Unreal Nature

September 4, 2015

It Is Midnight in the Library

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:31 am

This is from The Lost Notebooks of Loren Eiseley edited by Kenneth Heuer (2002, 1987):

… It is midnight in the library. I linger and do not go home. The night is half gone. I walk through the long silent tiers of stacks containing all the malice, all the wisdom, all the loneliness of centuries. It is all here silently waiting in the great social brain; some of it, like the submerged madness of men, hiding until it strikes fire in a mind of the right affinity; some are books unread for over a century waiting, waiting far beneath the surface, but sure to be dredged up by a dreamer in some quieter century than ours.

… I am the ghost of this brain, made of it and to serve it.


… A sea beach is a bad place to start thinking, but then so is almost anyplace. Anyplace where there’s a leaf and an animal under it — an animal with someplace to go. Because where is it going — the seed hooked into your coat, and you yourself, brother, where are you bound for? You think you know? In this house? On that street? You think you’ve arrived? You think you’ve lost your fur and your tail for a purpose spelled with a capital P and sold to you in some book that explains how everything was just a prelude until you came? If you do, you’re happy I take it, and you’d be better off not to be following me or this crab or lifting stones and looking under them.

For what you see under a stone may be like a flash of lightning before a traveler on a stormy night. It lights in one blue, glistening instant a hundred miles of devil’s landscape such as he will never see again.




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