Arthur Koestler (September 05, 1905 - March 03, 1983)
Born: 5th September, 1905
Died: 3rd March, 1983
Nationality: Hungarian
Profession/Occupation: Novelist
Region: Budapest, Hungary, London, England
Notable works: "Darkness at Noon", "The Act of Creation"

Arthur Koestler Facts

Biography

Arthur Koestler, (born Sept. 5, 1905, Budapest, Hung. --found dead March 3, 1983, London, Eng.), Hungarian-born British novelist, journalist, and critic, best known for his novel Darkness at Noon (1940).

Koestler attended the University of Vienna before entering journalism. Serving as a war correspondent for the British newspaper News Chronicle during the Spanish Civil War, Koestler was imprisoned by the fascists, an experience he recounted in Spanish Testament (1937). This experience and those leading to his break with the Communist Party are reflected in Darkness at Noon. Published in 30 languages, it is the penetrating story of an old-guard Bolshevik who, during Stalin's purge trials of the 1930s, first denies, then confesses to, crimes that he has not committed. Specifically dealing with the plight of an aging revolutionary who can no longer condone the excesses of the government he helped put in power, the novel is an examination of the moral danger inherent in a system that sacrifices means to an end. Koestler's other works of this period, during which he wrote most of his fiction, include The Gladiators (1939), a novel about the revolt against Rome led by the gladiator Spartacus; and Arrival and Departure (1943). These books deal with similar questions of morality and political responsibility. Koestler's essays are collected in The Yogi and the Commissar and Other Essays (1945) and in The God That Failed (1949; ed. R. Crossman), in which he wrote of his disillusionment with communism. From 1940 Koestler wrote in English. He became a British citizen in 1948. His last political novel, The Age of Longing (1951), examined the dilemma of Europe after World War II.

Koestler took stock of his early life in the memoirs Arrow in the Blue (1952) and The Invisible Writing (1954). His later works were concerned with science, creativity, and mysticism. The Act of Creation (1964), perhaps the best-known book of his scientific and philosophical period, attempts to explain the processes underlying creativity in science and art. Other works of this period include The Lotus and the Robot (1960), an examination of Eastern mysticism; The Ghost in the Machine (1967), which discusses the effect of evolution on the structure of the human brain; and The Thirteenth Tribe (1976), a controversial study of the origins of the Jewish people. Bricks to Babel, a collection of his writings with new commentary by the author, appeared in 1981.

In his later years, Koestler suffered from leukemia and Parkinson's disease. Believers in voluntary euthanasia, he and his wife Cynthia took their own lives.

Top 16 Arthur Koestler quotes

Courage is never to let your actions be influenced by your fears.
Actions
Courage
Fears
Influenced
Never
Your
The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.
Frontiers
Genius
Mark
New
Opening
Originality
Perfection
Principal
The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards.
Afterwards
Discovery
More
Obvious
Original
Seems
Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.
Activity
Could
Creative
Individual
Learning
Learning process
Located
Process
Pupil
Same
Teacher
Where
True creativity often starts where language ends.
Creativity
Ends
Language
Often
Starts
True
Where
The definition of the individual was: a multitude of one million divided by one million.
Definition
Divided
Individual
Million
Multitude
Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.
Death
Illusion
More
Nothing
Sad
Than
Scientists are peeping toms at the keyhole of eternity.
Eternity
Keyhole
Scientists
Toms
Prometheus is reaching out for the stars with an empty grin on his face.
Empty
Face
Grin
His
Out
Reaching
Stars
The most persistent sound which reverberates through man's history is the beating of war drums.
Beating
Drums
History
Man
Most
Persistent
Sound
Through
War
Which
A publisher who writes is like a cow in a milk bar.
Bar
Cow
Like
Milk
Publisher
Who
Writes
Politics can be relatively fair in the breathing spaces of history; at its critical turning points there is no other rule possible than the old one, that the end justifies the means.
Breathing
Critical
End
Fair
History
Justifies
Means
Old
Old one
Other
Points
Politics
Possible
Relatively
The prerequisite of originality is the art of forgetting, at the proper moment, what we know.
Art
Forgetting
Know
Moment
Originality
Prerequisite
Proper
One may not regard the world as a sort of metaphysical brothel for emotions.
Brothel
Emotions
May
Metaphysical
Regard
Sort
World
The progress of science is strewn, like an ancient desert trail, with the bleached skeleton of discarded theories which once seemed to possess eternal life.
Ancient
Desert
Discarded
Eternal
Eternal life
Life
Like
Once
Possess
Progress
Science
Seemed
Skeleton
Strewn
A writer's ambition should be to trade a hundred contemporary readers for ten readers in ten years' time and for one reader in a hundred years' time.
Ambition
Contemporary
Hundred
Hundred years
Reader
Readers
Should
Ten
Ten years
Time
Trade
Writer
Years

Arthur Koestler essays

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