Sunday, June 04, 2006

Arthur Koestler

February 6, 2006

"Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual." ~Arthur Koestler

Who was Arthur Koestler? Arthur Koestler (1905-1983) was a Hungarian born British novelist, journalist and social critic. He was multilingual and a prolific author. Early in his life he was a Communist, but his best known novel Darkness At Noon (1940) is about the Soviet purges of the 1930s, and ranks with Orwell's 1984 as a fictional exposition of Stalinism. It reflects his break with the Communist Party, and sold over 400,000 copies, which annoyed the Communists. From 1937 Koestler was one of the main politically active European authors, whose attacks on the Soviet totalitarianism during the early period of the Cold War separated him from such internationally famous intellectuals as Jean Paul Sartre.

In Koestler's succeeding works he analyzed his quest for Utopia and his disillusionment with Soviet communism. In the 1960's he experimented with hallucinogenic drugs, concluding that "Chemically induced hallucinations, delusions and raptures may be frightening or wonderfully gratifying; in either case they are in the nature of confidence tricks played on one's own nervous system."

In the 1970's he faced Parkinson's disease and terminal leukemia, and as a lifelong advocate of euthanasia, Koestler took his own life as did his wife, who, was perfectly healthy.


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