Loren Eiseley

Picture of Loren Eiseley

BiographyFor his literary achievements in 1971 he was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters United States - a rare honor for a representative of the academic world.

Renowned anthropologist and naturalist, he made his debut in literature in 1957, releasing today reissued a collection of essays " Immense way" (eng. "The Immense Journey"),the main theme of which - the evolution of life on Earth. Followed by a dozen collections of essays, essays, short stories and poems, in which the writer showed himself not only to the successor of the XX century. humanistic traditions of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, but also an outstanding stylist. His book caused such rave reviews dissimilar critics as the English poet William X. Oden and American geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky Russian origin, and science fiction Ray Bradbury wrote that he became a different person because of them. Ayzli works included in anthologies of American literature as examples of stylistic mastery and philosophical depth, in many universities in his major work on Darwinism, "The Age of Darwin " (Darwin`s Century, 1958), is required reading at the department of philosophy of science. For his literary achievements he in 1971He was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters United States - a rare honor for a representative of the academic world.

General biography

The life of a writer was not so easy. He was born and raised in the Midwest, Nebraska, the harsh nature of which it is embodied in many philosophical sketches. His mother, deaf since childhood ,accustomed to the silence of a sensitive boy, and his father, a provincial theater actor and salesman, was often on the road. Early years Ayzli, ie only child family (half-brother on the father`s side was much older and living alone) , were marked by loneliness is not less severe than the surrounding nature. Perhaps,it made him too early to pay attention to the natural world, and, subsequently, interested in the question about the place of man in it. For the same reason, he soon learned to read.

It is noteworthy that one of the first that struck his fancy was Defoe novel " Robinson Crusoe ". It was a gift from him who came to visit his half-brother ,that he has read the novel to the point where the hero discovers the traces of someone`s feet in the sand. Then the five-year Lauren reading syllable by syllable, he figured. So the great world literature revealed to him. K.tomu time as a Ayzli enrolled in high school, he was well-read over the years.

However, he learned it does not matter - particularly in the University of Nebraska ,which he entered in 1925. Not having a specific purpose before, several times he drop out and wandered the country with an army of unemployed. For Ayzli it was a time of great trial. These include the death of his father adored him (to the unbalanced mother he harbored no love) and tuberculosis, from which he was treated in the California desert. " The Great Depression " - the economic crisis of 1929-30 - ies. - I joined the ranks of the unemployed and vagrants as Ayzli travels " hare " on freight trains. He could continue to go with them - to roll down an inclined plane, but caught himself in time.

In 1931, with the resumption of studies in the life Ayzli drastic change occurs. During the summer holidays he goes to the paleontological excavations in the badlands of his native state. Jobs " fossil hunter " inspires him. He cums University of Nebraska (with a four-year delay) and goes to graduate school at the Department of Anthropology of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where he became a pupil of F. Speck ,a renowned expert on the culture of North American Indians. Defended in 1937 doctoral thesis (on the problems of periodization of the Quaternary glaciations) and soon zhenivshis, Ayzli committed to science teaching ; he is a major university administrator. Meanwhile, along with numerous scientific works ,one by one begin to appear of his artistic works, which made him an instant literary fame.

Overview of literary activity

In his deeply personal essay, both philosophical and autobiographical, Ayzli persistently holds the idea of the unity of man and nature. Life for him - the great mystery of cosmic proportions ,by which a person, absorbed in their everyday lives, passes without noticing. That`s why Ayzli so common words like "miracle " and " wonderful ", " fairy tale " and " magic". For the same reason he once fundamentally opposed to environmental pollution and the arms race, warningthat humanity is on the brink of global catastrophe that will destroy not only him, but all life on the planet. Recalling the fragility of life, the nebula its appearance and endlessly long road of evolution, the writer makes the reader take a fresh look at the surroundings - and with himself. A complete list of his literary and scientific awards takes more than two pages of text.

literary activity growth

Literary talent Ayzli manifested itself early. Already his school essays attracted attention - so much so that he was twice accused of plagiarism : in the last year of high school and the first year of university. So good,Teachers argued, the lanky, somewhat shy guy can not write. At the University of Nebraska, he worked as an assistant editor of the new literary magazine " Prairie Schooner ", produced by the Department of English Literature, and it published his first attempts at writing - stories, lyrical essays, poems.Literature classes, he did not leave even when actively worked his way into science. Almost all of the essays included in his first collection, they were pre- published in the press - in particular, in popular American magazines like " Harper " and " American Scholar ". But really Ayzli-writer declared itself in his fifties publication " immensity Road" (1957) .


Literary fame caught Ayzli the University of Pennsylvania, where he was for ten years headed the Department of Anthropology, succeeding his teacher, Professor F. Speck. For some time he was old, proven way - in 1959even he became vice-rector of the University, but the poet it clearly began to prevail over the administrator and scholar. Participation Ayzli performances before a wide audience with lectures by different names, but on the same theme: " A man and eternity" ; Some of these lectures he later reworked into works of art and published. So,at the intersection of science and art, he found his true calling.

It was the second turning point in the life Ayzli no less significant than the first : of the venerable scholar, he has become a master of words. Accordingly, it changed its status to the University of Pennsylvania. By the early 60 - ies. specially created for him an honorary professorship Ayzli freed from administrative duties and gave him the opportunity almost entirely devote himself to literature. This allowed him to complete some of their best works - including the well-known book " Unpredictable Universe " (English The Unexpected Universe, 1969.) several collections of poetry and two lyrical autobiography.

Early death (he died at age 69 of pancreatic cancer) interrupted work on a number of new literary projects, but the way that he had done in his life, and so was " immense ".

Pictures of Loren Eiseley more

Loren Eiseley, the Science Writer Our Planet Needs Now  The Daily ..._1
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Loren Eiseley Epitaph Illustrated. Contemplative Naturalist ..._3
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Poems and Prints Loren Eiseley 1907 1977_9
Walking in the Footsteps of Loren Eiseley Scientific Discoveries ..._10