Arthur Koestler  

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"There is only one prospect worse than being chained to an intolerable existence: the nightmare of a botched attempt to end it." --Arthur Koestler, preface to A Guide to Self- Deliverance

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Arthur Koestler (September 5, 1905, BudapestMarch 3, 1983, London) was a Hungarian polymath who became a naturalized British subject. He is best known for his novel Darkness at Noon.

He wrote journalism, novels, social philosophy, and books on scientific subjects. In 1931, he joined the Communist Party of Germany, but left the party seven years later, after emigrating to the United Kingdom. By the late 1940s, he was one of the most recognized and outspoken British anti-communists, and he remained politically active through the 1950s. He wrote several popular books, including Arrow in the Blue (the first volume of his autobiography), The Yogi and the Commissar (a collection of essays, many dealing with Communism), The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe, The Act of Creation, and The Thirteenth Tribe (a new theory on the origins of Eastern European Jews). Koestler's Magnum opus, the novel Darkness at Noon about the Soviet 1930s purges, ranks with George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four as a fictional treatment of Stalinism. He also wrote Encyclopædia Britannica articles.


Published works




NB The books The Lotus and the Robot, The God that Failed, and Von weissen Nächten und roten Tagen, as well as his numerous essays, all may contain further autobiographical information.

Other non-fiction

Writings as a contributor

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