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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Consider the case of Loren Eiseley, author of The Immense Journeywho can sit on a mountain slope beside a prairie-dog town and imagine himself back in the dawn of the Age of mammals eighty million years ago: Who knows if the storyteller actually set foot on the prairie? The book was originally written a good sixty to seventy years ago and so, as I read it now, it feels somewhat dated and familiar in its philosophical forays.

The ice had melted. Wentz noted Eiseley’s belief that science may have become misguided in its goals: We now routinely expect our nature writers to leap across the chasm between science, natural history, and poetry with grace and ease. This is textbook material but it doesn’t read like a textbook.

I was twenty-four, and living and working in the most beautiful setting I will ever live or work in. Before the rise of a self-conscious intelligentsia, most educated people — as well as the unlettered majority — spent most of their time in the countryside or, if they lived in cities, were a few blocks away from farmland or wilderness I often wonder, as I sit down to read any Loren Eiseley book, which Eiseley will be there to greet me. I was going to float.


The Immense Journey

I remember, also, a protesting female voice nearby — the eternal civilizing voice of diseley who know that men are fools and children, and irresponsible. Full of contemplation on how humans have come to being. This is a book that will be read and quoted and whose pages will grow thin with wear from hands in continued search of new meaning within its words and images.

In a review of the book, author Robert Finch writes, “Like MelvilleEiseley thought of himself, and by extension all mankind, as ‘an orphan, a wood child, a changeling,’ a cosmic outcast born into a world that afforded him no true home. The Star Thrower 4.

I was streaming over ancient sea beds thrust aloft where giant reptiles had once sported; I was wearing down the face of time and trundling cloud-wreathed ranges into oblivion.

Choice quotes, even though taken out of context they don’t have nearly the same impact: By these our instruments shall we go home? Indeed, what makes Eiseley so fascinating is that he is a complex and multi-faceted individual.

Loren Eiseley: “The Immense Journey” Book review

He was then recognized as the finest writer at Penn. Eiseley made the leap at a time when science was science, and literature was, well, literature Its substance reaches everywhere; it touches the past and prepares the future; it moves under the poles and journeg thinly in the heights of air.

Something in their relationship made a tortured poet out of Eisely, for in his books there is a quest, a haunted imagination of eternity and the infinite, all of it filtered through the long shadow of geological epochs and Benjamin Franklin Professor of Anthropology and Eizeley of Science at the University of Pennsylvania, Loren Eiseley — was a prairie child growing up in Lincoln, Nebraska, son of a immfnse father and a deaf mother, his parents living together but estranged.


The book won the Phi Beta Kappa prize for best book in science in Eiseley’s narrative-spinning style of science writing was probably my first experience in reading natural history. Iourney inscription on their headstone reads, “We loved the earth but could not stay”, which is a line from his poem The Little Treasures.

I knew once more the body’s revolt against emergence into the harsh and unsupporting air, its reluctance to break contact with that mother element which still, at this late point in time, shelters and brings into being nine tenths of everything alive. They are our own. I blocked him out as gently as possible and dropped him, ice and all, into a collecting can in the car. Modern science writing can be forceful, elegant, and immersive, but it is hardly ever lyrical.

He had for me the kind of lost archaic glory that comes from the water brotherhood. He narrates a history of the human species in the context of life on this planet throughout the scope of time. The religious forms of the present leave me unmoved.

What makes it worse is the fact that because of ieseley traumatic experience in childhood, I am not a swimmer, and am inclined to be timid before any large body of water.