Koestler: The Literary and Political Odyssey of a by Michael Scammell

By Michael Scammell

From award-winning writer Michael Scammell comes a enormous fulfillment: the 1st licensed biography of Arthur Koestler, the most influential and arguable intellectuals of the 20 th century. Over a decade within the making, and in response to new examine and whole entry to its subject's papers, Koestler is the definitive account of this interesting and polarizing determine. although top referred to as the writer of the vintage anti-Communist novel Darkness at midday, Koestler is the following printed as a lot more--a guy whose own lifestyles used to be as stunning as his literary accomplishments.

Koestler portrays the anguished early life of a boy raised in Budapest via a possessive and mercurial mom and an erratic father, marked for all times through a compelled operation played with no anesthesia whilst he used to be 5, turning out to be up feeling unloved and unprotected. here's the younger guy whose event of anti-Semitism and devotion to Zionism provoked him to maneuver to Palestine; the overseas correspondent who risked his lifestyles from the North Pole to Franco's Spain, the place he was once imprisoned and sentenced to dying; the devoted Communist for whom the brutal fact of Stalin's exhibit trials encouraged the excellent and indignant novel that grew to become an immediate vintage in 1940. Scammell additionally offers new info of Koestler's impressive global warfare II adventures, together with his get away from occupied France by means of becoming a member of the overseas Legion and his bluffing his manner illegally to England, the place his arguable novel Arrival and Departure, released in 1943, was once the 1st to painting Hitler's ultimate Solution.

Without sentimentality, Scammell explores Koestler's turbulent deepest existence: his drug use, his manic melancholy, the frenetic womanizing that doomed his 3 marriages and resulted in an accusation of rape that posthumously tainted his attractiveness, and his startling suicide whereas fatally in poor health in 1983--an act shared by means of his fit 3rd spouse, Cynthia--rendered unforgettably as a part of his darkish and irritating legacy.

Featuring cameos of well-known neighbors and associates together with Langston Hughes, George Orwell, and Albert Camus, Koestler offers a whole account of the author's voluminous writings, making the case that the autobiographies and essays are healthy to face beside Darkness at midday as works of lasting literary price. Koestler provides as much as an indelible portrait of this awesome, unpredictable, and proficient author, as soon as memorably defined as "one 3rd blackguard, one 3rd lunatic, and one 3rd genius."

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By Michael Scammell

From award-winning writer Michael Scammell comes a enormous fulfillment: the 1st licensed biography of Arthur Koestler, the most influential and arguable intellectuals of the 20 th century. Over a decade within the making, and in response to new examine and whole entry to its subject's papers, Koestler is the definitive account of this interesting and polarizing determine. although top referred to as the writer of the vintage anti-Communist novel Darkness at midday, Koestler is the following printed as a lot more--a guy whose own lifestyles used to be as stunning as his literary accomplishments.

Koestler portrays the anguished early life of a boy raised in Budapest via a possessive and mercurial mom and an erratic father, marked for all times through a compelled operation played with no anesthesia whilst he used to be 5, turning out to be up feeling unloved and unprotected. here's the younger guy whose event of anti-Semitism and devotion to Zionism provoked him to maneuver to Palestine; the overseas correspondent who risked his lifestyles from the North Pole to Franco's Spain, the place he was once imprisoned and sentenced to dying; the devoted Communist for whom the brutal fact of Stalin's exhibit trials encouraged the excellent and indignant novel that grew to become an immediate vintage in 1940. Scammell additionally offers new info of Koestler's impressive global warfare II adventures, together with his get away from occupied France by means of becoming a member of the overseas Legion and his bluffing his manner illegally to England, the place his arguable novel Arrival and Departure, released in 1943, was once the 1st to painting Hitler's ultimate Solution.

Without sentimentality, Scammell explores Koestler's turbulent deepest existence: his drug use, his manic melancholy, the frenetic womanizing that doomed his 3 marriages and resulted in an accusation of rape that posthumously tainted his attractiveness, and his startling suicide whereas fatally in poor health in 1983--an act shared by means of his fit 3rd spouse, Cynthia--rendered unforgettably as a part of his darkish and irritating legacy.

Featuring cameos of well-known neighbors and associates together with Langston Hughes, George Orwell, and Albert Camus, Koestler offers a whole account of the author's voluminous writings, making the case that the autobiographies and essays are healthy to face beside Darkness at midday as works of lasting literary price. Koestler provides as much as an indelible portrait of this awesome, unpredictable, and proficient author, as soon as memorably defined as "one 3rd blackguard, one 3rd lunatic, and one 3rd genius."

Show description

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Additional info for Koestler: The Literary and Political Odyssey of a Twentieth-Century Skeptic

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To a debater a point of view is an opinion, to an art critic it is the angle from which we view a piece of sculpture, and to a novelist it is the character through whose eyes we see the story. Certain loosely defined words like truth, objectivity, and freedom have been under dispute for centuries, and each user is likely to have a particular meaning in mind. If we want to understand a particular writer, we have to understand the word according to that writer's definition. Other words gain popularity so rapidly that they are used to describe many different ideas before anyone meaning gets established.

WRITING ASSIGNMENTS 1. Keep a reading journal for the next two weeks, while you work with the next two chapters of this book. Use the journal to explore your responses to the passages you are paraphrasing and summarizing. Try out as many different types of journal entries as you can, using the samples in this chapter as models and experimenting with different formats. For three of these passages, write double entries: one before class discussion and one after. At the end of the two weeks, read your entire journal and write a final entry commenting on it as a whole: What did you gain from writing the entries?

If there were not some agreement over the meaning of laws, our system of government would collapse. However, laws as originally phrased frequently have ambiguous or unspecific meanings, which leave unclear how they should be applied to a particular case. In all legal arguments, the courts must interpret the exact meaning of laws; thus many parts of legal decisions are a kind of extended paraphrase, clarifying the meaning and function of the laws. Legal textbooks, in turn, make use of these decisions and other legal precedents in order to restate the laws in terms of current legal practice.

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