The Immense Journey

The Immense Journey In an unusual blend of scientific knowledge and imaginative vision Loren Eiseley tells the story of man Anthropologist and naturalist Dr Eiseley reveals life s endless mysteries in his own experienc

  • Title: The Immense Journey
  • Author: Loren Eiseley
  • ISBN: 9780394701578
  • Page: 331
  • Format: Paperback
  • In an unusual blend of scientific knowledge and imaginative vision, Loren Eiseley tells the story of man Anthropologist and naturalist, Dr Eiseley reveals life s endless mysteries in his own experiences, departing from their immediacy into meditations on the long past, wandering intimate with nature along the paths and byways of time, and then returning to the present.

    One thought on “The Immense Journey”

    1. Somewhere down the stairs of time lie the secrets of life and this book is as good a way down that staircase as the most powerful microscope.I really enjoyed the chapter "The Dream Animal" in which Dr. Eiseley marvels at the rapid pace at which the human brain seems to have developed. He suggests that what goes on between our ears might be the "true" evolutionary pressure that has led us through the maze of development and ultimately resulted in our emergence. By all means, read this book, even [...]

    2. i have fond memories of reading loren eiseley in the late 1960s. one of my fondest memories is that i was reading either this book or 'night country' when i first met the late science fiction writer, philip k dick. a friend at cal state hayward [that's what it was called long before it changed names to it's present one -CSUEB] felt that eiseley was 'too deep' for me at the grand old age of 21. he brought this friend of his to one of our 'nickolodoen nights' - a group of us played gin rummy and e [...]

    3. 3 1/2 stars.This is a hard book for me to rate.It started off really strong (first five essays), I lost a little bit of interest & got annoyed around the middle, and it ended strong--the last three essays being especially good.I guess this means, looking back over the chapters, that what worked for me was his perspectives on nature as a whole--water, earth, plants, animals, the long process of evolution, wonderings about various aspects of our world. What I didn't like so much was when he st [...]

    4. The prose in the first four chapters of this book is life-changing, which is the last thing I expected to say about a book of nature essays. But it's seriously some of the most beautiful and evocative yet seemingly effortless writing I've ever read. I found myself essentially highlighting entire pages of text and slamming the book down in awe and whispering a reverent "Holy shit" every thirty seconds.Choice quotes, even though taken out of context they don't have nearly the same impact:"I would [...]

    5. Although the sexist language of the book and its scientific positivism dates it somewhat, Loren Eiseley's The Immense Journey remains a classic. He narrates a history of the human species in the context of life on this planet throughout the scope of time. Glimpsed through his eyes, we can see the improbable and amazing persistence and adaptability of life in the face of eons of inhospitable conditions and successful and failed experiments. I found it a fascinating lens with which to consider exi [...]

    6. Loren Eiseley first got my attention when part of his resonant 1965 essay "The Angry Winter" was reprinted in one of my high school textbooks. The essay stuck with me, but it's only now, 27 years later, that I've read anything else Eiseley's written.It's a tough book to read in one go. (I was in a hurry.) There are a lot of ideas and they aren't presented symmetrically; at times he drifts into a sort of beat-poet reality, and at times he grips his topic with all the realism of the cynical scient [...]

    7. Loren Eiseley, in prose that is closely related to poetry, demonstrates to the reader the awe-inspiring nature of being. Of existing as a human as fellow life to the other forms of life we share the world with. And of the incredibly immense journey life has taken as nature crafts it through millions of years. This is a beautiful book.

    8. The best of this is lyrical and profound. The worst is inauthentic and dated. Eiseley was a poet-naturalist whose immersion into nature resulted in gorgeous prose.

    9. I have been an admiring follower of the ongoing 21000-mile odyssey on foot by Paul Salopek. His journey takes him from Ethiopia, all the way to Tierra del Fuego in Argentina and is supposed to take seven years. He blogs and documents his journey and in one of his blogs a few months ago, I came across the following passage:"Loren Eiseley, a brilliant if almost forgotten essayist of the middle of the last century, wrote of waking up one early morning in a hotel room high above Manhattan and imagin [...]

    10. Benjamin Franklin Professor of Anthropology and History of Science at the University of Pennsylvania, Loren Eiseley (1907–1977) was a prairie child growing up in Lincoln, Nebraska, son of a hardware-salesman father and a deaf mother, his parents living together but estranged. 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 an [...]

    11. A few notable quotes/ideas:"Down how many roads among the stars must man propel himself in search of the final secret? The journey is difficult, immense, at times impossible, yet that will not deter some of us from attempting it. 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. We have joined the caravan, you might say, at a certain point; we will travel as far as we can, but we cannot in one lifeti [...]

    12. This is a wonderful book. Loren Eisley is an anthropologist who writes like John Donne. I went to the University of Pennsylvania in the 1960s when Loren Eisley was Professor of Anthropology. He was then recognized as the finest writer at Penn. Though his field was anthropology, every semester he was a guest lecturer for the English department in their Creative Writing classes. Each chapter starts with a theme from nature, archeology, or biology. Gradually his writing turns from scientific observ [...]

    13. I first happened upon the books of Loren Eiseley in the Ansel Adams Gallery at Yosemite National Park. I was twenty-four, and living and working in the most beautiful setting I will ever live or work in. Eiseley's narrative-spinning style of science writing was probably my first experience in reading natural history. Going back for a re-read at sixty-five made me a little apprehensive that "you can't go back." But, having read a lot more science in the intervening years, I was probably able to r [...]

    14. I have enough books on my shelves that I often find myself searching fruitlessly for something I know I have. I have organized my books by general subject matter and alphabetized by author and still I search. BUT. There are some authors whose books I can put my hands on instantly. Loren Eiseley is one of those authors. I'd been reading Eiesley's work for years before I realized he was an anthropologist. That's because he crosses fields of study so gracefully you don't really know where he "belon [...]

    15. My microbiology degree and its demands of memorization of cellular respiration and precise locations of carbon molecules throughout biochemical cycles sucked the color out of science. I think I struggled with my studies precisely because each biochemical process was treated as a manufacturing step to be broken into discrete parts and neatly-coordinated diagrams, whereas I thrive in the big picture and its messy ambiguity. So, I wish I had read this book as an undergrad, or found a class that tau [...]

    16. I read this book many years ago and enjoyed it just as much this time. Eiseley was a paleontologist who thought deeply and vividly imaged the past. With his mind uncluttered by electronic noise he would spend long days digging in remote areas, imagining the ancient creatures and their environments whose bones he was uncovering. His reflections are full of awe for the workings of nature, for the amazing reality of life, wondering about the process of evolution. His insight into the process of the [...]

    17. This book by Loren Eiseley is inspired. Possibly my favorite of all time. But rather than repeat everything I'll just post a link to my blog for a fuller review.midmiocene.wordpress/2015

    18. Loren Eiseley is one of the authors I would have loved to take a walk with, through a museum or down some wooded path, for it would have been an entertaining, educational, and memorable conversation. Modern science writing can be forceful, elegant, and immersive, but it is hardly ever lyrical. Loren Eiseley’s thoughtful, discursive style is full of sentences and paragraphs that you read over and over, captured by the power and beauty of his imagery. "The story of Eden is a greater allegory tha [...]

    19. A lovely whimsical and deeply personal book discussing what nature means to a lifelong observer of nature and mankind. It has some of the same reverence and awe that fills the books of Rachel Carson or Aldo leopold. Some of the essays don't do anything for me but a few really remind me of some of my own memories of life in the cathedral of nature. I was surprised by how dated some of the pieces are. It is a reminder of how much knowledge has grown in the last few decades.

    20. I read this over several months with a book club. Eisley's passion for natural history comes through on every page. This essay, now 60 years old, holds up admirably even if some of the evolutionary science is dated. This is not a textbook—it is a very personal essay about one man's love of nature. One chapter at a time it made for a good book club for our philosophically minded group, triggering conversations that ranged far and wide.

    21. While only 200+ pages, this is a big book. Eiseley's blend of personal experience with scientific expertise and the intersection therein is worth reading if nothing else.

    22. Anthropologist and naturalist Loren Eiseley blends scientific knowledge and imaginative vision in this story of man.**

    23. Collection of essays some I’d read before, and some I hadn’t. Eiseley stands out both on account of his style and for his awe-tinged view that takes in both the horror and the wonder of the natural world.

    24. "We are one of many appearances of the thing called Life; we are not its perfect image, for it has no image except Life, and life is multitudinous and emergent in the stream of time." —Loren EiseleyWhen it was first published in 1977 it was marketed as a science book for the nonscientist, as something written by Stephen Jay Gould or Stephen Hawking would be today. This categorization is simplistic, however. This is not a book about science, merely. It is not an attempt by an expert to explain [...]

    25. Humans nowadays are entitled, smug, and selfish. I'm not excluded, by the way. I'd think that I'm a little less entitled and smug than most, but I'm selfish as hell. I'm glad I've had the ability to obtain wisdom through less painful means in observation and imitation. Reading is, after all, a form of observation. I'd be gleaning the distilled thoughts of great thinkers and scientists. Among them is Loren Eiseley.Are we right to think that we are unique individuals? EVERYBODY is unique. That doe [...]

    26. Essays about either the science and mechanics of evolution or naturalist meanderings celebrating the mystery of life in all of its myriad manifestations, so intricate, so diverse and so beautiful. He explores the two great mysteries of evolution: the beginning of life and the origins of man. He takes on the first question in the last essay of the book through writing that is nearly unparalleled in its eloquence and beauty. He invites the reader on a thought experiment thus:"Go down the dark stai [...]

    27. A little less revelatory than The Night Country, my favorite Eiseley book so far; still worth reading. --------------------------------------------------------------With the rise of the truly human brain, Wallace saw that man had transferred to his machines and tools many of the alterations of parts that in animals take places through evolution of the body. Unwittingly, man had assigned to his machines the selective evolution which in the animal changes the nature of its bodily structure through [...]

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