Edited by Leslie A. Taylor and Jefferey H. Taylor
"Barfield towers above us all." — C. S. Lewis
Information and Pricing
978-1-64317-172-2 (paperback, $32.99); 978-1-64317-174-6 (PDF, $19.99) © 2021 by the Owen Barfield Literary Estate and Leslie A. and Jefferey H. Taylor. 330 pages, with notes, bibliography, and index.
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About This Book
Owen Barfield is known primarily for his many publications on the evolution of consciousness and the essential reframing of cultural history that results from this theory. At the center of his philosophy is a deep analysis of mythology and poetics that draws from Coleridge, Steiner, and others to reveal the noetic role of the poetic principle and its salient shifts that map the evolution of conscious experience. A member of the Oxford Inklings group, Barfield’s first published book, The Silver Trumpet (1925), is the first märchen, or fantasy story, published by any of them.
Despite the influence Barfield exerted on contemporary authors such as Howard Nemerov and Saul Bellow, the biggest gaps in the published corpus of the Philosopher of Poetry are most of the major poems and poetic dramas he wrote according to his theories that place poetics at the core of conscious experience itself. This current publication remedies this absence by presenting five striking literary pieces composed throughout Barfield’s lifetime. The Tower, an introspective narrative poem, is the ‘great work’ of Barfield’s youth; Medea, a mythopoeic drama, is seemingly his last major poetic and dramatic work. Between these two are the mythopoeic narrative poem Riders on Pegasus, a trilogy of Anthroposophical mystery plays Angels at Bay, and the light-hearted extended poem The Unicorn. Readers of Barfield’s philosophical works and Inklings enthusiasts will find much to admire and enjoy in this volume.
Foreword by Owen A. Barfield.
About the Author
Owen Barfield (1898–1997) is one of the twentieth century’s most original and influential literary figures.
As an author and philosopher, he rallied against ‘positivism’ and was instrumental in bringing about a new awareness of the spiritual world that would eventually result in the “New Age” movement. He lived to see with satisfaction how alternative ways of thinking have begun to transform the limited positivist mindset.
Early on, Barfield developed his theory of "The Evolution of Consciousness," based on an understanding of imagination as the highest human ability, “as a vessel by which divinity passes down into humanity.
His fellow Inklings C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien are among the leading figures influenced by Barfield’s work. Tolkien’s linguistic and literary philosophy were influenced by Barfield’s theories. For Lewis, he was a life-long friend and creative partner. Indeed, Owen Barfield was ‘Romanticism’ personified.
About the Editors
Leslie A. Taylor (PhD, Southern Illinois University, 1997) is an independent scholar who specializes in Classical and Renaissance Literature. She has published on the Greek and Hebrew translations of Boethius’s De consolatione philosophiae and has co-authored with Jefferey H. Taylor a book on the influence of Boethius on Milton’s Paradise Lost
Jefferey H. Taylor (PhD, Southern Illinois University, 1994) is a Professor of English at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He is author of Four Levels of Meaning in the York Cycle of Mystery Plays and has published on the Dutch and Hebrew translations of Boethius. Dr. Taylor is recipient of the 2016 Owen Barfield Award for Excellence.
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