The Breath of Life

The Breath of Life

by John Burroughs

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Overview

Book Excerpt:...aining to higher forms? Because, it may be replied, it was life, and not mere matter and motion--something that lifts matter and motion to a new plane.Under the influence of the life impulse, the old routine of matter--from compound to compound, from solid to fluid, from fluid to gaseous, from rock to soil, the cycle always ending where it began--is broken into, and cycles of a new order are instituted. From the stable equilibrium which dead matter is always seeking, the same matter in the vital circuit is always seeking the state of unstable equilibrium, or rather is forever passing between the two, and evolving the myriad forms of life in the passage. It is hard to think of the process as the work of the physical and chemical forces of inorganic nature, without supplementing them with a new and different force.The forces of life are constructive forces, and they are operative in a world of destructive or disintegrating forces which oppose them and which they overcome. The physical and chemic...


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783752311181
Publisher: Outlook Verlag
Publication date: 07/19/2020
Pages: 188
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x 0.43(d)

About the Author

John Burroughs (April 3, 1837 - March 29, 1921) was an American naturalist and nature essayist, active in the U.S. conservation movement.[1] The first of his essay collections was Wake-Robin in 1871.
In the words of his biographer Edward Renehan, Burroughs' special identity was less that of a scientific naturalist than that of "a literary naturalist with a duty to record his own unique perceptions of the natural world." The result was a body of work whose resonance with the tone of its cultural moment explains both its popularity at that time, and its relative obscurity since
Burroughs had his first break as a writer in the summer of 1860 when the Atlantic Monthly, then a fairly new publication, accepted his essay Expression. Editor James Russell Lowell found the essay so similar to Emerson's work that he initially thought Burroughs had plagiarized his longtime acquaintance. Poole's Index and Hill's Rhetoric, both periodical indexes, even credited Emerson as the author of the essay.[7]
In 1864, Burroughs accepted a position as a clerk at the Treasury; he would eventually become a federal bank examiner, continuing in that profession into the 1880s. All the while, he continued to publish essays, and grew interested in the poetry of Walt Whitman. Burroughs met Whitman in Washington, DC in November 1863, and the two became close friends.[8]
Whitman encouraged Burroughs to develop his nature writing as well as his philosophical and literary essays. In 1867, Burroughs published Notes on Walt Whitman as Poet and Person, the first biography and critical work on the poet, which was extensively (and anonymously) revised and edited by Whitman himself before publication.[9] Four years later, the Boston house of Hurd & Houghton published Burroughs's first collection of nature essays, Wake-Robin.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

I. THE BREATH OF LIFE

II. THE LIVING WAVE

III. A WONDERFUL WORLD

IV. THE BAFFLING PROBLEM

V. SCIENTIFIC VITALISM

VI. A BIRD OF PASSAGE

VII. LIFE AND MIND

VIII. LIFE AND SCIENCE

IX. THE JOURNEYING ATOMS

X. THE VITAL ORDER

XI. THE ARRIVAL OF THE FIT

XII. THE NATURALIST'S VIEW OF LIFE

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