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The Book on the biography of Irving Stone.

Module by: Bijay_Kumar Sharma. E-mail the author

Summary: This Book Report gives the brief biography of the great biographer Irving Stone.

The Book Report on the biography of Irving Stone.

“The passing away of Irving Stone means a great loss to us- will this loss be ever compensated?”._29.10.1989.

Deepawali has always symbolized an occasion of mirth and laughter but the year 1989 Deepawali has brought only gloom and sadness to people like me who cherish the principle of Justice and Equality.

The year 1989 has been unfortunate in two ways. First because of the upheavals which have taken place in China, Poland, Hungry and East Germany. With the tumultuous events in these four countries our hopes for a really exploitation-free society have receded into background.

Secondly it is unfortunate because of the passing away of the father of Transistor (William Shockley) and the great biographer Irving Stone.

Loss of Shockley is more sentimental than real because their passing away doesnot really stop the Research and Development in the field of Transistor but the loss of Irving Stone is real. It is real because is there another Biographical Novelist in the Society today or are we likely to have one in the near future?

Irving Stone was born in 1903 in USA.He faced tremendous difficulty launching his career as a Biographical Novelist.

His first novel was Pagent of Youth in 1933 which did not really click.

He had obtained his degree in Economics and Medicine from University of California and had very naturally turned into a passionate researcher.

His second novel was “Lust for Life” based on the famous painter Vincent Von Gogh. In connection with this work Irving spent considerable time in Belgium, Holland, England and France. Even such a thoroughly prepared manuscript was rejected by seven publishers. Eventually a life long contract was signed between Irving and Jean not only as Author and Publisher but also as husband and wife. This was in the year 1934.

Irving Stone believed in the dictum : “If you really want to know an apple then eat and change it.” Hence his biographical novels were based on exhaustive research into life and times of his subjects.

The subject of his novel “ The Agony and Ecstasy” was the great sculptor Michelangelo who did the grand fresco painting on the ceilings of Sistine Chapel. In this fresco painting Michelangelo described the creation of Earth – The Genesis. To understand Michelangelo, Irving and his wife lived in Italy for two years and spent another two years completing the novel.

His another novel is on Charles Darwin who gave the theory of Evolution. This novel is “The Origin”.

He wrote a novel “Passions of Mind” based on the life of Sigmund Freud.

Another novel “ The Adversary in the House” gave the biography of the pioneer leader , Eugne V. Debbs.

He wrote on “Clarence Darrow for the Defense”. Clarence Darrow was a socialist lawyer who had dedicated his life to the cause of Labour.

His novel titled “Sailor on the Horseback” was based on the life of Jack London, the socialist novelist of USA.

His novel “The Greek Treasure” gives the biography of Heinrich Schliemann, the father of Modern Archaeology and the excavator of Troy, and his loving wife Sophia whom he use to lovingly call Sophidion.

The novel which has left everlasting impression on me is “The Immortal Wife”. The subject of this book is Jessie Fremont, the wife of John Charles Fremont.

John Charles Fremont was a great explorer opening up the West for the settlers and the founder of the Republican Party which fought for the emancipation of the slaves.

Jessie and John led a married life for 50 years and this total period was a period of complete involvement and complete give and take. Jessie always said, “Who says love and romance ends at the Altar. I say it begins at the Altar.”

The story of of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln in the book “Love is eternal” is no less a touching tale. In this book Irving has clearly established that a love is based on ideology. If we have ideological unity with our partner we have eternal love and is undying no matter how adverse the circumstances are.

The book on Sigmund Freud “ Passions of Mind” is a must for everybody. It helped me analyze my cause of mental depression. Once I had done it there was no looking back. This book clearly shows how a personality is built up.

In all Irving Stone wrote 27 biographical novels. The last was on Camille Pissaw, the impressionist painter. This was published when Irving was 83 years of age.

I sincerely hope that in near future somebody will step into the boots of Irving Stone and continue to bolster the spirit of the prospective path-breakers and frontier-persons by telling them the life of Pioneers who have already achieved their life-missions.

(Bijay Kumar Sharma)_29.10.89.

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