Loren Eiseley

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Loren Eiseley

Author profile


born
in Lincoln, NE, The United States
September 03, 1907

died
July 09, 1977

gender
male

genre


About this author

Loren Corey Eiseley (September 3, 1907 – July 9, 1977) was a highly respected anthropologist, science writer, ecologist, and poet. He published books of essays, biography, and general science in the 1950s through the 1970s.

Eiseley is best known for the poetic essay style, called the "concealed essay". He used this to explain complex scientific ideas, such as human evolution, to the general public. He is also known for his writings about humanity's relationship with the natural world; these writings helped inspire the modern environmental movement.


Average rating: 4.17 · 3,896 ratings · 394 reviews · 26 distinct works · Similar authors
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The Star Thrower
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The Night Country
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The Unexpected Universe
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All the Strange Hours: The ...
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The Firmament of Time
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The Invisible Pyramid
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4.39 of 5 stars 4.39 avg rating — 127 ratings — published 1970 — 10 editions
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Notes Of An Alchemist
4.22 of 5 stars 4.22 avg rating — 51 ratings — published 1972 — 2 editions
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Darwin's Century
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 61 ratings — published 1958 — 3 editions
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Man Who Saw Through Time
4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 48 ratings — published 1973 — 2 editions
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More books by Loren Eiseley…
“Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said,
"It made a difference for that one.”
Loren Eiseley

“While wandering a deserted beach at dawn, stagnant in my work, I saw a man in the distance bending and throwing as he walked the endless stretch toward me. As he came near, I could see that he was throwing starfish, abandoned on the sand by the tide, back into the sea. When he was close enough I asked him why he was working so hard at this strange task. He said that the sun would dry the starfish and they would die. I said to him that I thought he was foolish. there were thousands of starfish on miles and miles of beach. One man alone could never make a difference. He smiled as he picked up the next starfish. Hurling it far into the sea he said, "It makes a difference for this one." I abandoned my writing and spent the morning throwing starfish.”
Loren Eiseley

“Perhaps a creature of so much ingenuity and deep memory is almost bound to grow alienated from his world, his fellows, and the objects around him. 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.”
Loren Eiseley

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