A Reading From “The Lost Notebooks of Loren Eiseley”

Loren Eiseley was an early 20th century Renaissance man of sorts.  When he was young, he hopped trains and hitchhiked around the country.  Later he became an anthropologist and taught at the University of Pennsylvania.  Widely regarded as one of the great naturalists and essayists of our time, Eiseley left behind a rich legacy of writings: poems, essays, proto-science fiction, and journals.

When I was in highschool, I was introduced to a wonderful book, a collection of his personal journals, entitled, The Lost Notebooks of Loren Eiseley. My friend Adam T. was reading it one day during lunch, and I found myself enraptured by the cover — a colored pencil drawing of a very intense, inward-looking young man whose eyes seemed focused on  something otherworldly,  something I wanted to know for myself.  I checked the book out of the library as soon as it was available, and shortly after, ordered it at a local bookstore.

As I suspected, I was riveted to its pages and to this day, am very influenced by Eiseley’s vision and style.

from The Lost Notebooks of Loren Eiseley:

“Why does the sound of the sea trouble my heart, or the sight of wolves in cages cause me to avert my eyes?…. The net closes; I age, but still I look sidelong for escape.  I yearn persistently for the road across the starfields that I will never live to wander.” (p228)

“…I wanted to find it, to visit my own grave, where, when we purchased it years ago, I had stretched out on the plot to look at the autumn sky and to think this will sometime be forever, though nothing, geologically speaking, ever is.” (p240)

To read more about Loren Eiseley, check out the Wikipedia bio:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loren_Eiseley

For information on the current state of interest in Loren Eiseley, try the Loren Eiseley Society page:

http://www.eiseley.org/


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