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His plays and poems sing with the beauty of life, the search for happiness, the inevitability of death, and here, in this exquisite 1898 essay, Maurice Maeterlinck contemplates directly the theme that consumes his other writing: the journey toward meaning and truth. Maeterlinck's questing, lyrical prose ushers us through his stream-of-consciousness thinking on the paradoxes of wisdom, which allows us to be as acutely aware of the tranquillity within reach as we are keenly cognizant of its uncerebral nature, and the demands of moral elegance, which demands self-sacrifice on the altar of duty.
Compelling and complex, this is a classic of personal philosophy that greatly rewards close reading and appreciation.
Belgian poet and playwright MAURICE MAETERLINCK (1862-1949) won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1911. Among his most famous works are the play The Blue Bird (1908) and his first volume of verse, Les Cherres Chaudes (Hot House Blooms) (1899).