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The Aristos

3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  474 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Two years after The Collector had brought him international recognition and a year before he published The Magus, John Fowles set out his ideas on life in The Aristos. The chief inspiration behind them was the fifth century BC philosopher Heraclitus. In the world he posited of constant and chaotic flux the supreme good was the Aristos, 'of a person or thing, the best or mo ...more
Mass Market Paperback, Revised, 224 pages
Published May 1st 1970 by Signet (first published January 1st 1964)
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Beverly J.
Dec 11, 2011 Beverly J. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
I had such high hopes for this. I was ready to be dazzled by a manifesto of an author I have always held in high regard. It was as dry and interesting as white bread. Such a disappointment.
John E. Branch Jr.
The Aristos was not written to persuade but rather to declare, boldly (as well as baldly) and unconditionally, and to provoke.

• Its title probably doesn't mean what you think it means. It comes from ancient Greek, is pronounced with an emphasis on the first syllable, and means roughly "the best for a given situation." I know this because John Fowles told me so in his preface.

• It was written under the influence of a "love-affaire with Gallic clarity and concision" (yes, Fowles used here, as he
Algirdas Brukštus
Mes bendraujame su pasauliu per operacinę sistemą – mūsų pasaulio suvokimą, per tai, kaip mumyse aprašytas pasaulis,jame vykstantys procesai ir kur jame yra mūsų vieta. Tai yra pas visus, net pas Mauglius, kuriems pasaulį aprašė vilkai ir kurie su pasauliu sąveikauja kaip vilkai, tačiau apie tai susimąsto ir apie tai ima rašyti tik nedaugelis, tik taip vadinami filosofai. Būna, kad apie tai parašo ir rašytojai. Kartais esė forma, o kartais ir filosofinio traktato pavidalu, kaip atsitiko su Johnu ...more
Sep 05, 2015 Terry rated it really liked it
I read The Magus. Only once and in the original version. I read The Collector and The French Lieutenant's Woman. I saw the movies made from the latter two. I guess it would be okay to say that back in the day I was a Fowles fan. But I don't remember ever hearing about or reading about The Aristos. I'm a bit surprised because it seems a given that in The Sixties it would have garnered some tidbit of fame even though in the realms of the Tao and of existential philosophy, which this volume plumbs, ...more
Simon Mcleish
Mar 17, 2013 Simon Mcleish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in May 2011.

The title may suggest "À la lanterne les aristos!", the cry of the French revolutionary mob in The Scarlet Pimpernel. But in fact Fowles is using the Greek word aristos, meaning "the best" without the reference to hereditary privilege it now has in its best known English descendant, aristocracy, or being restricted in application to people, as the same word has it. This is a book which describes Fowles' personal philosophy, which is all about the
Jordan Cullen
A novelist of remarkable invention and intelligence here offers his thoughts on life, art, politics, religion in a collection of aphorisms that are occasionally insightful and innovative, but more often the overall sensation is of reading a vanity exercise.
Lee Holz
Feb 27, 2012 Lee Holz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Aristos is a nonfiction exposition and statement of position on reality, the problems and challenges of humanity and what it means to be human by John Fowles, one of the greatest novelists of the second half of the twentieth century. One may agree with or differ from these pronouncements, for that is what they are, but one must acknowledge the author’s precision and clarity of presentation, cutting insights and serious philosophical approach. It is very much worth the effort of reading.
May 23, 2010 Craig rated it really liked it
An interesting philosophical autobiography of John Fowles--his attempt to illustrate the philosophy behind his novels. Fowles writes as an existentialist, naturalist, and poet, and his prose is the child of Thomas Hardy. I don't normally like books of philosophy -- they so often wallow in abstractions, but having read all of Fowles' fiction, I found I could see the concrete illustrations from his novels to demonstrate the generalized ideas discussed in this book.
Toby Elliott
Nov 16, 2012 Toby Elliott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a strange, ultimately inspiring work of philosophy from one of the best writers of human character (if you don't believe me, read The Magus or The Collector. then take a look at this.) it's reminiscient of Wittgenstein's Tractatus in terms of format. you might not always agree with what he says, but it'll hot-poker your mind for hours after you put it down.
Mar 26, 2011 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Might not be everyone's cup of tea -- in fact, is most certainly not -- but I found this book a lovely opportunity to examine the rough edges where my puzzle pieces of philosophies were in contradiction with Fowles'. Always lucid, often disagreeable; both pleasing and stimulating. One to browse.
Joseph Sverker
Fowles has collected some interesting thoughts in the style of Heraclitus in this book. One can sometimes feel that he is a child of his time and that the thoughts have not aged very well. However, there are many times that he shows a great ability to analyse culture.
Helena Gordyniec
в т.ч. из-за некоторых совпадений
The Aristos by John Fowles (1970)
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John Robert Fowles was born in Leigh-on-Sea, a small town located about 40 miles from London in the county of Essex, England. He recalls the English suburban culture of the 1930s as oppressively conformist and his family life as intensely conventional. Of his childhood, Fowles says "I have tried to escape ever since."

Fowles attended Bedford School, a large boarding school designed to prepare boys
More about John Fowles...

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“Our stereotyping societies force us to feel more alone. They stamp masks on us and isolate out real selves. We all live in two worlds: the old comfortable man-centred world of absolutes and the harsh real world of relatives. The latter, the relativity reality, terrifies us; and isolates and dwarfs us all.” 8 likes
“All of us are failures; we all die.

Nobody wants to be a nobody. All our acts are partly devised to fill or to mask the emptiness we feel at the core.

We all like to be loved or hated; it is a sign that we shall be remembered, that we did not 'not exist'. For this reason, many unable to create love have created hate. That too is remembered.”
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