Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Boreham and a New Way of Looking

New Way of Looking
We have been looking at F W Boreham’s call for the sphere of ordinary life to become a primary focus for his reader’s study and we have considered this theme in reference to selected representatives who inspired him: Dickens, Turner, Blake and Jesus.

Attention is now directed to insights and illustrations from Boreham’s editorials that develop this theme and reflect on how his readers might develop their vision for the ordinary. What were the simple, common, everyday things and events that Boreham addressed? How did he advocate that they be seen and studied and why?

See For Yourself
In one of his many editorials on the theme of seeing, F W Boreham claimed in 1930 that “millions of people have gone through life seeing a blur” and he concluded by saying “the art of life lies in every man seeing clearly for himself”.[1] Boreham’s convictions about ‘seeing’ are reminiscent of the French theologian and scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin who, in 1938, writing at great length on the importance of ‘seeing’, concluded:

“We might say that the whole of life lies in that verb. That, doubtless, is why the history of the living world can be summarized as the elaboration of ever more perfect eyes within a cosmos in which there is always more to be seen .… If to see is really to become more, if vision is really fuller being, then we should look closely at man in order to increase our capacity to live”.[2]

While both writers elaborated on this theme in different ways and in dissimilar literary styles, they were united in their passion to convince their readers of developing one’s vision. F W Boreham claimed that the realisation of one’s full expression would come by ceasing to see through other peoples’ spectacles and looking through one’s own eyes.

Geoff Pound

Image: Eyes to See

[1] F W Boreham, Mercury, 11 January 1930.
[2] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The phenomenon of man (London: Collins, 1938-40), 31-32.