Editorial Reviews. From the Inside Flap. Anthropologist and naturalist Loren Eiseley blends scientific knowledge and imaginative vision in this story of man. Loren Eiseley (September 3, – July 9, ) was an American anthropologist, educator, . Consider the case of Loren Eiseley, author of The Immense Journey, who can sit on a mountain slope beside a prairie-dog town and imagine. Anthropologist and naturalist Loren Eiseley blends scientific knowledge and imaginative vision in this story of man.

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He suffers from a nostalgia for which there is no remedy upon earth except as it is to be found in the enlightenment of the spirit–some ability to have a perceptive rather than an exploitive relationship with his fellow creatures.

He claims he does not pretend to speak for anyone but himself. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences. On various purposes of science I have ranged over a good bit of that country on foot, and I know the kinds of bones that come gurgling up through the gravel pumps, and the arrowheads of shining chalcedony that occasionally spill out of water-loosened sand.

I puzzled with Eiseley over the mysterious naked bipedal prolonged adolescence and large brain of our species and how it came to be. Yet this organization itself is not strictly the product of life, nor of selection. We were both projections out of that timeless ferment and locked as well in some greater unity that lay incalculably beyond us.

Like the charmed fairy circle into which a man once stepped, and upon emergence learned that a whole century had passed in a single night, one can never quite define this secret; but it has something to do, I am sure, with common water.

And of the incredibly immense journey life has taken as nature crafts it through millions of years. In The Immense Journeyhe writes, ” The Immense Journey 4. May 10, Joseph Schreiber rated it really liked it. Using narrative, parable and exposition, Eiseley has the uncanny ability to make us feel that we are accompanying him on a journey into the very heart of the universe. Auden wrote, “The main theme of The Unexpected Universe is Man as the Quest Hero, the wanderer, the voyager, the seeker after adventure, knowledge, power, meaning, and righteousness.

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We know very little about the storyteller except through his or her stories, and that is enough. I have organized my books by general subject matter and alphabetized by author and still I search. A scientist writing around the turn of the century remarked that all of the past generations of men have lived and died in a world of illusion. At the risk of sounding countercultural, I suspect that thinkers who live in sealed, air-conditioned boxes and work by artificial light I am one are as unnatural as apes in cages at zoos.

Moving with me, leaving its taste upon my mouth and spouting under me in dancing springs of sand, was the immense body of the continent itself, flowing like the river was flowing, grain by grain, mountain by mountain, down to the sea. I marvel at how suddenly a water beetle has come and is submarining there in a spatter of green algae.

Have we come from elsewhere? I have enough books on my shelves that I often find myself searching fruitlessly for something I know I have. Although the sexist language of the book and its scientific positivism dates it somewhat, Loren Eiseley’s The Immense Journey remains a classic. Eiseley flirts tantalizingly towards a religious or eastern mystical approach to the world as he speculates about mammals having a recognition of their sudden prominence on Earth following the extinction of the giant dinosaurs and consequently being bewildered!

Death was not precisely infrequent along its wandering and illusory channels.

However, as an amateur Shakespearean actor, he was able to give his son a “love for beautiful language and writing. This was no Walden pickerel.

Like the toad in my shirt we were in the hands of God, but we could not feel him; he was beyond us, totally and terribly beyond our limited- senses.

Eiseley’s narrative-spinning style of science writing was probably my first experience in reading natural history. An anthropologist, a scholar, a poet, a genius. There can be no question that Loren Eiseley maintains a place of eminence among nature writers.

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The Immense Journey : NPR

He was elected president of the American Institute of Human Paleontology in You keep sticking your head out and looking around. We cannot know all that has happened in the past, or the reason for all of these events, any more than we can with surety discern what lies ahead.


In the novel there is Tomas, and Tereza, his wife They dance together in a dingy Soviet-era hotel. A man in trouble would cry out in vain.

The religious forms of the present leave me unmoved. The essay stuck with me, but it’s only now, 27 years later, that I’ve read anything else Eiseley’s written. How does one even begin to think in these terms and this language? Jan 30, Im,ense Davis rated it really jougney it. Jun 02, Jenny rated it it was amazing. It is a literary masterpiece of its own kind and whatever the degree of divergence the author’s opinions have with your own, you will not feel left out.

At first, I was puzzled by the inconsistency in the message because I would have thought that someone like Dr. He would later describe the lands around Lincoln as “flat and grass-covered and smiling so serenely up at the sun that they seemed forever youthful, untouched by mind or time—a sunlit, timeless prairie over which nothing passed but antelope or wandering bird.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. I drifted by stranded timber cut by beaver in mountain fastnesses; I slid over shallows that had buried the broken axles of prairie schooners and the mired bones of mammoth. Besides the qualms I’ve detailed, I thought it was quite nice I notice I never seem to detail what I do like, only what I don’t.

The Immense Journey

He lived with me all that winter, and his departure was totally in keeping with his sturdy, independent character. One of my favorite authors in the Nature Writing genre. Eiseley wears all of these hats.