Editorial Reviews. From the Inside Flap. Anthropologist and naturalist Loren Eiseley blends scientific knowledge and imaginative vision in this story of man. Loren Eiseley (September 3, – July 9, ) was an American anthropologist, educator, . Consider the case of Loren Eiseley, author of The Immense Journey, who can sit on a mountain slope beside a prairie-dog town and imagine. Anthropologist and naturalist Loren Eiseley blends scientific knowledge and imaginative vision in this story of man.

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I often wonder, imense I sit down to read any Loren Eiseley book, which Eiseley will be there to greet me. Will it be Eiseley the forsaken child, Eiseley the teacher, or Eiseley the wandering philosopher?

Who, indeed, is Loren Eiseley? An anthropologist, a scholar, a poet, a genius. Eiseley wears immfnse of eiselry hats.

He is the teacher who backs away from the podium after an engaging lecture to make a quick dash for his office. He is a member of the expedition who hunts for bones, sleeping by the blazing campfire at night. Indeed, what makes Eiseley so fascinating is that he is a complex and multi-faceted individual. Like the narrator of a play who observes the drama unfold from the sidelines, Eiseley observes the story of life unfolding throughout history, recounting some of it to us in his own story.

Loren Eiseley

Eiseley might refute that, if he were alive today. He claims he does not pretend to speak for anyone but himself. But men see differently.


What is important, he says, is that each person have such a wilderness, and see—truly see—what wonders exist there. Life is fluid and transient. Eiesley is no permanence. Perhaps there is no meaning except for the story itself.

Just as life is said to imitate art, life and story have a hermeneutic relationship. Life is story, and story becomes life. Naturalist writers like Eiseley have a dual responsibility of educating readers about the processes of nature and entertaining them with a memorable story along the way.

This is not to say that the stories are completely factual, particularly in nature writing. John Joirney, editor of numerous Sierra Club anthologies, would contend that it is sometimes necessary to embellish the truth to tell a good story, and scores of naturalist writers would agree with him.

Rick Bass, Annie Dillard, Edward Abbey and other acclaimed nature writers have admitted to artistic license.

The Immense Journey

These admissions have sparked much controversy within the academic discipline of ecocriticism, the study of literature and environment. But the narrative of the story has a meaning that elevates the tradition beyond traditional interpretation, for the story and the storyteller are both timeless.

The story is told and retold, passed down from one generation to another. We know very little about the storyteller jourmey through his or her stories, and that is enough. The stories are what will survive over time. Enter the storyteller on horseback, riding languidly across the prairie until he sees something. He dismounts and begins to explore the Slit, the body-width crack in the sandstone walls, coming eye-to-eye with an animal skull.


As he begins to chip away at the rock, digging out the skull, his mind begins to wander. This is the question the storyteller asks himself as he imagines the possibilities, traveling back and forth in time as his hands are occupied in the fhe with digging.

Who knows if the storyteller actually set foot on the prairie? What is important, as Eiseley himself says, is the journey itself. The storyteller is a time-traveler and a wanderer, not constrained by the physics of being fixated at any point in time.

The Immense Journey, by Loren Eiseley, at American-Buddha Online Library

The storyteller transcends time because the messages in his stories are universal eieley timeless. Eiseley, the storyteller, has come to capture birds for the zoo. He drips with blood to catch his prey, but releases the young hawk in the morning. They are our own.

We hear the stories and remember them, retelling them from generation to generation. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.

Loren Eiseley (Author of The Immense Journey)

Shipping charges based on weight Tax: If I remember the sunflower forest it is because from its hidden reaches man arose. The green world is his sacred center. Jorney moments of sanity he must still seek refuge there LES Board of Directors.