to its own limits, doomed to destroy itself like the lost civilizations of the ancients or other âspore-bearersâ in our evolutionary past? Eiseley makes an urgent, environmentalist plea in these essays: we must protect the planet from which we emerged against our unchecked power to overpopulate and pollute and consume it.
The essays in The Night Country (1971) look not to the stars but backward and inward: to the haunted spaces of Eiseleyâs lonely Nebraska childhood and to those moments, often dark and unexpected, when chance observations disturb our ordinary understandings of the universe. The naturalist here seeks neither âsalvation in factsâ nor solace in wild places: encountering an old bone, or a nest of wasps, he recognizes what he calls âthe ghostliness of myself,â his own mortality, and the paradoxes of the evolution of consciousness.Â
Shortly before his death, Eiseley made plans for what would be his last book, published posthumously as The Star Thrower (1978). Here are late essays on the life and legacy of Henry David Thoreau, the writer to whom he turned more often than any other; thoughts on the âtwo culturesâ he sought to bring together throughout his career; and on the relations between hard science and âawe before the universe.â Of particular interest are two early stories discovered among his papers, âThe Dance of the Frogsâ and âThe Fifth Planet.âÂ
A companion volume gathers The Immense Journey (1957), The Firmament of Time (1960), The Unexpected Universe (1969), and a selection of Eiseleyâs uncollected prose.
About: An eminent paleontologist with the soul and skill of a poet, Loren Eiseley (1907–1977) was among the twentieth century’s greatest inheritors of the literary tradition of Henry David Thoreau, Charles Darwin, and John Muir, and a precursor to such later writers as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins, and Carl Sagan.
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