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Collected Essays on Evolution, Nature, and the Cosmos, Vol. 2: The Invisible Pyramid / The Night Country / Essays from The Star Thrower

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The second volume of The Library of America’s landmark collection of Loren Eiseley’s essays opens 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 landing. As Western civilization attains new heights of scientific awareness and technological skill, is it also blind to its own The second volume of The Library of America’s landmark collection of Loren Eiseley’s essays opens 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 landing. 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 “spore-bearers” 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 Eiseley’s 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 “salvation in facts” nor solace in wild places: encountering an old bone, or a nest of wasps, he recognizes what he calls “the ghostliness of myself,” his own mortality, and the paradoxes of the evolution of consciousness. 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 “two cultures” he sought to bring together throughout his career; and on the relations between hard science and “awe before the universe.” Of particular interest are two early stories discovered among his papers, “The Dance of the Frogs” and “The Fifth Planet.”


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The second volume of The Library of America’s landmark collection of Loren Eiseley’s essays opens 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 landing. As Western civilization attains new heights of scientific awareness and technological skill, is it also blind to its own The second volume of The Library of America’s landmark collection of Loren Eiseley’s essays opens 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 landing. 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 “spore-bearers” 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 Eiseley’s 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 “salvation in facts” nor solace in wild places: encountering an old bone, or a nest of wasps, he recognizes what he calls “the ghostliness of myself,” his own mortality, and the paradoxes of the evolution of consciousness. 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 “two cultures” he sought to bring together throughout his career; and on the relations between hard science and “awe before the universe.” Of particular interest are two early stories discovered among his papers, “The Dance of the Frogs” and “The Fifth Planet.”

35 review for Collected Essays on Evolution, Nature, and the Cosmos, Vol. 2: The Invisible Pyramid / The Night Country / Essays from The Star Thrower

  1. 5 out of 5

    Eric Layton

    I've read thousands of books in my life. I'll have to say right here and now that reading Eiseley was impressive. I was reading library loaners (vol. 1 and 2) of this series, but I will most definitely be buying my own copies to cherish. This man was special. His writing is deep, meaningful, and heartfelt. He was a paleontologist/anthropologist by trade, but in his heart he was a philosopher poet. Don't miss this. It will have an affect on you and your life to read this man's thoughts. I've read thousands of books in my life. I'll have to say right here and now that reading Eiseley was impressive. I was reading library loaners (vol. 1 and 2) of this series, but I will most definitely be buying my own copies to cherish. This man was special. His writing is deep, meaningful, and heartfelt. He was a paleontologist/anthropologist by trade, but in his heart he was a philosopher poet. Don't miss this. It will have an affect on you and your life to read this man's thoughts.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Steve Walker

    Back in the 60's, before Carl Sagan, there was Loren Eiseley. It is nice to have his work back in print. His essays are worth the time and effort. You come away with a sense of man's place in the cosmos that haunts us all. Back in the 60's, before Carl Sagan, there was Loren Eiseley. It is nice to have his work back in print. His essays are worth the time and effort. You come away with a sense of man's place in the cosmos that haunts us all.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Aveugle Vogel

    "dice in an empty house" "dice in an empty house"

  4. 5 out of 5

    John Bradley

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dan Mjolsness

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  7. 5 out of 5

    Phillip

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rob

  9. 4 out of 5

    Liquidlasagna

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lavran

  12. 5 out of 5

    Robby

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

  14. 4 out of 5

    Axolotl

  15. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

  16. 5 out of 5

    Viktoriya Maslyak

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chris Jackson

  18. 5 out of 5

    Robert Engle

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nick Patten

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brent

  21. 4 out of 5

    David Mestelle

  22. 5 out of 5

    Fredrick Niles

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kristen Berg

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jgwheaton

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Shenberger

  26. 5 out of 5

    Julia

  27. 5 out of 5

    Pietro Monticone

  28. 4 out of 5

    Walter

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cameron McMichael

  31. 4 out of 5

    Kenneth

  32. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

  33. 4 out of 5

    Gustavo

  34. 5 out of 5

    Steve Ellerhoff

  35. 5 out of 5

    rêveur d'art

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