In this diary of an intensely egotistical young naturalist, tragically caught by the creeping approach of death, we have one of the most moving records Of the youthful aspects of our universal struggle. We begin with one of those bright schoolboys that most Of us like to fancy we once were, that many of us have come to love as sons or nephews or younger brothers, and this youngster is attracted by natural science, by the employrnents of the naturalist and by the thought Of being himself some day a naturalist. From the very begin ning we find in this diary the three qualities, from the narrowest to broadest Observe me,' he says to himself, 'i am Observing nature.' There is the self~conscious, self-centred boy. But he also says I am observing nature And at moments comes the clear light. He forgets himself in the twilight cave with the bats or watching the starlings in the evening sky, he becomes just youand I and the mind of mankind gathering knowledge. And the diary, as the keen edge of untimely fate cuts down into the sensitive tissue, shows us presently, after outcries and sorrow and darkness of spirit, the habits Of the Observer rising to the occasion. Not for him, he realises, are the long life, the honours Of science, the Croonian lecture, the listening Royal Society, one's memory embalmed in specific or generic names, the sure place in the temple of fame, that once filled his boyish dreams. But here is something close at hand to go on Observing manfully to the end, in which self may be forgotten. And that is his own tormented self, with desire still great and power and hope receding. 'i will go on with this diary,' I read between the lines. You shall have at least one specimen, carefully displayed and labelled Here is a re corded unhappiness. When you talk about life and the rewards of life and the justice of life and its penalties, what you say must square with this.'
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Language - English
Author(s) - W. N. P. Barbellion
Published Date - August 23 2019
ISBN - 9781528352116
Dimesions - 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.1 cm
Page Count - 340
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