The World Expands: Recollections of a Zoologist

The World Expands: Recollections of a Zoologist

The World Expands: Recollections of a Zoologist

The World Expands: Recollections of a Zoologist

Excerpt

A little over a year ago, after I had completed what I had set out to do in a project on the coloration of animals, I resolved to undertake a new course of scientific work in this general field and while I was awaiting the arrival of the necessary material I began sketching, in a purely playful way, the following account of myself. As the exigencies of the war made it almost impossible for me to obtain what I needed for my new scientific venture, the free time thus thrown upon my hands led me to give more and more attention to this sketch of my life. Heretofore I had written only rather technical and detailed scientific papers and books. They had all called for close study and accurate record, and belonged to that kind of writing which is looked upon as dry. To attempt composition in a new field, such as that of autobiography, was to me a novel departure. To my surprise I found it unexpectedly entertaining. To recall and live over again the experiences of my past proved to be most exhilarating, and in this spirit I completed the early chapters of the present volume. Some of these were read by members of my family who encouraged me to think that I was not wasting my time. No one surely got so much enjoyment out of the effort as I did, for in writing these sketches I recalled a hundred other episodes that I thought about but did not write down, and thus I relived my life to myself with a fullness not represented in what is given in the following pages. Moreover, the composition was relatively easy as compared with that of writing scientific contributions. These required much outside reading and collation, whereas writing about myself was writing on a subject, the greater part of which was known to me without the pains of research. The ink flowed easily and the composition was of a kind which progressed with such freedom that I thoroughly enjoyed it. As the manuscript accumulated I began to wonder if in the end it might not be put into print. I therefore submitted about half of it, as much as had been finished at the time, to a friend, Mr. Byron S. Hollinshead, who had had much experience in passing judgment on manuscripts . . .

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