The Blue Flower

The Blue Flower "Sometimes Short Stories Are Brought Together Like Parcels In A Basket. Sometimes They Grow Together Like Blossoms On A Bush. Then, Of Course, They Really Belong To One Another, Because They Have The Same Life In Them. The Stories In This Book Have Been Growing Together For A Long Time. It Is At Least Ten Years Since The First Of Them, The Story Of The Other Wise Man, Came To Me; And All The Others I Knew Quite Well By Heart A Good While Before I Could Find The Time, In A Hard-worked Life, To Write Them Down And Try To Make Them Clear And True To Others. It Has Been A Slow Task, Because The Right Word Has Not Always Been Easy To Find, And I Wanted To Keep Free From Conventionality In The Thought And Close To Nature In The Picture. It Is Enough To Cause A Man No Little Shame To See How Small Is The Fruit Of So Long Labor. . . ." -- From Henry Van Dyke's Preface To The Blue Flower

❴PDF / Epub❵ ☉ The Blue Flower Author Henry Van Dyke –
  • Hardcover
  • 298 pages
  • The Blue Flower
  • Henry Van Dyke
  • English
  • 06 March 2019

10 thoughts on “The Blue Flower

  1. says:

    I got a lovely copy of this book years ago and just now read it. It also happens that I am the first person to read the book. I know this because around 10 of the pages were still attached to each other so I carefully tore them apart. It's really a lovely book. The stories are very much reflective of the period. As an author, he does paint very vibrant and lovely pictures with his words. I especially enjoyed the first stories. "Spy Rock" is one of the more interesting stories that needed a little more body to it. It would have been better in a longer more developed format. Some of them are decidedly Christian but again, that's part of what reading was supposed to accomplish in those days-teaching a sense of morality and that being Christian and "converting" those who weren't was one of the most selfless professions. However, with some updating, a couple of the stories would make nice short films. It's a fun read with 9 short stories that would be fun to talk about and compare to today's fare. The cover alone is gorgeous and it has a lovely gilt top and the edges of the pages are all rough and lovely. It would be wonderful to see a short film on a more developed story about Saloma...

  2. says:

    The Blue Flower, by Henry Van Dyke, is a magical, wanderlust book. It is filled with nine stories of varying length and eight beautiful prints(paintings). Even in an antique store of a thousand book, this one stood out(though I quite enjoy flowers, so that might be part of it). The pictures go beautifully with each story. Each story is an adventure, though small, that contributes to the meaning of the blue flower ( In today's writing and life, symbols are often a lost art, this book revives one of the less known ones. Though only one story is by Henry Van Dyke himself, all showcase beautiful description that is sure to intrigue the eloquent mind. Even so, not all stories deem very exciting, but some do gain at least one sense of "the blue flower": a desire/strive for something unknown or unreachable. One story, the very first actually, did just that to me. * Its eloquent row of words drew me in: "The parents were abed and sleeping. The clock on the wall ticked loudly and lazily, as if it had time to spare. Outside the rattling windows there was a restless, whispering wind.... (Henry Van Dyke, page 3)" Here the opening scene is described and eases the reader into the story. Often in the stories the flower is described as glowing, showing its magnificent lure: "...a tall, clear-blue flower, growing beside the spring, and almost touching him with its broad, glistening leaves." This continually contributes to the magical air of every story. Even with the amazing atmosphere of the writing, this book does have its downsides. The stories sometimes start off dry and/or confusing to the modern reader(The Source is one of such stories) but often gain momentum. Another pitfall is its strange organization. The stories do not have a clear organization and appear more to be thrown together. Even with such pitfalls, I find this book to be a delectable read, one of which that ranks among my favorites.

  3. says:

    I only listened to four of the stories - The Source, The Mill, Spy Rock and The First Christmas Tree. The other stories were narrated by Librivox readers who did not appeal to me.

    I found these stories enchanting. I wouldn’t consider them my usual choice of reading, as they were wordy and almost fairy tale like in nature (and I’m not a fan of fairy tales). But these stories were enchanting and beautifully written and I wish I could have listened to the other tales.

  4. says:

    A nice glimpse into what children might dream.

  5. says:

    I purchased this book without knowing anything about the content or the author. Having just read a little bit about Henry Van Dyke, I see that he was a Presbyterian minister who gave sermons on the 'Biblical rightness of slavery' and was completely against abolition. Ugh. Gross. The cover is pretty though.

  6. says:

    It starts with a neat binding device, the image of the Blue Flower that works into each unrelated or barely related story as part of an extended allegory or metaphor representing happiness or the pursuit thereof. I've seen something similar (with very different meaning) in The King in Yellow stories by Robert W. Chambers, and the image of the Black Priest in certain other stories also by Chambers.

    It's used somewhat pretentiously, especially when considering its heavy-handed preface, and the execution lacks: the stories make very obvious statements and frequently seem to be little more than scaffolding for van Dyke's lush prose.

    The stories in the back of the book, "The Other Wise Man" and so forth, have a separate copyright and apparent pre-exist the rest. They don't have this device, but in compensation are better written and better plotted.

  7. says:

    [These notes were made in 1986:]. A series of short stories in the Christian vein, some of them openly so, some allegorical. A nice way with an image and a smooth, easy style make them less tedious than you would think, and "The Other Wise Man" has something of the simple, telling fairy-tale quality of Wilde's moral tales or the one about St. Julian (Flaubert?). The title comes from a fragment of Novalis, which Van Dyke translates for us, dealing with a young man who seeks and eventually finds a mysterious blue flower. Van Dyke clearly takes this as allegory of man's search for God, and all his stories deal with wanderers and travellers on mystic searches, some failed, some successful. Margaret Armstrong's cover, by the way, is rather elegant, and it is so nice to read a real book, on good paper, printed with care, and accompanied by illustrations!

  8. says:

    I normally don't read collections of stories, I prefer novels.
    But, this book was written by a Dutchman, so I had to check it out. It was worth reading, if you read regularly. Refreshing to read about true happiness being more about what you can do for others, and finding the source of life, rather than being all about personal pleasure.

  9. says:

    My copy arrived this week. I have several 100-year old copies stowed safely, but you can't read those on the commute. This new, all brand new, will be sturdy and stand up to being knocked around in a rucksack.

  10. says:

    Very interesting allegorical tale....

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