[Epub] ↠ The Night Country Author Loren Eiseley – Marjoriejane.co.uk

The Night Country pdf The Night Country, ebook The Night Country, epub The Night Country, doc The Night Country, e-pub The Night Country, The Night Country 1422f63a138 Toward The End Of His Life, Loren Eiseley Reflected On The Mystery Of Life, Throwing Light On Those Dark Places Traversed By Himself And Centuries Of Humankind Weaving Together Memoir, Philosophical Reflection, And His Always Keen Observations Of The Natural World, Loren Eiseley S Essays In The Night Country Explore Those Moments, Often Dark And Unexpected, When Chance Encounters Disturb Our Ordinary Understandings Of The Universe The Naturalist Here Seeks Neither Salvation In Facts Nor Solace In Wild Places Discovering An Old Bone Or A Nest Of Wasps, Or Remembering The Haunted Spaces Of His Lonely Nebraska Childhood, Eiseley Recognizes What He Calls The Ghostliness Of Myself, His Own Mortality, And The Paradoxes Of The Evolution Of Consciousness


10 thoughts on “The Night Country

  1. says:

    Loren Eiseley is where I go to find peace.It may be a tenebrous peace, in the crepuscular dimming of the world just after sunset, but it is always peace And his The Night Country is one of the refuges from the human haunted world I prefer above all.In one of the essays collected herein, Eiseley describes himself as a little bone man, i.e., an archaeological and paleontological scientist who never managed to find a treasure trove of fossils of the sort that would have made him famous and rich forever, such as are found by big bone men But that s not true As Eiseley says, today science neglects the spiritual in its chase after the objective, which is a serious mistake Our cultural heritage and inner life contribute at least as much to what we are as do our genes, gives shape to us at least as much as our bodies do Eiseley, a careful searcher after hidden truths in human artifacts and literature, uncovers fossils of enormous importance to an understanding of ourselves in the collective unconscious and in our relationship with nature, such as it is His books present his collections of such fossils and his analysis of the spiritual and psychological meaning they have for us.But these essays are also concerned with our relationship to the rest of the living world, and the increasingly rapid impoverishment of our lives as we usurp and of our living world in our frantic need to exploit it all to feed, clothe, and house our teeming billions Someday, the works of Eiseley and those like him may be the only means by which our descendants can know the wealth of life that once graced the Earth, and the ways in which their ancestors fit into and were part of that life.Eiseley is not science s enemy indeed, he calls himself a scientist, which he is, without evident irony or shame But he points out that neither should science be the enemy of the arts and other humanistic pursuits For science cannot by itself fathom or give meaning to the deepest and most powerful aspects of our nature it can tells us something of whither we have come, but never with any surety where we are bound Its quarrel with religion like religion s quarrel with it is based on a dangerous error of perception concerning the nature of truth and the needs of humanity Eiseley recalls us to our True Selves the Selves that laugh and weep, gaze in awe on the Cosmos, love and hate, lust and flee in repulsion That is where we live that is where our truest nature is And it is only out of that nature that we can appreciate the very real gifts the sciences have to give us without that nature, science itself becomes devoid of meaning and value.This is a book for insomniacs haunted by the night, who need to give shape and meaning to their suffering Eiseley, an insomniac himself, who wrote most of his best loved essays in the middle of the night during bouts of insomnia, provides a cogent and often tender remedy for that suffering.


  2. says:

    Reading this book was like having a conversation with an extremely intelligent man You get most of what he s telling you, knowing that some of it is over your head, but listening anyway because it s so beautifully stated You don t want to interrupt with your own opinions on the subject because you recognize that you may be in the presence of a special intellect who may inadvertently hand you the secrets of the universe Being in this man s head for the time it took me to read this book was quite an experience It s not everyday that the world produces a scientist who is also a philosopher and an incredible writer And, oh yeah, this book filled me with peace.


  3. says:

    No civilization professes openly to be unable to declare its destination In an age like our own, however, there comes a time when individuals in increasing numbers unconsciously seek direction and taste despair It is then that dead men give back answers and the sense of confusion grows Soothsayers, like flies, multiply in periods of social chaos Moreover, let us not confuse ourselves with archaic words In an age of science the scientist may emerge as a soothsayer.I m fortunate enough to live near several outlets in which, thanks to the proximity of a large university, a great number of course texts and academic books accumulate, allowing me to peruse them and purchase a few which then find their way into my possession for a time Night Country was tucked away in a dusty block of heavily outlined and dog eared books of poetry much of Shakespeare, T.S Eliot, Best of and highlight collections, along with a smattering of local authors, and obscure modernist poets It has been several years since I picked it up I had no expectations in approaching The Night Country this year, other than to complete it after having seen its spine gazing at me for far too long Truthfully, I didn t quite know what to expect Having flipped through a few of the pages before purchasing, I hoped to enjoy the writing and wanderings of his mind as he explored his childhood and history as an anthropologist The experience of reading was just that, and turned out to be a very enjoyable philosophical examination of his perspectives on science, the progression of accumulation of data, and the regression of our wonder of the world While written by a man who spent a great deal of his life searching the dust, dirt, and rocks of the Earth in search of humanity s history, this is far from a science jargon laced series of essays on the evolutionary process, or the origins of man It is, however, an eloquent and emotionally charged collection of thoughts set down in beautifully presented and thoughtful manner Each of the essays has a current of prose that carries Eiseley s memories and speculations along on a descriptive torrent of awe and imagination of the sheer glory that lies before us in nature, and of man s place in it He covers the influencing factors that made him a traveler of the Night Country , both as the mapping of his mind when insomnia sets in and he s only able to navigate by pen, and as someone who searches the dark parts of the world for the bones of the past Eiseley found a certain satisfying solitude in the recesses where light held back its revealing power, allowing him to explore further into its subterranean landscape discovering about humanity s past as well as his own.I met nothing living now except small twisted pines Boulders swelled up from the turf like huge white puff balls, and there was a flash of lightning off to the south that lit for one blue, glistening instant a hundred miles of churning, shifting, landscape I have thought since that each stone, each tree, each ravine and crevice echoing and re echoing with thunder tells us at such an instant than any daytime vision of the road we travel The flash hangs like an immortal magnification in the brain, and suddenly you know the kind of country you pass over, and the powers abroad in it.His prose really is exquisite, leaving you with wondrous imagery heightened by the minimalist black and white illustrations of Gale Christianson It s utterly refreshing to read the viewpoint of a man who wishes to express scientific examination through the medium of story and art Eiseley, himself, expressed his distaste for those who lose their awe and appreciation of our universe, instead turning it into nothing than raw data and numbers to be examined, manipulated, and seized upon for human consumption and progression He expresses how the gradual seeping of certainty and exactness inherent in the modern scientific approach has overtaken other aspects of our lives gradually eating away at our own inherent awe our place in the universe If we banish this act of contemplation and contrition from our midst, then even now we are dead men and the future dead with us For the endurable future is a product not solely of the experimental method, or of outward knowledge alone It is born of compassion It is born of inward seeing The unknown one called it simply All, and he added that it was not in a bodily manner to be wrought.This is as close to anything I ve read of a master at work, presenting his personal misgivings and longings born of the loss of man s majesty for the unexplained and the scope of life itself There is something of Thoreau present here, the naturalist prose writer expounding on the philosophical flaws of man when faced with the might of nature He shares many stories and experiences he s had discoveries he s made those he could have made but did not have the courage to colleagues that found his approach unfitting for a man of his education and station and the many unique people he s encountered as a working anthropologist There is a cruelty and fallibility to science that he could never quite come to grow comfortable with to exchange the unexpected marvel of life with the lifeless extraction of its parts was to give rise to an entity that sought to steal the wonder from his pursuit, and one that he knew many of his colleagues and fellows missed by working as its catalyst Not only did they miss it in the data, they ignored it as it applied to the modern day an ignored mortality in pursuit of an immortality the bones could never grant them.I have said that the ruins of every civilization are the marks of men trying to express themselves, to leave an impression upon the earth We in the modern world have turned stones, listened to buried voices, than any culture before us There should be a kind of pity that comes with time, when one grows truly conscious and looks behind as well as forward, aware he is a shadow Nothing is brutally savage than the man who is not aware he is a shadow Nothing is real than the real and that is why it is well for men to hurt themselves with the past it is one road to tolerance The Night Country is a remarkable read, one of my greatest surprise finds, and certainly one of the best I ve read so far in 2017 It s autobiographical, philosophical, speculative, poetic, and thoughtful It captures the silent meditations of a man who has spent much of his life exploring the darkness, mapping his journey through that vivid land without color, from which he sends us his discoveries and musings Highly recommended for those who enjoy Walden as well as other works by Thoreau, Emerson, and beautifully written philosophical treatises A great river of stars spilled southward over the low hills, and a cold wind began to race me onward Bone hunters were lonely people, I thought briefly, as I turned on the car heat for comfort It had something to do with time Perhaps, in the end, we did not know where we belonged.


  4. says:

    Although Loren Eiseley has this to say about nature writers such as Gilbert White, Richard Jefferies, and W H Hudson, the words apply equally to himself Even though they were not discoverers in the objective sense, one feels at times that the great nature essayists had individual perception than their scientific contemporaries Theirs was a different contribution They opened the minds of men by the sheer power of their thought The world of nature, once seen through the eye of genius, is never seen in quite the same manner afterward A dimension has been added, something that lies beyond the careful analyses of professional biology Eiseley s writing is lyrical, deeply reflective, even melancholic The essays in this book defy a simple description Are they examples of nature writing Memoir Reflections on archaeology and anthropology Ruminations on the external and internal worlds of the human Essays on education and what it means to be a teacher The essays are drawn from all this, gain synergy, become something larger and memorable It is rare, I feel, to find emerging from the pen of a scientist, educator, and thinker, prose of such grace and humility.Still, there are those who would complain of such writing, flay his ornamentation of ideas, rubbish his reflection as mysticism It is difficult to imagine Eiseley himself being able to publish some of these essays in the literary and nature magazines of the present day Where are the details the editors may ask The specifics, the hook, the motif, thread, conflict, and denouement Or they might return his manuscript, advising him as one of his colleagues did, in all seriousness, to explain himself , perhaps confess the state of his mind and internal world in the pages of a scientific journal In Eiseley s words again No one need object to the elucidation of scientific principles in clear, unornamental prose What concerns us is the fact that there exists a new class of highly skilled barbarians not representing the very great in science who would confine men entirely to this diet Fortunately, Eiseley does not join the ranks of the barbarians, even as he admits in Obituary of a bone hunter , with due humility, that his own scientific career is marked by no great discoveries , that his is but a life dedicated to the folly of doubt, the life of a small bone hunter.


  5. says:

    One of the best books I randomly came across An amazing discovery for those that aren t familiar with Loren The cross section of astronomy, philosophy, anthropology, and amazing literature.


  6. says:

    Loren Eiseley is a kindred spirit, but my kin are all a bit much.


  7. says:

    I m still getting familiar with Eiseley, but I m so glad to have found him I feel like I ve discovered an unexpected teacher, a kindred spirit How often do you come across a scientist who can quote Sir Thomas Browne, Robert Louis Stevenson, Shakespeare, and the anonymous medieval author of The Cloud of Unknowing while discussing evolutionary theory and paleontology His work is a bridge spanning the gap that opened in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries between science and philosophy, between experiment and the creative spirit The world of nature, once seen through the eye of genius, is never quite seen in the same manner afterward, Eiseley writes, and he s referring to people like Gilbert White and Henry David Thoreau, but we can apply the words to Eiseley himself with as much justice.This later collection of essays doesn t cast the same sort of spell as The Immense Journey does It turns inward as a means of turning outward It is personal and literary than that first book, but The Night Country is no less rewarding My favorite essays here include the memoir pieces The Gold Wheel, The Places Below, The Relic Men and The Brown Wasps Eiseley s essays on the history and philosophy of science are penetrating and thoughtful, too Strangeness in the Proportion and The Mind as Nature are particularly good.


  8. says:

    This book was very disappointing to me I m not sure what I expected, but what I found in this publication was an author merely bordering on success There were moments of great insight and wisdom, but overall the book failed to come together in a cohesive way Unfortunately his attempt to mix themes of anthropology with existential philosophy doesn t lead the reader anywhere I imagine Loren Eiseley fancied himself a great thinker Several times in the book he points out that he doesn t sleep much at night but stays up reading books and pondering things The most annoying parts were when his recollections of past events were dripping with sentimentality and nostalgia We get the feeling that we are listening to a very old man ruminate about the good old days Frankly, I m surprised this book has such high reviews.


  9. says:

    I had Eiseley recommended to me some time ago, but this is the first book of his that I ve read I don t know if this was the place for me to start These essays, loosely connected with one another by events in Eiseley s past and an affiliation with some sort of darkness whether that be real or imagined or personal , did not elicit the effect on me that it seemed the author was aiming for Judging from other reviews, that appears to be a contrarian view.It may just be that my capacity for personal essays has reached its limit There s something about them that strikes me as cloying, as sickly sweet This started with a collection of Anne Fadiman s essays At Large and at Small Familiar Essays, which I finished, and reached it s height with Scott Russell Sanders Secrets of the Universe Essays on Family, Community, Spirit, and Place , which I couldn t It s important to say up front that Fadiman and Sanders are talented, and a lot of people do and will enjoy their writing Eiseley is, I think, better than either not nearly as clever thank goodness or trivial as Fadiman s, nor as righteous as Sanders but there was a level of sentimentality to Eiseley s that reminded me of both.It s hard for me to put into words what it was about Eiseley s essays that turned me off sentiment, yes, but not that entirely Even sentimental writing has its place I think what it is that bothers me most about this sort of essays is the feeling that the author is assuming a role that he or she is posing as a fellow traveler on a journey with the reader, and that the destination is as much a surprise to the author as anyone, when in reality the author is leading us toward his preconceived notions Eiseley is nowhere as egregious in this as Sanders, but I felt constantly as if Eiseley was bombarding me with passages designed to elicit a feeling of awe and wonder about the universe and man s consciousness of it and of himself He seems to be trying to lead me there, and perhaps it is my natural oppositional attitude, but I don t like being directed anywhere Eiseley is much better or at least I find him much interesting when he leaves off illustrating the ineffable and talks about concrete things his essay Obituary of a Bone Hunter, where the author describes three incidents of his archeological career, was, to my mind, the most enjoyable of the book, and, oddly enough, indicative to me of the awesomeness of life than all his ruminations Favorable opinion is too high on this collection to pass over it whether you are already a fan of Eiseley or not based on one or two bad reviews I ll read Eiseley at some point myself But had I known the overall thrust of this collection, it s quite likely that, at this period of my life, I would have started with something different.


  10. says:

    I would call this human sciences but it s so much than that Amazing quality of writing that captures the pain of childhood with its gangs and bullies, as well as its joy of discovery of nature and the environment Plus adult perspective on archaeology, collections of skulls, and other scientific musings in comparison to literature Fascinating essays, all of them, that show the range of interests in a man s life I would invite this guy to a dinner party for conversation if I could Or bring this book to a desert island.


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