THE ETERNAL RETURN by Donald E. Carr

THE ETERNAL RETURN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Mr. Carr, a research chemist, in The Eternal Return reflects on the nature of the universe. It is not, however, a universe that would necessarily have been recognizable to Aristotle, except in its neo-Platonic ramifications. In fact, it is hardly a universe. It is rather a construct of transitions from the metaphysical order to the real, wherein the author decides that something might be, and therefore it is. Hence, we arrive at a universe-chimera of infinite repetitions of events, of reincarnation and transmigration, of angels and ""pulsations"" in an ever-ascending spiral that would have done credit (in fact, that did do credit) to a pseudo-Dionysius or to a Plotinus. If one may, in Mr. Carr's own terms, put a finger on the fundamental logical flaw in this ""theory of the universe,"" it is that the author is not fully aware of the logical implications of his ""expanded universe"" of infinite alternatives, for he never considers the only real alternatives: first, that the universe, not being a Table of Atomic Weights, may not be susceptible to a priori deductive construction; second, that the human mind, being finite by definition, may be essentially incapable of making sense of an infinite universe. At least, it appears so from Mr. Carr's book.

Pub Date: Nov. 22nd, 1968
Publisher: Doubleday