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Views of nature: or Contemplations on the sublime phenomena of creation - with scientific illustrations
The twofold object of this work,an anxious endeavour to heighten the enjoyment of nature by vivid representations, and at the same time to increase, according to the present state of science, the readers insight into the harmonious co-operation of forces,was pointed out by me in the preface to the first edition, nearly half a century ago. I there alluded to the several obstacles which oppose themselves to the sthetic treatment of the grand scenes of nature. The combination of a literary and a purely scientific aim, the desire to engage the imagination, and at the same time to enrich life with new ideas by the increase of knowledge, render the due arrangement of the separate parts, and what is required as unity of composition, difficult of attainment. Notwithstanding these disadvantages, however, the public have continued to receive with indulgent partiality, my imperfect performance. The second edition of the Views of Nature, was published by me in Paris in 1826. Two papers were then added, one, An inquiry into the structure and mode of action of Volcanos in different regions of the earth; the other, Vital Force, or The Rhodian Genius. Schiller, in remembrance of his youthful xiimedical studies, loved to converse with me, during my long stay at Jena, on physiological subjects. The inquiries in which I was then engaged, in preparing my work On the condition of the fibres of muscles and nerves, when irritated by contact with substances chemically opposed, often imparted a more serious direction to our conversation. It was at this period that I wrote the little allegory on Vital Force, called The Rhodian Genius. The predilection which Schiller entertained for this piece, and which he admitted into his periodical, Die Horen, gave me courage to introduce it here. My brother, in a letter which has recently been published (William von Humboldts Letters to a Female Friend, vol. ii. p. 39), delicately alludes to the subject, but at the same time very justly adds; The development of a physiological idea is exclusively the object of the essay. Such semi-poetical clothings of grave truths were more in vogue at the time this was written than they are at present. In my eightieth year I have still the gratification of completing a third edition of my work, and entirely remoulding it to meet the demands of the age. Almost all the scientific illustrations are either enlarged or replaced by new and more comprehensive ones. ......Buy Now (To Read More)
Ebook Number: 67684
Author: Humboldt, Alexander von
Release Date: Mar 22, 2022
Publisher: H.G. Bohn
Publication Date: 1850
Publisher Country: United Kingdom
Translator: Bohn, Henry G. (Henry George), 1796-1884, Otté, E. C. (Elise C.), 1818-1903
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