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Michael Scammell's Koestler: The Literary and Political Odyssey of a PDF

By Michael Scammell

ISBN-10: 0394576306

ISBN-13: 9780394576305

From award-winning writer Michael Scammell comes a huge fulfillment: the 1st approved biography of Arthur Koestler, probably the most influential and arguable intellectuals of the 20th century. Over a decade within the making, and in accordance with new learn and whole entry to its subject’s papers, Koestler is the definitive account of this attention-grabbing and polarizing determine. even though most sensible referred to as the writer of the vintage anti-Communist novel Darkness at Noon, Koestler is the following printed as a lot more–a guy whose own lifestyles used to be as outstanding as his literary accomplishments.

Koestler portrays the anguished adolescence of a boy raised in Budapest through a possessive and mercurial mom and an erratic father, marked for all times via a pressured operation played with no anesthesia whilst he used to be 5, transforming into up feeling unloved and unprotected. this is the younger guy whose event of anti-Semitism and devotion to Zionism provoked him to maneuver to Palestine; the overseas correspondent who risked his lifestyles from the North Pole to Franco’s Spain, the place he was once imprisoned and sentenced to dying; the dedicated Communist for whom the brutal fact of Stalin’s convey trials encouraged the excellent and indignant novel that turned an quick vintage in 1940. Scammell additionally presents new information of Koestler’s impressive global battle II adventures, together with his get away from occupied France through becoming a member of the overseas Legion and his bluffing his approach illegally to England, the place his arguable novel Arrival and Departure, released in 1943, was once the 1st to painting Hitler’s ultimate Solution.

Without sentimentality, Scammell explores Koestler’s turbulent deepest existence: his drug use, his manic melancholy, the frenetic womanizing that doomed his 3 marriages and ended in an accusation of rape that posthumously tainted his recognition, and his startling suicide whereas fatally ailing in 1983–an act shared by means of his fit 3rd spouse, Cynthia–rendered unforgettably as a part of his darkish and annoying legacy.

Featuring cameos of well-known buddies and co-workers together with Langston Hughes, George Orwell, and Albert Camus, Koestler provides an entire account of the author’s voluminous writings, making the case that the autobiographies and essays are healthy to face beside Darkness at midday as works of lasting literary worth. Koestler adds as much as an indelible portrait of this remarkable, unpredictable, and gifted author, as soon as memorably defined as “one 3rd blackguard, one 3rd lunatic, and one 3rd genius.”

From the Hardcover edition.

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

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