Owen Barfield - Influence and Opinions

Influence and Opinions

Barfield might be characterised as both a Christian writer and a learned anti-reductionist writer. By 2007 all of his books are in print again and include Unancestral Voice; History, Guilt, and Habit; Romanticism Comes of Age; The Rediscovery of Meaning; Speaker's Meaning; and Worlds Apart. History in English Words seeks to retell the history of Western civilization by exploring the change in meanings of various words. Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry is on the 1999 100 Best Spiritual Books of the Century list by Philip Zaleski.

Barfield was also an influence on T. S. Eliot who called Barfield's book Worlds Apart "a journey into seas of thought very far from ordinary routes of intellectual shipping." It is a fictional dialogue between a physicist, a biologist, a psychiatrist, a lawyer-philologist, a linguistic analyst, a theologian, a retired Waldorf School teacher, and a young man employed at a rocket research station. During a period of three days, the characters discuss first principles.

In her book Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien's World, Verlyn Flieger analyzes the influence of Barfield's Poetic Diction on the writing of J.R.R. Tolkien.

More recent discussions of Barfield's work are published in Stephen Talbott's The Future Does Not Compute: Transcending the Machines in Our Midst, Neil Evernden's The Social Creation of Nature, Daniel Smitherman's Philosophy and the Evolution of Consciousness, Morris Berman's The Reenchantment of the World, and Gary Lachman's A Secret History of Consciousness. In 1996 Lachman conducted perhaps the last interview with Barfield, versions of which appeared in Gnosis magazine and the magazine Lapis.

In a foreword to Poetic Diction, Howard Nemerov, US Poet Laureate, stated: Among the poets and teachers of my acquaintance who know POETIC DICTION it has been valued not only as a secret book, but nearly as a sacred one.

Saul Bellow, the Nobel-Prize winning novelist, wrote: We are well supplied with interesting writers, but Owen Barfield is not content to be merely interesting. His ambition is to set us free. Free from what? From the prison we have made for ourselves by our ways of knowing, our limited and false habits of thought, our 'common sense'.

The culture critic and psychologist James Hillman called Barfield "one of the most neglected important thinkers of the 20th Century".

The film Owen Barfield: Man and Meaning (1994), co-produced and written by G. B. Tennyson and David Lavery, directed and edited by Ben Levin, is a documentary portrait of Barfield.

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Famous quotes containing the words influence and/or opinions:

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