Dr. Carl Ludwig Dorsch's Reviews > The Story of Wilbur the Hat

The Story of Wilbur the Hat by Hendrik Willem van Loon
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's review
Mar 09, 08

really liked it
bookshelves: fictions

“It is an allegory of urbane disillusionment which takes the form of a dialogue between "Wilbur" -- a Hundred Percent Stetson -- and Cedric the Cricket who plays Virgil to Wilbur's Dante in a cultural voyage which, like that of the great Italian, encompasses and envisages cosmology, theology, the history of civilization, philosophy and sociology."


"By textual implication and illustrations Van loon contrasts the Einsteinian cosmology and its concepts of vastness, complexity and order with the infinitesimal scope of Dante's puny single-tract cosmogony. […] Wilbur is allowed to reach the center of the cosmos and to stand at the heart of the problem of all Being. Here in the footsteps of Spinoza and Kant, he announces with a loud guffaw that "the thing looks just like the inside of a Ford."

from pages 135 and 136 of "History and Social Intelligence" by Harry Elmer Barnes, first published by A. A. Knopf, 1926, republished by Kessinger Publishing, 2004
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