Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Star Thrower. Loren Eiseley. Significant Sentences 06.

Significant sentences from Loren Eiseley's The Star Thrower, a collection of Eiseley's essays on nature and humanity's relationship to it.

Title of the essay: "Easter: the Isle of Faces"

"Ascending ape or fallen angel--man would have to make his choice." p. 99.

"Either man had slowly and painfully made his way upward through the ages while his mind and his body changed, or, on the other hand, the crude remnants of early cultures found in the earth were those of a creature fallen from a state of grace, fallen from divine inspiration--a creature possessing no memory of his great past and dwelling barbarically amid the fallen monuments of his predecessors." p. 99.

"Indeed, at the edge of the world perhaps there was nothing further he could do." p. 104.

"Man has always been a builder. Perhaps he has built best in loneliness." p. 105.

"...the inscrutable stylized faces...." p. 105.

"No tears are marked upon the faces....." 105.

"...the faces are formless, nameless; they represent no living style...are therefore all men and no man and they stare indifferently upon that rolling waste which has seen man come and will see him fade once more into the primal elements from which he came." p. 105.

Reflections by RayS: Eiseley reflects on the meaning of the huge faces on Easter Island. What do those faces say about humanity? All of Eiseley's ideas are thought-provoking, but one idea stands out on the meaning of man: "ascending ape" or "fallen angel"? Man must make his choice.

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