This is Real Life Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    Interviews | March 9, 2015

    Rhianna Walton: IMG Erik Larson: The Powells.com Interview



    Erik LarsonI've been a fan of Erik Larson's riveting brand of narrative history for years, and his latest book, Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania,... Continue »
    1. $19.60 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    spacer

This item may be
out of stock.

Click on the button below to search for this title in other formats.


Check for Availability
Add to Wishlist

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

by

Koestler: The Literary and Political Odyssey of a Twentieth-Century Skeptic Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From award-winning author Michael Scammell comes a monumental achievement: the first authorized biography of Arthur Koestler, one of the most influential and controversial intellectuals of the twentieth century. Over a decade in the making, and based on new research and full access to its subject’s papers, Koestler is the definitive account of this fascinating and polarizing figure. Though best known as the creator of the classic anti-Communist novel Darkness at Noon, Koestler is here revealed as much more–a man whose personal life was as astonishing as his literary accomplishments.

Koestler portrays the anguished youth of a boy raised in Budapest by a possessive and mercurial mother and an erratic father, marked for life by a forced operation performed without anesthesia when he was five, growing up feeling unloved and unprotected. Here is the young man whose experience of anti-Semitism and devotion to Zionism provoked him to move to Palestine; the foreign correspondent who risked his life from the North Pole to Franco’s Spain, where he was imprisoned and sentenced to death; the committed Communist for whom the brutal truth of Stalin’s show trials inspired the superb and angry novel that became an instant classic in 1940. Scammell also provides new details of Koestler’s amazing World War II adventures, including his escape from occupied France by joining the Foreign Legion and his bluffing his way illegally to England, where his controversial novel Arrival and Departure, published in 1943, was the first to portray Hitler’s Final Solution.

Without sentimentality, Scammell explores Koestler’s turbulent private life: his drug use, his manic depression, the frenetic womanizing that doomed his three marriages and led to an accusation of rape that posthumously tainted his reputation, and his startling suicide while fatally ill in 1983–an act shared by his healthy third wife, Cynthia–rendered unforgettably as part of his dark and disturbing legacy.

Featuring cameos of famous friends and colleagues including Langston Hughes, George Orwell, and Albert Camus, Koestler gives a full account of the author’s voluminous writings, making the case that the autobiographies and essays are fit to stand beside Darkness at Noon as works of lasting literary value. Koestler adds up to an indelible portrait of this brilliant, unpredictable, and talented writer, once memorably described as “one third blackguard, one third lunatic, and one third genius.”

Synopsis:

From award-winning author Scammell comes a monumental achievement: the first authorized biography of Arthur Koestler, one of the most influential and controversial intellectuals of the 20th century. bw photo insert.

Synopsis:

DR. HANK WESSELMAN is a professional anthropologist who has conducted expeditionary fieldwork throughout the world independently and with Don Johanson and Richard Leakey. He has taught courses in anthropology for the University of California at San Diego and the University of Hawai'i at Hilo. He and his family divide their time between Northern California, where he teaches anthropology and lectures on shamanism and mysticism at American River College and Sierra College, and Hawai'i, where they own and work a small farm.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author

Michael Scammell is the author of Solzhenitsyn, a Biography, which won the Los Angeles Times and English PEN’s prizes for best biography after its publication. He is the editor of The Solzhenitsyn Files, Unofficial Art from the Soviet Union, and Russia’s Other Writers, and has translated Nabokov, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and other Russian authors into English. His reviews and articles have appeared in The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, Harpers, and elsewhere. He teaches creative writing and translation in the School of the Arts at Columbia University in New York.

Table of Contents

Part One: A Long Apprenticeship - The Author as Journalist (1905-1936) — Chapter 1: Beginnings — Chapter 2: A Budapest Childhood — Chapter 3: Rise, Jew, Rise — Chapter 4: Zionist — Chapter 5: A Runaway and a Fugitive — Chapter 6: First Steps in Journalism — Chapter 7: Hello To Berlin — Chapter 8: In the Gale of History — Chapter 9: Red Days — Chapter 10: Anti-Fascist Crusader — Chapter 11: Marking Time — Chapter 12: Prisoner of Franco — Chapter 13: Turning Point — Part Two: Fame and Infamy - The Author as Novelist (1936-1946) — Chapter 14: The God That Failed — Chapter 15: No New Certainties — Chapter 16: Darkness Visible — Chapter 17: Scum of the Earth — Chapter 18: Darkness Unveiled — Chapter 19: In Crumpled Battledress — Chapter 20: The Novelists Temptations — Chapter 21: Identity Crisis — Chapter 22: Commissar or Yogi? — Chapter 23: Return to Palestine — Chapter 24: Welsh Interlude — Chapter 25: The Logic of the Ice Age — Part Three: Lost Illusions - The Author Activist (1946-1959) — Chapter 26: Adventures among the Existentialists — Chapter 27: French Lessons — Chapter 28: Discovering America — Chapter 29: Farewell to Zionism — Chapter 30: A Married Man — Chapter 31: To the Barricades — Chapter 32: The Congress for Cultural Freedom — Chapter 33: Back to the USA — Chapter 34: Politically Unreliable — Chapter 35: The Language of Destiny — Chapter 36: The Phantom Chase — Chapter 37: I Killed Her — Chapter 38: Cassandra Grows Hoarse — Chapter 39: Matters of Life and Death — Part Four: Astride the Two Cultures - The Author as Polymath (1959-1983) — Chapter 40: Cosmic Reporter — Chapter 41: The Squire of Alpbach — Chapter 42: Retreat From Rationalism? — Chapter 43: A Naive and Skeptical Disposition — Chapter 44: Seeking a Cure — Chapter 45: Wunderkind — Chapter 46: Chance Governs All — Chapter 47: The Koestler Problem — Chapter 48: An Easy Way of Dying

Product Details

ISBN:
9781588369017
Subtitle:
The Literary and Political Odyssey of a Twentieth-century Skeptic
Publisher:
Random House
Author:
Scammell, Michael
Author:
Michael Scammell
Subject:
Body, Mind & Spirit : Mysticism
Subject:
Biography & Autobiography : General
Subject:
Novelists, English -- 20th century.
Subject:
Zionists
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Biography-Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20091229
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
689

Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Literary
Biography » Philosophers
Biography » Political
History and Social Science » Politics » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

Koestler: The Literary and Political Odyssey of a Twentieth-Century Skeptic
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 689 pages Random House - English 9781588369017 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , From award-winning author Scammell comes a monumental achievement: the first authorized biography of Arthur Koestler, one of the most influential and controversial intellectuals of the 20th century. bw photo insert.
"Synopsis" by , DR. HANK WESSELMAN is a professional anthropologist who has conducted expeditionary fieldwork throughout the world independently and with Don Johanson and Richard Leakey. He has taught courses in anthropology for the University of California at San Diego and the University of Hawai'i at Hilo. He and his family divide their time between Northern California, where he teaches anthropology and lectures on shamanism and mysticism at American River College and Sierra College, and Hawai'i, where they own and work a small farm.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.