Evolution of Consciousness: Studies in Polarity

1976 Festschrift, edited by Shirley Sugerman, in honor Own Barfield's 75th birthday.

In the "Editor's Note" to Evolution of Consciousness, Sugerman explains the book's origin and purpose.

In the spring of 1972, in anticipation of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Barfield's birth (in November of 1973), a number of his long-standing friends and colleagues enthusiastically agreed to celebrate the occasion by contributing to a volume in his honor. This book is the outcome of that impulse. Our wish is to honor a man the importance and profundity of whose thought is yet to be fully appreciated. We would honor him by honoring the originality of his thought, original in the sense that it goes deeply into that center from which human thought springs, into origins. By addressing themselves from diverse points of view to the theme central to his life and thought the contributors to this volume want to acknowledge Barfield’s intellectual contribution to our time, a contribution which has so far permeated primarily academic circles. Although these essays are testimony to his intellectual influence on his peers, they are not more than an indication of that impact, for unfortunately a collection of papers broad enough fully to reveal that was not feasible. Owen Barfield’s thought ranges over many disciplines, reflecting his belief in the unity of knowledge—its "all in every part" character. A suggestion of that range is, in turn, reflected back to us in the pages that follow, through papers from diverse disciplines—scientific, literary, philosophies, religious.

There is no "early" or "late" Barfield (to accord with current fashion), he tells us emphatically in the interview with him that follows, “just the same Barfield all along." It is to that same Barfield that this volume is offered, as an expression of gratitude from those who have been his thought.

Table of Contents

Editor's Note

I. Owen Barfield
Shirley Sugerman: A Conversation with Owen Barfield

II. To Owen Barfield
Cecil Harwood: Owen Barfield
Norman O. Brown: On Interpretation
Howard Nemerov: Exceptions and Rules

III. Studies in Polarity
David Bohm: Imagination, Fancy, Insight, and Reason in the Process of Thought
R. H. Barfield: Darwinism
Richard A. Hocks: "Novelty" in Polarity to "The Most Admitted Truths": Tradition and the Individual Talent in S. T. Coleridge and T. S. Eliot
Robert Preyer: The Burden of Culture and the Dialectic of Literature
R. K. Meiners: On Modern Poetry, Poetic Consciousness, and the Madness of Poets
Paul Piehler: Milton's Iconoclasm
Colin Hardie: Two Descents into the Underworld
Lionel Adey: Enjoyment, Contemplation, and Hierarchy in Hamlet
G. B. Tennyson: Etymology and Meaning
R. J. Reilly: A Note on Barfield, Romanticism, and Time
Shirley Sugerman: An "Essay" on Coleridge on Imagination
Clyde S. Kilby: The Ugly and the Evil
Mary Caroline Richards: The Vessel and the Fire

IV. The Works of Owen Barfield

G. B. Tennyson: A Bibliography of the Works of Owen Barfield

Notes on Contributors