Read Áristos by John Fowles Miguel Martínez-Lage Online


Two years after The Collector had brought him international recognition and a year before he published The Magus, John Fowles set out his ideas on life in The Aristos. The chief inspiration behind them was the fifth century BC philosopher Heraclitus. In the world he posited of constant and chaotic flux the supreme good was the Aristos, 'of a person or thing, the best or moTwo years after The Collector had brought him international recognition and a year before he published The Magus, John Fowles set out his ideas on life in The Aristos. The chief inspiration behind them was the fifth century BC philosopher Heraclitus. In the world he posited of constant and chaotic flux the supreme good was the Aristos, 'of a person or thing, the best or most excellent its kind'.'What I was really trying to define was an ideal of human freedom (the Aristos) in an unfree world,' wrote Fowles in 1965. He called a materialistic and over-conforming culture to reckoning with his views on a myriad of subjects - pleasure and pain, beauty and ugliness, Christianity, humanism, existentialism, socialism...

Title : Áristos
Author :
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ISBN : 9788476696385
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 253 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Áristos Reviews

  • Özgür
    2019-03-19 05:30

    Sıkılmışlığın zirvesinde bir dosta kaçıp soluklanmak gibi..

  • Laila
    2019-02-23 00:48

    Çok fazla konuda fikir ayrılığımız var diyeyim...

  • Beverly J.
    2019-03-26 03:48

    I had such high hopes for this. I was ready to be dazzled by a manifesto of an author I have always held in high regard. It was as dry and interesting as white bread. Such a disappointment.

  • John Jr.
    2019-03-18 08:57

    • The Aristos was not written to persuade but rather to declare, boldly (as well as baldly) and unconditionally, and to provoke.• Its title probably doesn't mean what you think it means. It comes from ancient Greek, is pronounced with an emphasis on the first syllable, and means roughly "the best for a given situation." I know this because John Fowles told me so in his preface.• It was written under the influence of a "love-affaire with Gallic clarity and concision" (yes, Fowles used here, as he tended to do elsewhere, the French form "affaire"), in particular the work of writers such as Pascal and La Rochefoucauld. It's often aphoristic. If you like that kind of thing, you'll probably like this. • In case you're not sure whether you like the aphoristic kind of thing, here are some examples from The Aristos:† "If there is an active good god he has, since 1914, paid very poor wages."† "The function of death is to put tension into life; and the more we increase the length and the security of individual existence then the more tension we remove from it."† "We say 'He lives in the past' and we say it with pity or contempt; yet most of us live in the future."† "If it were not for injustice, men would not know justice."Such lines convey a lot. A smart reviewer, one who wants only to allow others to form enough of an impression to judge whether to pick up the work themselves, would probably do nothing but quote such lines. Today (to say nothing of other times), I'm not a smart reviewer.• The text may also remind you of either (or both):† Ludwig Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, as at least one other Goodreads reviewer pointed out. However, what this book adds up to is not, I think, much like the Tractatus at all.† The views of Heraclitus. The last example I quoted above comes from Heraclitus, via a selection given by Fowles in an appendix.• Lacking any better form of expression at the moment, I'd say this book is great fun. As with Fowles's title, my use of the word "fun" probably doesn't mean what you think it means, but there's no need for me to explain.

  • Algirdas Brukštus
    2019-03-08 01:53

    Mes bendraujame su pasauliu per operacinę sistemą – mūsų pasaulio suvokimą, per tai, kaip mumyse aprašytas pasaulis,jame vykstantys procesai ir kur jame yra mūsų vieta. Tai yra pas visus, net pas Mauglius, kuriems pasaulį aprašė vilkai ir kurie su pasauliu sąveikauja kaip vilkai, tačiau apie tai susimąsto ir apie tai ima rašyti tik nedaugelis, tik taip vadinami filosofai. Būna, kad apie tai parašo ir rašytojai. Kartais esė forma, o kartais ir filosofinio traktato pavidalu, kaip atsitiko su Johnu Fowlesu, kuris ėmė ir išdrįso savo požiūrį į būtį išdėstyti knygoje Aristos. Sveikintina, manau, kad ir kitiems verta tai padaryti, aišku, spausdinti ir skelbti nebūtina. Tiesiog padaryti tai sau. Pasidaryti savo gyvenimo suvokimo inventorizaciją, atsisėdus priešais tuščią popieriaus lapą kaip priešais veidrodį.

  • Simon Mcleish
    2019-03-23 07:51

    Originally published on my blog here in May 2011.The title may suggest "À la lanterne les aristos!", the cry of the French revolutionary mob in The Scarlet Pimpernel. But in fact Fowles is using the Greek word aristos, meaning "the best" without the reference to hereditary privilege it now has in its best known English descendant, aristocracy, or being restricted in application to people, as the same word has it. This is a book which describes Fowles' personal philosophy, which is all about the best (in his view) relative to each particular situation. Most of The Aristos originated when Fowles was in his twenties, but the material was revised for its initial publication and again for this edition.In the introduction, Fowles - who studied French at university - cites his models as French, particularly Pascal, La Rochefoucauld, and Chamfort (and also mentioning Montaigne). Having only read Pascal and Montaigne from this list, I can see the relationship, but what The Aristos really reminds me of is André Gide's Fruits of the Earth, also the product of a university student of great literary ability who was a left-leaning amateur philosopher.Not that literary quality is particularly apparent here - The Aristos is written in note form. Note form is not unknown in philosophy, obviously, and, true to his influences, The Aristos is much more like Pascal's Pensées than, say, Witgennstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. The latter is much harder to read, perhaps because it is even more compressed than the other works. Fowles explains to the reader that the form is used so that it acts as a bald statement of a philosophy, not as an attempt to persuade anyone else through its artistry. This is somewhat disingenuous, as he then almost immediately slips in a rhetorical metaphor, which is perhaps more artistically pleasing than illuminating of his meaning. He says that life is like being adrift on a raft in the middle of an ocean, the point of the image being that there is no way to know the shores beyond the horizon might be like, so likewise there is no real way to be sure about what happened before birth or will happen after death.Fowles' basic argument in The Aristos is based on his reaction to one of the most famous ideas in Pascal's Pensées. This idea is known as "Pascal's Wager", that the rational man should believe in God, because there is nothing to lose in the next life if he is wrong, and everything to gain if he is right. (This doesn't work for me personally, as I don't see belief as something I can turn on and off as this suggests is necessary; but that is off the topic.) But, Fowles says, in the second half of the twentieth century, after the horrors of the two world wars, to choose to believe in a Christian God is no longer as reasonable, as it is harder to accept the concept of a God who loves his creation, making the choice between belief and atheism less balanced than it was in the seventeenth century. Thus the rational person should assume that this life is all there is; and this in turn means that we have a moral duty to make this life as good as possible for as many as possible, which we can do by aiming to reduce social injustice and inequality.This may not be convincing (it is rather more so in its full form than summarised as drastically as I have done here). The intention is not so much to convert as to give an alternative to both capitalism and communism, neither of which, in Fowles' opinion, provide both "equal access to the chief sources of happiness" and "the maximum freedom [to the individual] to decide what these sources should be". Indeed, he goes so far as to suggest that one or other of the two ideologies will collapse in 1989 if they fail to bring greater equality (picking the date as the two hundredth anniversary of the French revolution): a remarkably prescient prediction, as it turned out.It could be argued that this philosophy seems rather glib for a writer from a comparatively privileged background: born in the West, well educated (at a time when class distinctions mattered more in British universities than they do today, despite all the fuss about the Oxbridge intake from private schools), well respected in his chosen profession, and so on - a "champagne Socialist". Fowles himself recognises this potential problem, and argues that for the good of society, socialism cannot be left as the province of the poorest workers. His response is to call for us to seek to promote greater equality of opportunity (which he carefully differentiates from equality of innate talent); if we don't do so, he says, we are just selfish and ultimately living futile lives.The inspiration for The Aristos is explicitly the ideas of Heraclitus, one of the earliest Greek philosophers, whose work survives solely in quotations and descriptions in the writing of others; it is his use of the word aristos which Fowles has followed. Fowles ends his book with an appendix containing the major Heraclitan material, in his own translations: four pages in all but a useful background for the philosophically inclined reader (and I am pretty sure that this is a book which will not attract any other kind).Is Fowles convincing? Overall, not really, though most people will agree with at least some part of what he has to say. There is much food for thought, and the whole of The Aristos is interesting and readable: the layout may look like the Tractatus, but Fowles is much more easily comprehensible. Clearly an important document for deeper understanding of his fiction, The Aristos is more, as an intelligent person's reaction to the modern wold, it is a fascinating byway in twentieth century philosophy.

  • Liedzeit
    2019-03-02 00:47

    This is what I will remmber from this book:Before opposing, ask these questions:To what extent do I enjoy opposing? If I could annihilate in one blow all that I oppose, would I make that blow?Will my opposition weaken or strengthen the thing opposed?Is it a pose or reality?

  • Terry
    2019-02-26 00:52

    I read The Magus. Only once and in the original version. I read The Collector and The French Lieutenant's Woman. I saw the movies made from the latter two. I guess it would be okay to say that back in the day I was a Fowles fan. But I don't remember ever hearing about or reading about The Aristos. I'm a bit surprised because it seems a given that in The Sixties it would have garnered some tidbit of fame even though in the realms of the Tao and of existential philosophy, which this volume plumbs, the conversation was dominated by the likes of Alan Watts and Jean-Paul Sartre. So, I've come to it late and quite by accident. I often felt, as I was reading, that I could copy out for further consideration and meditation nearly every paragraph. I suppose they reminded me of my own flirtations with taoism and existentialism before, like Fowles it seems to me, I took the grand leap into the unknown without the crutch of either just as in their purest form each demands. I could not help, though, to retain for further consideration some of Fowles's aphorisms, if you will, on such meaty topics as education, as poetry, as, yes, politics. Definitely worth the week and some it gave me.

  • Craig
    2019-03-03 08:33

    An interesting philosophical autobiography of John Fowles--his attempt to illustrate the philosophy behind his novels. Fowles writes as an existentialist, naturalist, and poet, and his prose is the child of Thomas Hardy. I don't normally like books of philosophy -- they so often wallow in abstractions, but having read all of Fowles' fiction, I found I could see the concrete illustrations from his novels to demonstrate the generalized ideas discussed in this book.

  • Lee Holz
    2019-03-14 01:55

    The Aristos is a nonfiction exposition and statement of position on reality, the problems and challenges of humanity and what it means to be human by John Fowles, one of the greatest novelists of the second half of the twentieth century. One may agree with or differ from these pronouncements, for that is what they are, but one must acknowledge the author’s precision and clarity of presentation, cutting insights and serious philosophical approach. It is very much worth the effort of reading.

  • T.D. Elliott
    2019-03-15 04:52

    a strange, ultimately inspiring work of philosophy from one of the best writers of human character (if you don't believe me, read The Magus or The Collector. then take a look at this.) it's reminiscient of Wittgenstein's Tractatus in terms of format. you might not always agree with what he says, but it'll hot-poker your mind for hours after you put it down.

  • Jordan Cullen
    2019-03-21 00:43

    A novelist of remarkable invention and intelligence here offers his thoughts on life, art, politics, religion in a collection of aphorisms that are occasionally insightful and innovative, but more often the overall sensation is of reading a vanity exercise.

  • Joseph Sverker
    2019-03-18 08:28

    Fowles has collected some interesting thoughts in the style of Heraclitus in this book. One can sometimes feel that he is a child of his time and that the thoughts have not aged very well. However, there are many times that he shows a great ability to analyse culture.

  • C.F.
    2019-02-27 00:50

    Might not be everyone's cup of tea -- in fact, is most certainly not -- but I found this book a lovely opportunity to examine the rough edges where my puzzle pieces of philosophies were in contradiction with Fowles'. Always lucid, often disagreeable; both pleasing and stimulating. One to browse.

  • Helena
    2019-03-20 05:55

    в т.ч. из-за некоторых совпадений

  • Aziz
    2019-03-02 06:49


  • Drew
    2019-03-04 04:51

    The Aristos by John Fowles (1970)