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Book Title: A Voyage to Arcturus|
The author of the book: David Lindsay
Edition: Bison Books
Date of issue: April 1st 2002
ISBN 13: 9780803280045
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 878 KB
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A stunning achievement in speculative fiction, A Voyage to Arcturus has inspired, enchanted, and unsettled readers for decades. It is simultaneously an epic quest across one of the most unusual and brilliantly depicted alien worlds ever conceived, a profoundly moving journey of discovery into the metaphysical heart of the universe, and a shockingly intimate excursion into what makes us human and unique. After a strange interstellar journey, Maskull, a man from Earth, awakens alone in a desert on the planet Tormance, seared by the suns of the binary star Arcturus. As he journeys northward, guided by a drumbeat, he encounters a world and its inhabitants like no other, where gender is a victory won at dear cost; where landscape and emotion are drawn into an accursed dance; where heroes are killed, reborn, and renamed; and where the cosmological lures of Shaping, who may be God, torment Maskull in his astonishing pilgrimage. At the end of his arduous and increasingly mystical quest waits a dark secret and an unforgettable revelation.
A Voyage to Arcturus was the first novel by writer David Lindsay (1878–1945), and it remains one of the most revered classics of science fiction. This commemorative edition features an introduction by noted scholar and writer of speculative fiction John Clute and a famous essay by Loren Eiseley.
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Read information about the authorLibrarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
David Lindsay was a Scottish author now most famous for the philosophical science fiction novel A Voyage to Arcturus.
Lindsay was born into a middle-class Scottish Calvinist family who had moved to London, tho growing up he spent much time in Jedburgh, where his family was from. Altho awarded a university scholarship, he was forced by poverty to enter business, becoming a Lloyd's of London insurance clerk. He was very successful but, after serving in WWI, at age forty, he moved to Cornwall with his young wife, Jacqueline Silver, to become a full-time writer. He published A Voyage to Arcturus in 1920. It sold 596 copies before being remaindered. This extremely strange work was not obviously influenced by anyone, but further reading shows links with other Scottish fantasists (e.g., Geo. MacDonald). It was in its turn a central influence on C. S. Lewis's Out of the Silent Planet.
Lindsay attempted to write more commercially with his next work The Haunted Woman (1922), but this was barely more successful than Voyage. He continued writing novels, including the humorous potboiler The Adventures of Monsieur de Mailly, but after Devil's Tor in 1932 he found publication increasingly difficult and spent much time on his last work The Witch, published posthumously.
He and his wife opened a Brighton boarding house. They did not prosper and their marriage underwent considerable strain. The house was damaged by the first bomb to fall on Brighton in WWII. In his bath at the time, Lindsay never recovered from the shock. His death from infection caused by a tooth abscess was unrelated to the bomb.
A Voyage to Arcturus has been described as the major underground novel of the 20th century. The secret of Lindsay's apparent strangeness lies in his metaphysical assumptions. A gnostic, he viewed the "real" world as an illusion which must be rejected in order to perceive genuine truth. In The Haunted Woman, the two main characters discover a room which exists only some of the time. Together there they see more clearly and express themselves honestly. In The Violet Apple, the fruit is that eaten by Adam and Eve. The description of its effects is a startling, lyrical episode in a novel otherwise concerned with ordinary matters.
Lindsay's austere vision of reality may have been influenced by Scandinavian mythology. After being out of print for decades, his work has become increasingly available. He is now seen as being a major Scottish fantasist of the 20th century, the missing link between George Macdonald and modern writers such as Alasdair Gray who have also used surrealism and magic realism.
Arcturus was produced as a 35mm feature film by William J. Holloway in 1971. It was the first film funded by a National Endowment for the Arts and has recently been re-released.
Harold Bloom has also been interested, even obsessed, with Lindsay's life and career, going as far as to publish The Flight to Lucifer, which he thought of as a Bloomian misprision, an homage and deep revision of Arcturus,/i>. Bloom admits his late-comer imitation is overwhelmed by Lindsay's great original.
A Voyage to Arcturus, 1920
The Haunted Woman, 1922
The Adventures of Monsieur de Mailly, 1926
Devil's Tor, 1932
The Violet Apple & The Witch, 1976
A Christmas Play, 2003
The Strange Genius of David Lindsay: An Appreciation by J. B. Pick, E. H. Visiak & Colin Wilson, 1970
The Life & Works of David Lindsay by Bernard Sellin, 1983
David Lindsay's Vision by David Power, 2005
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