La vie des abeilles

La vie des abeillesIn An Exuberantly Poetic Work That Is Less About Bees And About Life, Maurice Maeterlinck Expresses His Philosophy Of The Human Condition The Renowned Belgian Poet And Dramatist Offers Brilliant Proof In This, His Most Popular Work, That No Living Creature, Not Even Man, Has Achieved In The Center Of His Sphere, What The Bee Has Achieved From Their Amazingly Intricate Feats Of Architecture To Their Intrinsic Sense Of Self Sacrifice, Maeterlinck Takes A Bee S Eye View Of The Most Orderly Society On Earth An Enthusiastic And Expert Beekeeper, Maeterlinck Did Not Intend To Write A Scientific Treatise, Even Though He Details Such Topics As The Mathematically Accurate Construction Of The Hive, The Division Of Labor Among Community Members, The Life Of The Young Queen And Her Miraculous Nuptial Flight, And The Movement And Meaning Of The Swarm An Enchanting Classic By One Of The Most Important Figures Of World Literature In The Twentieth Century And Winner Of The Nobel Prize In Literature, This Fascinating Study Is A Magnificent Tribute To One Of The Most Orderly Communities In The World It Is Also Filled With Humble Lessons For The Human Race My grandfather had a beautifully bound copy of this work on his little bookshelf behind glass When I was young he suggested I might not be ready for it Because of that, it took on a sort of forbidden air for me When at last I mustered courage to take it from its hallowed ground and read it He was right But not as I had imagined There was nothing remotely adult about it, or controversial in this day and age, nor conspiracy laden it was at its core a simple philosophical cum biological work of sheer genius.Essentially Life of a Bee is a study of the social aspects of the hive Borrowing liberally from other sources Maeterlinck weaves a masterful narrative around the cycles of life that exist in the natural world Like most of his work, there is an underlying deep feeling of philosophical symbolism and harmony For me, however, it was not the biology or the philosophy that moved me it was the lyricism of the writing It felt like a certain type of poetry that resonated within my soul Something in the pacing and phrasing that was amazingly moving That it was a translation always clouded my perception as to whether the genius was truly Maeterlinck or Alfred Sutro Perhaps it does not matter In any case, the resultant work is one of the most exceptional books I have yet encountered If my own writing in The Missionary and the Brute attains even a hint of that elegantly mystical lyricism, I will be exceedingly satisfied Of all the thousands of books I have read in my life, this is surely in the top five of all It s simply that good The life of the bee, Maurice Maeterlinck 1969 1348 234 11 17 Will we all die if bees disappear An infograph on the contribution of Bees Thankfully, the scientifically accurate answer is NO That no however carries serious implications Bees pollinate than a third of human food and produce, which in an extinction scenario necessarily affects food security, that aside from the fact that you will struggle to exist in a world without honey The Life of the Bee is an entomological work by Nobel Laureate Maurice Maeterlinck first published in 1901 It has two versions, The Life of the Bee and The Children s Life of the Bee, the chief differences of which certain parts thought to be too violent and scandalous for children were removed from the latter, like the killing of the male bee population To say that this is purely an entomological work would be a clear disjunction from its contents, for it is an examination of human relations as much as it is an entomological work on bees Maeterlinck systematically inserts his observations of human society and juxtaposes it to that of the bees, an aspect which I found sometimes to be a nuisance I found myself looking for the next entomological part and moving on and skipping from the philosophizing Blame it on the bees, they seem to be a lot interesting The book has illustrations like this throughout As this was published in 1901, there are some notable gaps in knowledge which seemed interesting for providing snippets of what have been, to this inopportune lack of knowledge Maeterlink writes,It is sad, but let our reason be content to add, so it must be55.The prose is eloquently constructed, but can be considered an inappropriately overblown writing when used in an entomological work.Like his words on their sting ..there is a sort of dreadful dryness, as though a flame of desert has scorched the wounded limb and one asks oneself whether these daughters of the sun may not have distilled a dazzling poison from their father s rays in order to defend the treasure they have gathered during his shining hours7 On the description of the hiveAnd if the outlook at first appear rather gloomy, there still are signs of hope wherever the eye may turn One might almost fancy oneself in one of the castles they tell of in fairy stories, where there are millions of tiny phials along the walls containing the souls of men about to be born for here too, are lives that have not yet come to life56 The Hive Both quotations are also reflective of operative philosophies Maeterlinck has when writing Again his identity as part of the symbolist movement left its mark, first, when he wrote on the spirit of the hive as an abstract force by which bees are governed on certain aspects like their swarming, and second, when he engaged on his habit of anthropomorphizing elements of nature to social constructs, in this case, his Father Sun This is considered a classic piece in bee literature and I did end up learning a lot Courtesy BBC Nature, added the infograph in the review I have reviewed another work by Maurice Maeterlinck The Inner Beauty 4 Stars This book forms part of my remarkably extensive reading list on Nobel Prize for Literature LaureatesThis review, along with my other reviews, has been cross posted at imbookedindefinitely In his own words, don t expect this to be a treatise on apiculture, or on practical beekeeping Maeterlinck was a beekeeper, a poet and a philosopher and this 1901 book covers all three of his passions I m also marvelling that this is a translation into English Although every sentence is exquisite, my favourite passages are quoted here referenced by section number and subtitled by my interpretation Nature knows bestI fear that I have already wandered into many details that will have but slender interest for the reader, whose eyes perhaps may never have followed a flight of bees or who may have regarded them only with the passing interest with which we are all of us apt to regard the flower, the bird, or or the precious stone, asking of these no than a slight superficial assurance, and forgetting that the most trivial secret of the non human object we behold in nature connects closely perhaps with the profound enigma of our origin and our end, than the secret of those of our passions that we study the most eagerly and the most passionately 59 There s so much that we don t knowAnd truly, underlying the gladness that we note first of all in the hive, underlying the dazzling memories of beautiful days that render it the storehouse of summer s most precious jewels, underlying the blissful journeys that knit it so close to the flowers and to running water, to the sky, to the peaceful abundance of all that makes for beauty and happiness underlying all these exterior joys, there reposes a sadness as deep as the eye of man can behold And we, who dimly gaze on these things with our own blind eyes, we know full well that it is not they alone that we are striving to see, not they alone that we cannot understand, but that before us there lies a pitiable form of the great power that quickens us also 62 Spring is comingThe winter life of the bee is not arrested, although it be slackened By the concerted beating of their wings little sisters that have survived the flames of the sun which go quickly or slowly in accordance as the temperature without may vary, they maintain in their sphere an unvarying warmth, equal to that of a day in spring This secret spring comes from the beautiful honey, itself but a ray of heat transformed, that returns now to its first condition It circulates in the hive like generous blood The bees at the full cells present it to their neighbours, who pass it on in their turn Thus it goes from hand to hand and from mouth to mouth, till it attain the extremity of the group in whose thousands of hearts one destiny, one thought, is scattered and united It stands in lieu of the sun and the flowers, till its elder brother, the veritable sun of the real, great spring, peering through the half open door, glides in his first softened glances, wherein anemones and violets are coming to life again and gently awakens the workers, showing them that the sky once is blue in the world, and that the uninterrupted circle that joins death to life has turned and begun afresh 96 Never stop learningNevertheless, when it is impossible to know what the truth of a thing may be, it is impossible to know that the truth of a thing may be, it is well to accept the hypothesis that appeals the most urgently to the reason of men at the period when we happen to have come into the world The chances are that it will be false but so long as we believe it ti be true it will serve a useful purpose by restoring our courage and stimulating research in a new direction It might at the first glance seem wiser, perhpas, instead of advancing these ingenious suppositions, simply to say the profound truth, which is that we do not know But this truth could only be helpful were it written that we never shall know In the meanwhile it would induce a state of stagnation within us pernicious than the most vexatious illusions We are so constituted that nothing takes us further or leads us higher than the leaps made by our errors In oint of fact we owe the little we have learned to hypotheses that were always hazardous and often absurd, and, as a general rule, less discreet than they are today They were unwise, perhaps, but they kept alive the ardor for research 103 The hexagonal cellThere is one masterpiece, the hexagonal cell, that touches absolute perfection, perfection that all the geniuses in the world, were they to meet in conclave, could in no way enhance No living creature, not even man, has achieved, in the center of his sphere, what the bee has achieved in her own and were someone from another world to descend and ask of the earth the most perfect creation of the logic of life, we should needs have to offer the humble comb of honey 109 Har cosa de un a o que comenc a interesarme por las abejas y la importancia que tienen en nuestro planeta No soy una experta ni apicultora, desde luego Este libro no es un manual de cuidado de las abejas sino, m s bien, una oda a esta especie tan importante y un acercamiento a su vida Aunque muchas de las reflexiones del autor me han sobrado un poco, lo cierto es que me ha resultado muy, muy interesante conocer algunas de las curiosidades de la vida de las abejas Si te interesa el tema pero no sabes mucho, este es tu libro A medio camino entre un ensayo y un manual, no se hace pesado y el autor, sin ninguna duda, es capaz de transmitirte el amor inmenso y la fascinaci n que siente por las abejas. First published in 1901 my copy is a very late reprint, July 1930, but nonetheless a lovely volume Maeterlinck was a playwright, poet and essayist, born in Ghent, Belgium He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1911.The book is divided into seven chapters as follows I On the threshold of the hiveII The SwarmIII The Foundation of the CityIV The Young QueensV The Nuptial FlightVI The Massacre of the MalesVII The Progress of the RaceBees are special to me and in my search to know why that is, I partly found the answer here I am in very good company From the beginning, this strange little creature, that lived in a society under complicated laws and executed prodigious labours in the darkness, attracted the notice of men Aristotle, Cato, Varro, Pliny, Columella, Palladius, all studied the bees.Aristomachus..,according to Pliny watched them for 58 years NB also the fourth book of Virgil s Georgics The bees world in part mirrors that of man, a supposedly superior being, who of course exercises some control over his hives But the bees system of government is in many ways superior to that of men The hive is a republic, presided over by a Queen, who in turn obeys and enforces the spirit of the hive It is this spirit which will dictate the time of the swarm, the great annual sacrifice for the future of the race It is then that a whole people, who have attained the topmost pinnacle of prosperity and power, suddenly abandon to the generation to come their wealth and their palaces, their homes and the fruits of their labour.This act undoubtedly passes the limits of human morality Fascinating and beautifully written it is translated by Alfred Sutro, Maeterlinck s friend, who translated a number of his writings and to whom this work is dedicated It doesn t surprise me to learn that Maeterlinck was a poet.It was when he assumed the role of philosopher that my attention began to wander and I skipped large chunks until we sighted earth again s quite short, and it s basically about bees Maeterlinck was a keen bee keeper, he knew what he was writing about in this case at least a later book about termites was allegedly plagiarized , and his enthusiasm is infectious As the quote above demonstrates, it s a detailed, lyrical and rather passionate work, if somewhat anthropomorphic The downside is that, like a lot of nature writing of the time the book was first published in 1901 , it is a rather politically conservative text There is no room here for departure form the natural order although queens may be overthrown and replaced, this happens only as part of the set natural cycle of returning to the status quo Bees manifest the importance of knowing your place and sticking to it I was irresistibly reminded of Laline Paul s The Bees, one of the first books I read for the Arthur C Clarke Award, which turns exactly the same setting into a revolutionary parable. When was the last time you read a book that left you in a state of bedazzled wonder

Maurice Polydore Marie Bernard Maeterlinck also called Comte Count Maeterlinck from 1932 mo is ma.t.l k in Belgium, m.te.l k in France 29 August 1862 6 May 1949 was a Belgian playwright, poet, and essayist who was a Fleming, but wrote in French He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1911 in appreciation of his many sided literary activities, and especially of his dram

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  • Paperback
  • 192 pages
  • La vie des abeilles
  • Maurice Maeterlinck
  • English
  • 13 December 2019
  • 9780486451435

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