"Even today we feel the twentieth century is quite truly a century of the unicorn."

Rudiger Robert Beer



"Now I will believe that there are unicorns"


The Tempest

Act III, scene 3



"God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength

Of a unicorn"

Numbers 23:22



"Who then is this unicorn but the only begotten Son of God

Christ is the power of God, therefore he is called the Unicorn with the Father. "

Saint Basil (330,A.D.)



"His glory is like the firstling of his bullock are like the horns of unicorns : with them he people together to the ends of the earth."Will the unicorn be willing to serve that, crib? "



"Unicorns are not meant to make choices."

Peter Beagle



Old French - unicorne

Latin - unicornus



"One by one in the moonlight there,

neighing far off on the haunted air,

the unicorns come down to the sea. "

Conrad Aiken



" "Our Unicorn sings ravishing melodies for those who possess the inner ear of mystics and poets."

James Huneker

In Praise of Unicorns



"The fiercest animal is the unicorn, which in the rest of the body resembles a horse , but in the head a stag, in the feet an elephant, and in the tail a boar, and has a deep bellow, and a single black horn three feet long projecting from the middle of the forehead. They say that at is impossible to capture this animal alive."

PLiny: VIII, 31


"It was beautiful to see him, this one solitary creature, whose mate had never been created, but who needed no companion, and, living a great many hundred years, was as happy as the centuries were long."


The Chimera




"Through Christianity the unicorn infiltrates the region of myth. No longer is it important whether one believes in the physical existence of the unicorn, although that had long been the case. The important thing is what inner power it has . It becomes and remains a symbol, even though a homelier naiveté may occasionally have blurred the boundary between "that connotes. . . "and "that is . . .Even where this is not so, the symbol acquires reality as an utterance from the human soul, as a fulfillment of some spiritual need, and as a filling of space which ought not to be le t empty."

Rudiger Robert Beer

Unicorn: Myth and Reality


"Even today we feel the twentieth century is quite truly a century of the unicorn."




"He focused on one star which throbbed with peculiar intensity. a beam of light as strong as a ladder but clear as water flowed between the star and Charles Wallace, and it was impossible to tell whether the light came from the piercing silver-blue of the star or the light blue eyes of the boy. The beam became stronger and firmer and then all the light resolved itself in a flash of radiance beside the boy. Slowly the radiance took on form, until it had enfleshed itself into the body of a great white beast, with flowing mane and tail. From its forehead sprang a silver horn which contained the residue of the light, It was a creature of utter and absolute perfection. '

Madeleine L'Engle

A Swiftly Tilting Planet


   "I believe that the Unicorn may come to represent the other new realm to which we assign many spiritual and redemptive powers formerly belonging to religion: the realm of art. But have we fully tamed this handsome beast with the awkward horn? Should we be ready now to follow the arts wherever they lead us in the name of freedom and experience, of imagination and transgression and mystery? I respond that we would do well to watch over the Unicorn of aesthetic experience as attentively as we watch over the Sphinx of science. Bereft of a complete fable, the Unicorn has earned a place in our imagination as an arcanum, an emblem of what we do not know. Might it represent a benign version of the predatory Sphinx? It is too soon to say. Every day, the arts enter new domains and new media. We cannot tell in what proportion the resulting works will enlighten, or entertain, or infect. Meanwhile, we have moved a long way from the disinterestedness that gave fresh impetus to art and to science in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. To curiosity have been added since then the strong entangling factors of progress, free enterprise, compulsive consumerism, and a semiautonomous technology."

Roger Shattuck

Forbidden Knowledge


© 2001



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