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OwenBarfield:AReadersGuide

Itwasonceobservedbyafairlywiseman...thatallauthors,howevermanybooks theywriteandhoweverlongtheygoondoingit,arealwaysreallysayingthesame thingoverandoveragain.Idonotknowwhetherthiswasintendedasaninsultofa compliment,ormerelyasaneuralstatementoffact,asfarasIamconcerned,I shouldnotwishtodenyit. TheRediscoveryofMeaning(3). Itisoftenthecasethatthinkingpeoplechangesubstantially.Thereisanearlier WittgensteinandalaterWittgenstein;thereisanearlierHeideggerandalater Heidegger,anearlierD.H.LawrenceandalaterD.H.Lawrence;butthere'sno earlierBarfieldandlaterBarfield. OwenBarfieldonC.S.Lewis(1070

Wittgenstein|Heidegger|Lawrence InanAugust1998storyonC.S.LewiscentenarycelebrationsinOxford,National PublicRadioreportedonlocationthatauniversityofficialhadrecentlyconcededthat Lewisslongtimeemployerhadinfacttreatedhimshabbilyduringhislongtenurethere asaneverpromotedlecturer.Thespokesmanhadalsospeculated,weweretold,that professionaljealousyofLewisaccomplishmentsespeciallyhisgreatpopularityas scholar,imaginativewriter,andChristianapologistwaslikelythecause. NouniversitytreatedOwenBarfieldshabbily.Preemptedfromapotential naturalcareerinteachingbyaspeechimpediment,astammer,whichledhimat onepointinhislifetoconcludethathedidn'twanttogoonliving(Owen Barfield:ManandMeaning)andpulledawayfromhisidealisticpostOxforddream ofmakingitasaprofessionalwriterbyhisapparentlackofsuccessandtheneeds

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ofhisfatherslawfirm, Barfieldbegan,outofnecessitybutnotasatruevocation,abusy careerasaLondonsolicitorfromtheearly1930stothelate1950s.Itis,rather,the intellectualworldofthesecondhalfofthe20thCenturyacenturyhelivedtoseealmost initsentiretywhichoweshimanapologyforpayingsolittleheedtohisbrilliant contributiontothelifeofthemind. Theagainstthegrain,iconoclastic,idolsmashingnatureofBarfield'sthinkingon languageandphilology,geneticpsychology,poetry,philosophy,religion,thehistoryof science,thelaw...isapparentoneverypageofhiswriting.Hisisatroubling,adeeply unsettlingmind.Hisrichlyprovocativebooksandessays,indefatigablylogicalyetalways radicalandvisionary,demandnolessthanacompleterethinkingofvirtually everythingthe20thCenturyhascometoholdnearanddear.Hereisa thinker,inE.M.Cioran'ssenseoftheterm, oftheveryfirstrank. InWorldsApart(1963),Barfieldhasoneoftheparticipantsinthe booksstimulatingcolloquy(Brodie,aprofessorofphysicalscience)lamentto Burgeon(Barfield'salterego)thathisideastheyhavejustbeendebatingthe efficacyoftheDarwinianconceptionofevolution,whichBurgeonhassystematically refutedcannotbeacceptedbecausetodosowouldrequirethecompletedisruption,and thenreformulation,ofthewholelandscapeofmodernthought. Buthaveaheart,man!Justthinkwhatyouaresaying!Hardlyaweekpasseswithout somenewbookpublishedcontainingafreshtheoryorsomedetailorotherofgeo chemicalhistoryorbiologicalevolution,orclaimingtothrownewlightonthewhole process.Butnooneeverdoubtsthemainoutlines,orthat,billionsofyearsbefore homosapiensappeared,therewasasolid,mineralearthinexistence,ofthekindwe know,howcouldthey?Resoundingspeechesaboutitall,deliveredtotheRoyal SocietyortheBritishAssociationandreportedinTheTimeswhyman,theyarepart ofthelandscape! Tosuchspecialpleading,Burgeonthenreplies. Doyouthink,then,thatIshallbegivencastoroiltodrinkorwhippedifIgoabout theplacesayingthesortofthingIhavejustbeensayingtoyou?
In the autobiographical essay Owen Barfield and the Origin of Language, Barfield observes that when he entered the law he virtually ceased pretending to be an author (Part 2, 14). 2 Philosophers, Cioran once insisted, only write for other philosophers; thinkers write for other writers (65).
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Brodie'shonestresponseisinstructive: No[hereplies].FromwhatIknowofthetwentiethcenturyIthinksomethingquite differentwillhappentoyou. Andwhatisthat?[Burgeonasks] Youwillbetotallyignored[Brodieconcludes].(7980) Barfieldhasnot,ofcourse,beentotallyignored.Inthelasttwentyyears,several booksorpartsofbooks,monographs,andessaysdealingwithBarfieldhaveappeared, almostentirelyintheUnitedStates:R.J.Reilly'scomprehensivechapteron "AnthroposophicalRomanticism"inRomanticReligion,LionelAdey'smeticulousC.S.Lewis's "GreatWar"withOwenBarfield;ShirleySugerman'svaluablefestschrift,TheEvolutionof Consciousness:StudiesinPolarity,RobertsAvens'eclecticImaginationisReality:Western NirvanainJung,Hillman,BarfieldandCassirer,DonnaPottsauthoritativeHowardNemerov andObjectiveIdealism:TheInfluenceofOwenBarfield,andexcellentessays(including severalinthesepages)onhisworkbySugerman,Hocks,Fulweiler,Grant,Hipolito, Kranidas,Tennyson,Flieger,andHunter.

Bellow|Abrams|Roszak

Nemerov|Bohm|McLuhan

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ButBarfieldpraisedbysuchmajorfiguresonthecontemporaryintellectualscene asthenovelistSaulBellow,literaryhistorianandcriticM.H.Abrams,historiansTheodore RoszakandMorrisBerman,feministphilosopherSusanBordo,poetHowardNemerov, physicistDavidBohm,psychologistJamesHillman,psychohistorianNormanO.Brown,media theoristMarshallMcLuhan,andfuturistWilliamIrwinThompsonasoneofthemost importantmindsofthiscenturyhasstillnotreceivedanythingclosetothescrutinyhis achievementsaswriterandthinkerdeserve.AsIwrite,forexample,virtuallyallofhis booksareoutofprintinhisnativelandand,eveninAmerica,wherehisreputationasone ofthecenturysmostremarkablemindswasestablishedandconfirmedbyarelativelysmall coreofadmirers,veryfewofhisbooksarenowavailable. Ina1969essayon"Owen BarfieldandtheRebirthofMeaning,"ProfessorG.B.TennysonofU.C.L.A.observedthatthe lackofattentiontotheworkofBarfieldconstitutes"adisquietingcommentonthestateof theacademytoday."ButacademicignoranceofhischiefinsightsBarfieldhadaswehave seenalreadyanticipated. Thisisnottheplace,however,for,norwillspacepermit,,afullexpositionand defenseofBarfieldsideas.Thisessayhasamuchmorelimitedpurpose:toofferinthis centenaryofhisbirthacentenarywhichallofuswhoknewhimhopedhewouldliveto seeabriefreadersguidetoBarfieldslifework.
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TheSilverTrumpet.London:FaberandGwyer,1925; rpt.Boulder,CO:BookmakersGuild,1986. 4
Andtherewasnolongeranyloathsometoadon herbed,butthereinthemiddleofthechamber, hischainmailflashingsilverinthemoonlight, stoodabeautifulPrince.Andwhenshearosefrom herbed,heheldherinhisarms.NordidPrincess LilyeverknowFearagain,eitherinthedarknessof inthedaytime(theclosingwordsofTheSilver Trumpet).

After decades as Barfields American publisher, Wesleyan U P has begun to allow several of its titles to go out of print. 4 In all my bibliographical references to Barfields work I am indebted to G. B. Tennysons excellent bibliography (Sugerman 227-38).

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TheSilverTrumpetisafairytaleandchildrensstory,thoughtofveryhighlybyboth C.S.LewisandJ.R.R.Tolkien(andhischildren)which,Barfieldrecalled,exhibitedhisown developingromanticleaningsandwasthefirstpublishedbookofawouldbeauthor.Though notquiteallegory(aliterarymodeBarfieldpredictedwouldberebornintheageahead), thetaledoesbecomeanargumentfortheimportanceofthefeelingelementinlifeand itsinseparabilityformtherationalandlogical.

HistoryinEnglishWords.London:MethuenandCo., 1926;seconded.,London:FaberandFaber1953;rev.ed. GrandRapids,MI:WilliamB.EerdmansPublishingCo, 1967.


Languagehaspreservedforustheinner,livinghistoryofman's soul.Itrevealstheevolutionofconsciousness.(HistoryinEnglish Words14) Lookingbackatthisrich,fascinatingguidetothehistoryofthewesternworldas revealedbyetymologicalreflectionsoncommonEnglishwords,itseemsastonishing,given itseruditionanditswisdom,thatitcouldhavebeenwrittenbyamanbarelytwentyeight yearsofage.BegunbeforeeitherhisfirstexposuretoRudolfSteinerorcompletionofthe B.LittthesisatOxfordthatwouldturnintoPoeticDiction,HistoryinEnglishWords neverthelessexhibits(inBarfieldsownwords)animplicittheoryofthehistoryof consciousness,eventhough,asheadmits,Icertainlywasn'twritingwiththatintentionin mind(OBMM).

PoeticDiction:AStudyinMeaning.London:FaberandGwyer,1928;2ndEd. London:FaberandFaber,1952;reissuedwithanintroductionbyHoward Nemerov,NewYork:McGrawHill,1964;3rded.:Middletown,CT:WesleyanU P,1973;2ndWesleyaned.1984.


Oursophistication,likeOdin's,hascostusaneye;andnowitisthelanguage ofpoets,insofarastheycreatetruemetaphors,whichmustrestorethis unityconceptually,afterithasbeenlostfromperception.Thus,thebefore unapprehended'relationshipsofwhichShelleyspoke,areinasense

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forgottenrelationships.Forthoughtheywereneveryetapprehended,they wereatonetimeseen.Andimaginationcanseethemagain.(PoeticDiction 8687) IntheinterviewconductedduringthemakingofOwen Barfield:ManandMeaning,Barfieldrecollectshowhecametowrite PoeticDiction.Theproductofaperiodinhislifeinhislifeinwhich hisownintellectualschemeofthingswas,likethatofthetimes themselves,completelymaterialistic (inphilosophyandevenin literarycriticism,linguisticanalysisandlogicalpositivismreigned supreme),thebookhaditsbeginningsinBarfieldsrecognitionthat thereadingofpoetrybroughtaboutinhimwhathewouldcallafelt changeofconsciousness. IbegantofindthatIhadverysharpexperiencesinreadingpoetry.Notsomuchof wholepoems,certainlynotlongpoems.Butparticularphrases,particularlines, seemedtohavesomekindoneusesthewordmagic,Icantthinkofanyotherbut poetrywasbeginningtomeanalottome,butmorefromthepointofviewof particularmomentsthenaconsideredcriticalappreciationofapoemhasawholeas aworkofart.Especiallymetaphor,particularlymetaphor.Itseemedtosaythingsto methatnothingelsedid.Anditseemedtobesomethingwhichwasuntouchableby theoverridingmaterialismofmyoutlook.SoIstartedtowriteaboutthat. AftersecuringhisdegreeatOxford(in1920),hebegantoworkonwhatwouldbecome PoeticDictionasadissertationforapostbaccalaureatedegree(receivedin1927), eventuallypublishingitasabookin1928.
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For the intellectual context in which Poetic Diction was written, see the chapter entitled The Meaning of Meaning and Poetic Diction in Doris T. Myerss C. S. Lewis in Context and T. A. Hipolitos Owen Barfields Poetic Diction. In Owen Barfield and the Origin of Language, Barfield recalls that Poetic Diction was published at the worst possible moment for a book of that kind, just before the beginning of the 1930s, which saw a quite violent reaction in literary circles against anything in the nature of romanticism . . . (Part 2, 14). 6 In Owen Barfield: Man and Meaning, Barfield humorously recalls his pursuit of the degree and completion of his thesis: After graduating I stayed on a year at Oxford to get a B. Litt, bachelor of literature. And you had to do a dissertation for that, and I suggested Poetic Diction. I had some difficulty because it wasn't the kind of thing they expected of a scholar doing a dissertation. You were expected to write about

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NexttoSavingtheAppearances,abookwrittenthirtyyearslaterwhichwouldrevisit someoftheintellectualterrainfirstexploredinPoeticDiction,thisisprobablyBarfields mostessentialbook.Thoughverymuchaproductofitstime,PoeticDiction,Barfieldsonly workoftrueliterarycriticism,remainsseventyyearsafteritsinitialpublicationastillcited studyofaliteraryconcept,butitismuch,muchmore:notmerelyatheoryofpoetic diction,butatheoryofpoetry;andnotmerelyatheoryofpoetry,butatheoryof knowledge(PrefacetotheSecondEdition14).


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RomanticismComesofAge.London:AnthroposophicalPublishingCO,1944; newandaugmenteded.,London:RudolfSteinerPress,1966;Middletown,CT: WesleyanUP,1967.


It[theevolutionofhumanconsciousness]isratherasifamusical instrument,whichwasbeingplayedon...anAeolianharpperhaps, playedonbynatureherself...fellsilentforawhile.Andthen,afteran interval,whenitbegantosoundagain,itwasnolongermerelyan instrument,buthadbecomeawareofitselfassuch...andcoulditself takepartintheplayingofitself.(RomanticismComesofAge234) OwenBarfieldfirstheardoftheGermanoccultphilosopherRudolf Steiner,thefounder(in1901)ofAnthroposophy,in1922, andhe immediatelyrecognizedthattheywerethinkingonthesamewavelength, thattheirheadshadinterpenetrated,thoughhewouldalwaysinsistthatSteinerwaslight yearsahead. ThusbeganBarfieldslifelongcollaborationwithSteinerand Anthroposophy,anallegiancewhichhascertainlybeenacontributingfactorinthe
something, you know, Was the third act of Hamlet really written by Shakespeares butler? or something like that. And I think that every graduate who is doing a B. Litt, has a supervisor. And I think they finally decided that I better do without a supervisor, because my stuff being so odd anyhow that they couldnt fit one in. So I didn't have a supervisor, I just wrote on. And they gave me the degree all right, anyhow. Apparently, Barfield quips with characteristic humor, The author was determined that the title at least should be unassuming (Preface to the Second Edition 14) 8 In Owen Barfield and Origin of Language Barfield is undecided as to whether the date was 1922 or very late in 1921 (Part 1, 1). 9 Paradoxical as it may sound, Steiner once wrote, it is the truth: the Idea which Plato conceived and the like idea which I conceive are not two ideas. It is one and the same idea. And there are not two ideas: one in Plato's head and one in
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intellectualworldsshunningofBarfieldsthought. Overthenexttwodecades,evenashe becameasolicitorinLondon,BarfieldwastobecomeactiveintheAnthroposophical movement,givingavarietyoflecturesondiversetopics,mostofwhichwerethenpublished insmallcirculationAnthroposophicalorgans.RomanticismComesofAgecollectedthese, andotheroccasionalpiecesfromthetime,becoming,duringWorldWarII,Barfieldsfirst booksincePoeticDiction.Alatereditionwouldaugmentthebookwithlikemindedessays. ThoughinsixtyyearsoffaithfuladherencetoAnthroposophyheneverfailedto acknowledgeSteinerssupremacy,Barfield,itnowseemsclear,didseektofindthemeans, andespeciallythelanguage,toexpresshisownkeyindependentlyarrivedat Anthroposophicalideaswithoutcarryingitsoccultbaggage.InRomanticismComesofAge weencounterBarfieldasAnthroposopherrelativelyundisguised(aswillalsobethecasein alaterbooklikeUnancestralVoice),wrestlingwithsubjectssuchasthinkingandthought, theconsciousnesssoulandtheintellectualsoul,Hamlet,Goetheinourtime,andRudolf SteinersConceptofMind.ItisanimportantBarfieldbook,which,whenreadafterbetter knownoneslikePoeticDictionandSavingtheAppearances,deepensandbroadensour understandingofBarfieldsunderstandingoftheevolutionofconsciousness.

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ThisEverDiversePair.London:Gollancz,1950;reissued Edinburgh:FlorisBooks,1985.
ForifitistheBurdensofthisworldwhokeeptraditions alive,itistheBurgeonswhocreatethem.TheBurdens cannotmakeanything;theycanonlycollectandpreserve. (ThisEverDiversePair114115) Anautobiographicalnovelwrittentohelpavertanervous breakdown(asBarfieldexplainsinOwenBarfield:ManandMeaning), ThisEverDiversePairdepictstheuneasypartnership,thepolar

mine; but in the higher sense Plato's head and mine interpenetrate each other; all heads interpenetrate which grasp one and the same idea; and this idea is only once there as a single idea. It is there; and the heads all go to one and the same place in order to have this idea in them (quoted in Reilly 228; my italics; the quotation is from Steiners Mystics of the Renaissance). 10 Patrick Grants "The Quality of Thinking: Owen Barfield as Literary Man and Anthroposophist offers an insightful reading of Barfields adherence to and departure from the style and substance of Steiners thought.

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tension, betweentwoLondonsolicitors:theprosaic,practicalmindedBurdenandhis invisible,"sleepingpartner"Burgeon,atheartapoetanddreamer.Assuch,itisa humorous,whimsicalcommentaryon,andasurprisinglycandidrevelationof,thedifficulties inherentinBarfield'sdelicatebalanceoflawandtheimagination.

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SavingtheAppearances:AStudyinIdolatry.London:FaberandFaber,1957; reissuedNewYork:Harcourt,BraceandWorld,1965;Middletown,CT: WesleyanUP,1988.


Theidolsaretoughandhardtocrack,butthroughthefirstrealfissurewe makeinthemwefindourselveslooking,howdeeply,intoanewworld!Ifthe eighteenthcenturybotanist,lookingforthefirsttimethroughtheoldidolsof Linnaeus'sfixedandtimelessclassificationintothenewperspectiveof biologicalevolutionfeltasenseofliberationandoflight,itcanhavebeen butacandleflamecomparedwiththefirstglimpsewenowgetofthefamiliar worldandhumanhistorylyingtogether,bathedinthelightoftheevolution ofconsciousness.(SavingtheAppearances72) Barfieldsmostimportantbook(hisownopinionandbygeneral consensusaswell)wastheproductofanewamountoffreetime forhisintellectualpursuitsmadepossiblebydiminishing involvementinthelaw.SavingtheAppearances,abookmadeupof avarietyofshortbutdenselypackedchaptersresultinginaasort ofoutlinesketch,withoneortwopartscompletedingreater detail,forahistoryofhumanconsciousness,particularythe consciousnessofwesternhumanityduringthelastthreethousand yearsorso(Saving13),crystallizedoutofwidereadingin anthropology,historyofscience,andphilosophy.ItisSinceBarfieldneverauthoredthe magnumopusheonceimaginedinapoem, SavingtheAppearanceswillhavetoplaythat
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See Sugermans Barspecs for a reading of the book as a depiction of the key Barfieldian concept of polarity. 12 In a poem entitled simply Sonnet, Barfield confesses

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role.Itcomescloserthananyofhisotherworkstolayingoutmethodically,inlessthantwo hundredpages,Barfieldssystem.InwritingaboutWorldsApart,hisnextpublishedbook, R.J.ReillyhastakennoteoftheprogressionBarfieldsystemintends:anevolutionfrom thesolitudeofprivatethought,tothestrengthenedthoughtthatraysoutintothethought oftheuniverse,totheabsolutedissolutionofprivatethoughtintheuniverse,orthe KingdomorfromsubjectiveidealismtoAnthroposophytoheaven(76).Savingthe AppearancesistheBaedekerforsuchajourney.

WorldsApart:ADialogueoftheSixties.London:FaberandFaber,1963; reissuedMiddletown,CT:WesleyanUP,1971.
Youwillneverunderstandsymbolsuntilyouhavegraspedthatprehistoric maninhisunconsciousgoesback,nottotheanimalkingdom,asthe nineteenthcenturyfondlyimagined,buttoaparadisalstatewhentherewas nodeath,becausetherewasnomatter.(WorldsApart124,Burgeonis speaking) Inthe1959RedeLectureatCambridge(laterpublishedasThe TwoCulturesandtheScientificRevolution),BarfieldscontemporaryC. P.Snowhadlamentedthewideninggapbetweenscientistsand humanities,theirinabilitytounderstandeachothersdiscourse,their unwillingnesstoevenseektocommunicatewithoneanother.Worlds ApartisabooklengthSocraticdialogueinwhichBarfieldsalterego Burgeonbringstogetheragroupofintellectualsamongthema linguisticanalyst,arocketscientist,anevolutionarybiologist(with

I am much inclined towards a life of ease And should not scorn to spend my dwindling years In places where my sort of fancy stirs; Perched up on ladders in old libraries With several quartos pouring off my knees . . Translating Ariosto into verse . . . Paddling about among philologers And dictionaries and concordances!

There on some dark oak table, more and more Voluminous each day, ye should perceive My Magnum Opus . . . that one which untwists Their bays from poets who shirk metaphor And make rich words grow obsolete, and leave Imagination to Psychiatrists. (A Barfield Sampler 33)

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Teilhardianleanings),aphysicalscientist,aprofessorofhistoricaltheology,aFreudian psychologist,andanadherentofAnthroposophytodiscusstheirdifferingpointsofview. NobookofBarfieldsbetterexhibitshisoftensardonicwit,hisbrilliantargumentation (Barfieldrepeatedlyusesingeniousreductioadabsurdumdissectionstotakeapart Freudian,Darwinian,andphilosophicalsacredcows),orhisabilitytoarticulatetheenemys ownpositions.InBakhtinsterms,WorldsApartisdialogical,notjustbecauseofitsgenre, butbecauseinitsimaginativepresentationBarfieldsessentialideasattainadramatic force,andaclarity,notpossibleinhisotherbooks.


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UnancestralVoice.London:FaberandFaber,1965;Middletown,CT:Wesleyan UP,1966.
OnceIwastheancestralvoiceoftheFatherwisdom, thetheosophiathatspokeinarticulatelythroughblood andinstinct,butarticulatelythroughthesibyls,the prophets,themasters.Butattheturningpointof time,bythatcentraldeathandrebirthwhichwasthe transformationoftransformations,bytheopen mysteryofGolgotha,Iwasmyselftransformed.Iam thatanthroposophiawho...isthevoiceofeachone's mindspeakingfromthedepthswithinhimself. (UnancestralVoice163;theMeggidisspeaking) InpartaSocraticdialoguelikeWorldsApart(Burgeonisagainakeycharacter), UnancestralVoiceisanalmostimpossibletoclassifybook,which,asIindicatedabove,is alsooutoftheclosetAnthroposophical,awayofpresentingtheresultsofSteinerssuper sensibleknowledge,withoutalotoftheoreticalarguments. ThebooknarratesBurgeons
The book is, in part, a kind of roman clef (dialogue clef?): the linguistic analyst is a kind of loosely disguised A. J. Ayer; the professor of historical theology is, of course, Lewis; the Anthroposopher (and Waldorf teacher) is Barfields friend A. C. Harwood. 14 In the Owen Barfield: Man and Meaning interview, Barfield recollects how Unancestral Voice came to be written: I was very deep in the study of Steiners anthroposophy, and had written a book, articles and so forth defending his theory of knowledge. But in addition to that, if you read Steiner, he has. . . he gives all sorts of results of his claims to super sensible knowledge. And the results themselves, quite apart from whether you believe him, they really are interesting comments and can
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encounterwithadiscarnatebeing,theMeggid,whobringshimtoseetheevolutionof consciousnessinSteinerianterms.Thoughasupremelychallengingbook,thedifficultyis mitigatedinpartbythefictionalform,anditremainsamustreadforstudentsofBarfield seekingtoplumbthedepthofBarfieldtheAnthroposopher.

Speaker'sMeaning.London:RudolfSteinerPress,1967.
Thetaskofhomosapiens,whenhefirstappearedasaphysicalformonearth, wasnottoevolveafacultyofthoughtsomehowoutofnothing,butto transformtheunfreewisdom,whichheexperiencedthroughhisorganismas givenmeaning,intothefreesubjectivitythatiscorrelativeonlytoactive thought,totheindividualactivityofthinking.(SpeakersMeaning11314) Inthefallof1965,Barfieldgaveaseriesoflecturesat BrandeisUniversityduringastintoneofmanyinAmericaafter hisretirementasavisitingscholarintheEnglishDepartment. SpeakersMeaningputthoselectures,withsomeslight modification,intotheformofalittlebook.Theslightestof Barfieldsworks,itneverthelessoffersanapproachable(if repetitive)briefexcursionintoBarfieldskeyideasonlanguage, manyofthemarticulatedasearlyasHistoryinEnglishWordsand PoeticDiction.

WhatColeridgeThought.Middletown,CT:WesleyanUP,1971;London: OxfordUniversityPress,1972.
[Coleridge'sextraordinarilyunifyingmind]wastoopainfullyawarethatyou cannotreallysayonethingcorrectlywithoutsayingeverything.Hewas rightlyafraidthattherewouldnotbetimetosayeverythingbeforegoingon tosaythenextthing,orthathewouldforgettodosoafterwards.His

be taken as practical suggestions for dealing with ordinary problems. I had the idea that it would be a good scheme to present to the world some of the findings of Steiner without bothering about justifying at all, but just let them read the kind of result that he arrives at and judging them according their intrinsic quality. (http://www.mtsu.edu/~dlavery/obmmint.htm)

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incoherenceofexpressionarosefromthecoherenceof whathewantedtoexpress.Itwasasortof intellectualstammer.(RomanticismComesofAge146) BarfielddescribesWhatColeridgeThoughtasthemost academicallyambitiousbookIvewritten(OwenBarfieldManand Meaning).TheculminationofalifetimesinterestinColeridgeasa youngmanjustoutofOxfordheaspiredtobecometheeditorof Coleridgescollectedworks,andathisdeath,heleftbehindan editedvolumeofColeridgesphilosophicallecturesforTheCollected Coleridge),WhatColeridgeThoughthaditsinceptioninacourseBarfieldtaughtatDrew Universityinthe1960s.StillofvalueforseriousstudentsofthegreatRomanticfigure,it neverthelessremainsabookinaccessibletoallbutthemostdedicatedreadersofBarfield. AlongwithRudolfSteinerandGoethe,Coleridgestands,afterall,asoneofthemajor influencesonBarfieldswholedevelopmentasathinker;buthisinterestinColeridgewas morethanmerelyintellectual.BarfielditseemsidentifiedwithColeridgeinanotherway. Beleagueredfromhisyouthbyhisownproblemswithstammering,Barfieldempathizedwith Coleridge'sowndifficultieswitharticulation,astheepigraphabovewouldseemtoindicate.

TheRediscoveryofMeaningandOtherEssays.Middletown,CT:WesleyanUP, 1977.
Weliveinacameracivilization.Ourentertainmentiscamera entertainment.Ourholidaysarecameraholidays.Wemakethemsoby payingmoreattentiontothecamerawebroughtwithusthantothe waterfallwearepointingitat.Ourscienceisalmostentirelyacamera science....anditisalreadybecomingselfevidenttocameramanthat onlycamerawordshaveanymeaning.(TheRediscoveryofMeaning76) LikeRomanticismComesofAge,TheRediscoveryofMeaning assemblesoccasionalwritings(mostlyfromthe60sand70s),including someofhismostbrilliant,andmostreadable,pieces:thetitleessayfor example,originallycommissionedbyandpublishedinTheSaturdayEveningPost,TheHarp andtheCamera,Dreams,Myth,andPhilosophicalDoubleVision(writtenforacollection ofessayseditedbyJosephCampbell),andPhilologyandtheIncarnation,BarfieldsReligio

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Philologihisexplanationofhowhisphilologicalinvestigationsledhimtofinallyacceptthe evolutionarytruthofChristianity.AlmosteveryessayinTheRediscoveryofMeaningmerits notonlyreadingbutrereading.NocomprehensiveunderstandingofBarfieldsthoughtis possiblewithoutit.ItischaracteristicofBarfieldsmodestythatheprefacesThe RediscoveryofMeaningwiththecautionarywarningquotedinthefirstepigraphatthehead ofthisessay,butthoughthereaderwillnodoubtfindinitspagesthesameoldBarfield mindatworkonmanyofthesamesubjects,heorshewilllikelyconclude(withLewis)that hereaselsewheretheauthorwasunabletospeakonanysubjectwithoutilluminatingit.

History,Guilt,andHabit.Middletown,CT:WesleyanUP,1979.
Youcandigintotheearthwithaspadeinordertoget beneaththesurface.Thespadeisitselfaproductof theearth,butthatdoesnotbotheryou.Butif,by somemysteriousdispensation,thespadewerepartof theverypathofearthyouweresplittingup,you wouldberathernonplused,becauseyouwould destroytheinstrumentbyusingit.Andthatisthesort ofdifficultyyouareupagainstwhenitisnottheearth youaredigginginto,butconsciousness;andwhenitis notaspadeyouarediggingwith,butlanguage.... Howeverquicklyyouturnaround,youcanneversee thebackofyourownhead.(History,Guilt,andHabit21) LikeSpeakersMeaning,HistoryGuilt,andHabitwasoriginallyaseriesoflectures (giventhistimeinCanadaattheUniversityofVictoriaandtheUniversityofBritish Columbia).AsG.B.Tennysonnotesinhisforewordtothebook,History,Guilt,andHabitis anexcellentfirstexposuretohisdifficultargumentsforthenovicereaderofBarfield.The bookretainsmuchoftheconcernforanaudiencescomprehensionofalivelylecture.The threeessays,HistoryofIdeas:EvolutionofConsciousness,ModernIdolatry:TheSinof Literalness,andTheForceofHabit,present,inonesense,arecapitulationofthechief ideasofSavingtheAppearancesinasomewhatmorereadilydigestedform,butherethe emphasisisonhistoryandhistoricismandondistinguishingBarfieldsownpursuitofan understandingoftheevolutionofconsciousnessfromtheworkofthehistorian.

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Orpheus:APoeticDrama.Ed.JohnC.Ulreich,Jr.WestStockbridge,MA: LindisfarnePress,1983.
HeshallascendParnassusawakeandfindhissoul: Proteusshallworkunsleepingforever,andformsshallflow Asthemeaningofwordsapoethasmastered.Itshallbeso ThatZeusshallabandontoChronostheantiquestarrycrown, AndsoftlyoutofOlympusthehighGodsshallcomedown Sheddingambrosialfragranceincloudsthatforeverabide, Andearthshallbecoveredwithblushesandmakeherselfsweetasa bride. Andherlightshallbeliquidashoney,herairtastegoodlikebread Inthemouthsofthemthatdwelluponearth,andallshallbefed. (Orpheus112) BarfieldhadwrittentheversedramaOrpheusinthe1930s,partlyatthesuggestion ofC.S.Lewis.Theplaywasperformedonlyonce,in1948,andremainedburiedinBarfields papersuntilJohnUlreich,Jr.oftheUniversityofArizona,tantalizedbyBarfieldsallusions toit,disinterreditandsawitthroughtopublicationin1983.Ulreichrightlypraises Orpheusas"theevolutionofconsciousnessmadeflesh,thethingitselfinhumanform,the mythmadefactasimaginativeexperience"(119).

OwenBarfieldonC.S.Lewis.Ed.G.B.Tennyson.Middletown,CT:WesleyanU P,1989.
ThoughmanyavisitortoOrchardRow(BarfieldshomeinKent priortothedeathofhiswifeMaudin1980)andtotheWalhatchin ForestRow(theretirementhotelinwhichBarfieldspenthisfinalyears) cametotalkonlyofLewis,sometimeslittleornointerestinBarfields ownachievements,theevermodestBarfieldseemedalwayspreparedto discussJackinsteadofOwen.LewissexemplarySecondFriend,the manwhodisagreeswithyouabouteverything(SurprisedbyJoy199 200),Barfieldspentagoodportionofthesecondhalfofhisownlife, bothbeforeandafterLewissdeathin1963,answeringquestionsabout

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andputtingintowritinghismemoriesandobservationsonhismorefamouscontemporary. (AsasolicitorBarfieldeventookcareofLewisfinancialmatters,whichwerecompounded byhislargeearningsfromtheroyaltiesofhisbestsellingbooks ).Tennysonsinvaluable editionofOwenBarfieldonC.S.Lewisbringstogetheralltheimportantessaysand interviewsinwhichBarfieldspeaksofhislifelongfriend.Inamostapproachable, revealing,andcandidbookBarfieldconfessesthatLewiswas,Ibelieve,theonlypersonin whosecompanyIfrequentlyfeltmyselftobepainfullyslowwitted"(39).Butwelearntoo thatBarfieldsawaclearanddistinctantithesisintheirrespectivepositions:"Lewishad theverystrongfeelingthatyoucouldn'trelate[imagination]inanywaytotruthwith destroyingitsessenceasimagination;hewasinlovewithit....Yes,hewasinRomantic lovewithit....ButIwantedtomarryit."(137).
15

AnOwenBarfieldSampler.Ed.ThomasKranidasandJeanneClaytonHunter. Albany:StateUniversityofNewYorkPress,1993.
IfLewisandBarfieldhadbeenaskedbackintheirOxforddayswhat intheirfondestdreamsthefuturewouldholdforthem,itislikelythat theywouldhavebothconfessedtothedesiretobecomecreativewriters. Thoughbothendedupholdingdowndifferentdayjobs,Lewis neverthelessdidbecomeacreativewriter,publishingnovels,science fiction,andchildrensliterature,thoughhisaspirationtobeapoetas wellneverquitematerialized.ThoughnotasprolificasLewis,Barfield, too,continuedtowritefictionandpoetry,thoughmostofitwas completedinthefirsthalfofhislife.TomKranidasandJeanneClayton HuntersAnOwenBarfieldSampler,atruelaborofloveandtheresultof atleasttwodecadesofgleaningandgathering,putstogetherinone volumeasubstantialportionofBarfieldsbelletristicwriting,includingthenovellaNight Operation,theshortstoryDope(whichhadinitsdaybeenpraisedbynoneotherthanT. S.Eliot),andagooddealofBarfieldsoftenexquisitelybeautiful,andsurprisingly autobiographical,lyricpoetry.KranidassandHuntersintroductionisoneofthebest conciseoverviewsofBarfieldsworkavailable.

15 Burgeons dealings with the character Ramsden in This Ever Diverse Pair (an obvious allusion to the main character in Lewiss Space Trilogy) record, in an only slightly fictionalized manner, Barfields work as financial advisor to Lewis.

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InhismonographonC.S.Lewis'"GreatWar"withOwenBarfield,LionelAdey,seekingto summarizeBarfieldsimpactonthethoughtofhiscentury,concludesthat Barfield's...worksprovokethoughtaboutthehumanpsycheinwaysfarbeyondthe scopeofliteraryhistory.Futurestudentsoftwentiethcenturythoughtmaywellfind BarfieldlikeEinsteinorPopperinscientifictheory,orBonhoefferintheology amongthediagnosticiansofaprofoundchangeinhumanconsciousness,one comparabletotheReformationorEnlightenment.Thatchangeisinasenseananti Enlightenment,inthatitinvolvesregardingmannotasthesolerationalbeingina subrationalNature,butasanalreadyselfconsciousbeinglearningtoextendthat selfconsciousnesssoastocommunicatewithandbenignantlyparticipateina naturalorderthatinhisarrogance,turbulentpassionsandmistakenphilosophical assumptions,hehasallbutdestroyed. ItisdifficulttoimaginethatasystematicreaderoftheworkofBarfieldwouldnotreacha comparableconclusion.Andyet,inthisyearofthecentenaryofhisbirth,theonlyhope thatthismightbecomethecommonopinionoftheageisthatOwenBarfieldturnsouttobe whatNietzschecalledaposthumousman(321),aprophetnotappreciatedinhisown countryortime,avisionaryvoicemeantfortheagestocome. WorksCited Abrams,M.H."ReviewofHistory,Guilt,andHabit."Towards1.5(1979):2729. Adey,Lionel.C.S.Lewis'"GreatWar"withOwenBarfield.EnglishLiteraryStudies MonographSeries.UniversityofVictoria,1978. Avens,Roberts.ImaginationisReality:WesternNirvanainJung,Hillman,Barfield,and Cassirer.Dallas:Spring,1980. Barfield,Owen.OwenBarfieldandtheOriginofLanguage.Towards1.2(1978):17and1.3 (1978):1315. Berman,Morris.ComingtoOurSenses:BodyandSpiritintheHiddenHistoryoftheWest. NewYork:Bantam,1990. Brown,NormanO.Apocalypseand/orMetamorphosis.Berkeley:UniversityofCalifornia Press,1991. Cioran,E.M.DrawnandQuartered.Trans.RichardHoward.NewYork:SeaverBooks,1983. Flieger,Verlyn."Barfield'sPoeticDictionandSplinteredLight."StudiesintheLiterary Imagination14:2(1981):4766.

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Fulweiler,HowardW."TheOtherMissingLink:OwenBarfieldandtheScientific Imagination."Renascence:EssaysonValuesinLiterature46.1(1993):3955. Grant,Patrick."BeliefinThinking:OwenBarfieldandMichaelPolanyi."SixModernAuthors andProblemsofBelief.NewYork:BarnesandNoble,1979:12166. ___."TheQualityofThinking:OwenBarfieldasLiteraryManandAnthroposophist."Seven3 (1982):11325. Hipolito,T.A."OwenBarfield'sPoeticDiction."Renascence:EssaysonValuesinLiterature 46.1(1993):339. Hunter,JeanneClayton."OwenBarfield:AChangeofConsciousness."TheNassauReview4.5 (1984):93101. ___."OwenBarfield:ChristianApologist."Renascence:EssaysonValuesinLiterature36 (1984):17179. Kranidas,Thomas."C.S.LewisandthePoetryofOwenBarfield."TheBulletinoftheNew YorkC.S.LewisSociety12.2(1980):12. _____"TheDefiantLyricismofOwenBarfield."Seven:AnAngloAmericanLiteraryReview.6 (1985),2333. Lewis,C.S.SurprisedbyJoy:TheShapeofMyEarlyLife.NewYork:Harvest,1956. McLuhan,Marshall.LettersofMarshallMcLuhan.EditedbyMatieMolinaro,Corinne McLuhan,WilliamToye.Toronto;NewYork:OxfordUniversityPress,1987. Mead,MarjorieL."Afterword."TheSilverTrumpet.Boulder,CO:BookmakersGuild,1986: 11723. Myers,DorisT.C.S.LewisinContext.Kent,OH:KentStateUniveristyPress,1994. Nietzsche,Friedrich.TheGayScience.Trans.WalterKaufmann.NewYork:Vintage,1974. OwenBarfield:ManandMeaning(1997).ExecutiveProducer:G.B.Tennyson.Coproducers: G.B.TennysonandDavidLavery.Writtenby:G.B.TennysonandDavidLavery.Directed by:BenLevin.Videographyby:WayneDerrick. OwenBarfield:ManandMeaningInterview.http://www.mtsu.edu/~dlavery/obmmint.htm. TheOwenBarfieldWorldWideWebSite.http://www.mtsu.edu/~dlavery/barftoc.htm Potts,Donna.HowardNemerovandObjectiveIdealism:TheInfluenceofOwenBarfield. Columbia:UniversityofMissouriPress,1994. Reilly,R.J."AnthroposophicalRomanticism."RomanticReligion:AStudyintheWorkof OwenBarfield,C.S.Lewis,andJ.R.R.Tolkien.Athens:UniversityofGeorgiaPress, 1971:1397. Sugerman,Shirley.Barspecs:OwenBarfieldsVision.Seven11(1990):7385.

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___,ed.EvolutionofConsciousness:StudiesinPolarity.Middletown,CT:WesleyanUP, 1976. Tennyson,G.B.ABibliographyoftheWorksofOwenBarfield.InSugerman,ed.Evolution ofConsciousness:22738. ___."OwenBarfieldandtheRebirthofMeaning."SouthernReview5(1969):4257. ___."OwenBarfield:FirstandLastInklings."TheWorld&I,April1990:54055. Fruitinablossom Andpetalsinaseed, Reedsinariverbed, Musicinareed, Starsinafirmament Shininginthenight, Suninagalaxy Andplanetinitslight, Bonesintherosyblood Likelandinthesea, Marrowinaskeleton AndIinMe. ("In,"AnOwenBarfieldSampler 54)

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