"In order to accept the enormous responsibility that comes of being in the world, we must first conceive, in spite of all the obstacles, the state of actually being the world." It is for this reason that John R. Campbell came to the Klamath marshes, a wetland in southern Oregon formed by three ancient, shallow lakes.
Absence and Light is Campbell's account of his exploration of the marshes and a meditation on the world he found there, on his growing understanding of the physical, emotional, moral, and aesthetic meaning of that world, on his own growth as a man. Through Campbell's eyes, we observe the stirring and astonishing beauty of the marshes and their creatures, and the utter poignancy of their fragility before the heedless ambitions of humankind.
This is nature writing at its most profound and moving, writing that in examining and defining the world of nature helps us to understand the very complicated and contradictory realities of being human. Campbell's luminous descriptions and mystical insights will long linger in the reader's memory.
From the New Yorker’s inimitable first pop music critic comes this pioneering collection of essays by a conscientious writer whose political realm is both radical and rational, and whose prime preoccupations are with rock ’n’ roll, sexuality, and above all, freedom. Here Ellen Willis assuredly captures the thrill of music, the disdain of authoritarian culture, and the rebellious spirit of the ’60s and ’70s.
“Hole torn in the language, / How shall we speak?” The first lines of the first poem in Paul Breslin’s artful second collection of poetry demand an answer, of both poet and reader, to the seemingly unspeakable tragedies of modern life. Between My Eye and the Light forms a beautifully insistent exercise in the power of language to engage experiences both mundane and profound. Breslin queries far-flung corners of experience for answers, engaging childhood, his longtime home of Chicago, small moments of life, and encounters with artists such Rainer Maria Rilke and Derek Walcott. The poems even query the volume’s opening question, How shall we speak? While pat answers elude us, poetry acts as a bulwark against cliché and cynicism, strengthening those who have the courage to question and explore.
The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness, first published in 1944, is considered one of the most profound and relevant works by the influential theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, and certainly the fullest statement of his political philosophy. Written and first read during the prolonged, tragic world war between totalitarian and democratic forces, Niebuhr’s book took up the timely question of how democracy as a political system could best be defended.
Most proponents of democracy, Niebuhr claimed, were “children of light,” who had optimistic but naïve ideas about how society could be rid of evil and governed by enlightened reason. They needed, he believed, to absorb some of the wisdom and strength of the “children of darkness,” whose ruthless cynicism and corrupt, anti-democratic politics should otherwise be repudiated. He argued for a prudent, liberal understanding of human society that took the measure of every group’s self-interest and was chastened by a realistic understanding of the limits of power. It is in the foreword to this book that he wrote, “Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible; but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.”
This edition includes a new introduction by the theologian and Niebuhr scholar Gary Dorrien in which he elucidates the work’s significance and places it firmly into the arc of Niebuhr’s career.
The volume is the first-ever book-length study of the cinematic representation of Paris in the films of German èmigrè filmmakers, many of whom fled there as a refuge from Hitler. In coming to Paris—a privileged site in terms of production, exhibition, and film culture—these experienced professionals also encountered resistance: hostility toward Germans, anti-Semitism, and boycotts from a French industry afraid of losing jobs to foreigners. Phillips juxtaposes the cinematic portrayal of Paris in the films of Robert Siodmak, Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, Max Ophüls, Anatol Litvak, and others with the wider social and cultural debates about the city in cinema.
Cinema is a medium of light. And during Weimar Germany's advance to technological modernity, light - particularly the representational possibilities of electrical light - became the link between the cinema screen and the rapid changes that were transforming German life.In Frances Guerin's compelling history of German silent cinema of the 1920s, the innovative use of light is the pivot around which a new conception of a national cinema, and a national culture emerges. Guerin depicts a nocturnal Germany suffused with light - electric billboards, storefronts, police searchlights - and shows how this element of the mise-en-scene came to reflect both the opportunities and the anxieties surrounding modernity and democracy. Guerin's interpretations center on use of light in films such as Schatten (1923), Variete (1925), Metropolis (1926), and Der Golem (1920). In these films we see how light is the substance of image composition, the structuring device of the narrative, and the central thematic concern. This history relieves German films of the responsibility to explain the political and ideological instability of the period, an instability said to be the uncertain foundation of Nazism. In unlocking this dubious link, A Culture of Light redefines the field of German film scholarship.
Enlightenment thinkers such as Rousseau and Montesquieu are best known for their humanist theories and liberating influence on Western civilization. But as renowned French intellectual Louis Sala-Molins shows, Enlightenment discourses and scholars were also complicit in the Atlantic slave trade, becoming instruments of oppression and inequality.
Translated into English for the first time, Dark Side of the Light scrutinizes Condorcet’s Reflections on NegroSlavery and the works of Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Diderot side by side with the Code Noir (the royal document that codified the rules of French Caribbean slavery) in order to uncover attempts to uphold the humanist project of the Enlightenment while simultaneously justifying slavery. Wielding the pen of both the ironist and the moralist, Sala-Molins demonstrates the flawed nature of these attempts and the reasons given for this denial of rights, from the imperatives of public order to the incomplete humanity of the slave (and thus the need for his progressive humanization through slavery), to the economic prosperity that depended on his labor. At the same time, Sala-Molins uses the techniques of literature to give equal weight to the perspective of the “barefooted, the starving, and the slaves” through expository prose and scenes between slave and philosopher, giving moral agency and flesh-and-blood dimensions to issues most often treated as abstractions.
Both an urgent critique and a measured analysis, Dark Side of the Light reveals the moral paradoxes of Enlightenment philosophies and their world-changing consequences.
Louis Sala-Molins is a moral and political philosopher and emeritus professor at the University of Toulouse. He is the author of many books, including Le Code Noir, ou Le calvaire de Canaan and L’Afrique aux Amériques.
John Conteh-Morgan is associate professor of French and Francophone, African-American, and African studies at Ohio State University. He is the author of Theatre and Drama in Francophone Africa: A Critical Introduction.
A Deed to the Light
Poems by Jeanne Murray Walker University of Illinois Press, 2004 Library of Congress PS3573.A425336D44 2004 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
In A Deed To the Light Jeanne Murray Walker asks probing questions about the depth of grief, about letting go, and about the possibility of faith. Her poems have been described by John Taylor, writing in Poetry, as "splendid, subtly erudite, uplifting, and funny."
The Early Ottoman Peloponnese: A study in the Light of an Annotated editio princeps of the TT10-1/14662 Ottoman Taxation Cadastre (ca. 1460-1463) is a study drawn from the author's PhD thesis, conducted at Royal Holloway, University of London, under the supervision of the late Professor Julian Chrysostomides.
The book is divided into two parts, with part one covering a range of materials through an introduction and three chapters and part two consisting of a diplomatic edition of the transcribed Ottoman text. The introduction offers an orientation to the scope of the book, surveys previous scholarship conducted on the subject, and provides a historical examination of the late Byzantine Peloponnese and its conquest by the Ottomans. Accompanied by topographic and linguistic notes, Liakopoulos presents the historical geography of the Peloponnese, listing all the place-names mentioned in the sequence they appear in the TT10-1/14662 register. This is followed by a set of thirty-eight digital maps of the early Ottoman Peloponnese using GIS (Geographical Information Systems). This is followed by a discussion of the demography of the Peloponnese, including the settlement patterns, the density of population and its categorisation—urban and rural, sedentary and nomadic—concentrating on the influx and settlement of the second largest ethnic group in the peninsula: the Albanians. Liakopoulos explores the administrative and economic structures of the Peloponnese, and provides a detailed presentation their of agricultural production, fully illustrated with tables and charts.
Childhood faces humanity with its own deepest and most perplexing questions. An ethics that truly includes the world’s childhoods would transcend pre-modern traditional communities and modern rational autonomy with a postmodern aim of growing responsibility. It would understand human relations in a poetic rather than universalistic sense as openly and interdependently creative. As a consequence, it would produce new understandings of moral being, time, and otherness, as well as of religion, rights, narrative, families, obligation, and power.
Ethics in Light of Childhood fundamentally reimagines ethical thought and practice in light of the experiences of the third of humanity who are children. Much like humanism, feminism, womanism, and environmentalism, Wall argues, a new childism is required that transforms moral thinking, relations, and societies in fundamental ways. Wall explores childhood’s varied impacts on ethical thinking throughout history, advances the emerging interdisciplinary field of childhood studies, and reexamines basic assumptions in contemporary moral theory and practice.
In the process, he does not just apply ethics to childhood but applies childhood to ethics—in order to imagine a more expansive humanity.
In Olivia Maciel's Filigree of Light, one enters a lyric of solitude and light, water and wind. Maciel is a poet who has the power to reveal and surprise, bringing one close to things. She approaches the unknown, searching with riddles and reverie.
In these intertwined essays on art, music, and identity, Aisha Sabatini Sloan, the daughter of African American and Italian American parents, examines the experience of her mixed-race identity. Embracing the far-ranging stimuli of her media-obsessed upbringing, she grasps at news clippings, visual fragments, and lyrics from past and present in order to weave together a world of sense.
Art in all forms guides the author toward understanding concepts like blackness, jazz, mortality, riots, space, time, self, and other without falling prey to the myth that all things must exist within a system of binaries. Recalling her awkward attempts at coolness during her childhood, Sabatini Sloan evokes Thelonious Monk’s stage persona as a metaphor for blackness. Through the conceptual art of Adrian Piper, the author is able to understand what is so quietly menacing about the sharp, clean lines of an art gallery where she works as an assistant. The result is a compelling meditation on identity and representation.
This collection of new and selected poems by the former poet laureate of Alaska, Tom Sexton, opens a door on the essence of life in Alaska and Maine. Sexton divides his year between the two states, and he captures here the small but powerful sensual details of day-to-day life in these contrasting, yet similar, environs. His carefully crafted verse distills the birch and aspen, lynx and ptarmigan, and the snow on high peaks. Through his poems we thrill to experience encounters with the wild, the seasons, and the sublime landscape.
“His language is clear, without tricks or fancy moves, yet his directness is powerful, and the effects are human”—Paul Zimmer, Georgia Review
In this interdisciplinary and controversial work, Igal Halfin takes an original and provocative stance on Marxist theory, and attempts to break down the divisions between history, philosophy, and literary theory.
Cinema has been undergoing a profound technological shift: celluloid film is being replaced by digital media in the production, distribution, and reception of moving images. Concerned with the debate surrounding digital cinema’s ontology and the interrelationship between cinema cultures, From Light to Byte investigates the very idea of change as it is expressed in the current technological transition. Markos Hadjioannou asks what is different in the way digital movies depict the world and engage with the individual and how we might best address the issue of technological shift within media archaeologies.
Hadjioannou turns to the technical basis of the image as his first point of departure, considering the creative and perceptual activities of moviemakers and viewers. Grounded in film history, film theory, and philosophy, he explores how the digital configures its engagement with reality and the individual while simultaneously replaying and destabilizing celluloid’s own structures. He observes that, where film’s photographic foundation encourages an existential association between individual and reality, digital representations are graphic renditions of mathematical codes whose causal relations are more difficult to trace.
Throughout this work Hadjioannou examines how the two technologies set themselves up with reference to reality, physicality, spatiality, and temporality, and he concludes that the question concerning digital cinema is ultimately one of ethical implications—a question, that is, of the individual’s ability to respond to the image of the world.
From its inception in Greek antiquity, the science of optics was aimed primarily at explaining sight and accounting for why things look as they do. By the end of the seventeenth century, however, the analytic focus of optics had shifted to light: its fundamental properties and such physical behaviors as reflection, refraction, and diffraction. This dramatic shift—which A. Mark Smith characterizes as the “Keplerian turn”—lies at the heart of this fascinating and pioneering study.
Breaking from previous scholarship that sees Johannes Kepler as the culmination of a long-evolving optical tradition that traced back to Greek antiquity via the Muslim Middle Ages, Smith presents Kepler instead as marking a rupture with this tradition, arguing that his theory of retinal imaging, which was published in 1604, was instrumental in prompting the turn from sight to light. Kepler’s new theory of sight, Smith reveals, thus takes on true historical significance: by treating the eye as a mere light-focusing device rather than an image-producing instrument—as traditionally understood—Kepler’s account of retinal imaging helped spur the shift in analytic focus that eventually led to modern optics.
A sweeping survey, From Sight to Light is poised to become the standard reference for historians of optics as well as those interested more broadly in the history of science, the history of art, and cultural and intellectual history.
The contributors to this volume analyze the growth experiences of Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan in light of the recently developed endogenous growth theory to provide an understanding of the economic boom in East Asia.
The theory explored in this volume attributes the phenomenal economic success of these countries to, among other factors, the role of an outward orientation—a focus on exporting rather than on protecting home markets. In addition, the importance of exchange rate behavior, of the supportive role of government policy, and of the accumulation and promotion of physical and human capital are explored in detail. This collection also examines the extent to which growth in each country became self-sustaining once it began.
Demonstrating the relevance of endogenous growth theory for studying this important region, this fourth volume in the NBER-East Asia Seminar on Economics series will be of interest to observers of East Asian affairs.
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry and the PEN/Beyond Margins Award
For nearly four decades, Juan Felipe Herrera has documented his experience as a Chicano in the United States and Latin America through stunning, memorable poetry that is both personal and universal in its impact, themes, and approach. Often political, never fainthearted, his career has been marked by tremendous virtuosity and a unique sensibility for uncovering the unknown and the unexpected. Through a variety of stages and transformations, Herrera has evolved more than almost any other Chicano poet, always re-inventing himself into a more mature and seasoned voice.
Now, in this unprecedented collection, we encounter the trajectory of this highly innovative and original writer, bringing the full scope of his singular vision into view. Beginning with early material from A Certain Man, the volume moves through thirteen of Herrera’s collections into new, previously unpublished work. Serious scholars and readers alike will now have available to them a representative set of glimpses into his production as well as his origins and personal development. The ultimate value of bringing together such a collection, however, is that it will allow us to better understand and appreciate the complexity of what this major American poet is all about.
Was Hobbes the first great architect of modern political philosophy? Highly critical of the classical tradition in philosophy, particularly Aristotle, Hobbes thought that he had established a new science of morality and politics. Devin Stauffer here delves into Hobbes’s critique of the classical tradition, making this oft-neglected aspect of the philosopher’s thought the basis of a new, comprehensive interpretation of his political philosophy.
In Hobbes’s Kingdom of Light, Stauffer argues that Hobbes was engaged in a struggle on multiple fronts against forces, both philosophic and religious, that he thought had long distorted philosophy and destroyed the prospects of a lasting peace in politics. By exploring the twists and turns of Hobbes’s arguments, not only in his famous Leviathan but throughout his corpus, Stauffer uncovers the details of Hobbes’s critique of an older outlook, rooted in classical philosophy and Christian theology, and reveals the complexity of Hobbes’s war against the “Kingdom of Darkness.” He also describes the key features of the new outlook—the “Kingdom of Light”—that Hobbes sought to put in its place. Hobbes’s venture helped to prepare the way for the later emergence of modern liberalism and modern secularism. Hobbes’s Kingdom of Light is a wide-ranging and ambitious exploration of Hobbes’s thought.
Interpretations is a collection of essays produced by the distinguished philosopher Jude Dougherty over the past decade, written to inform or to provide commentary on contemporary issues. In probing the past to interpret the present they draw upon a perspective that one may call classical, the perspective of Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, and their followers across the ages, notably Thomas Aquinas, and his modern disciples, such as Etienne Gilson and Jacques Maritain.
The first part of Interpretations is an attempt to understand modernity’s break with the past, the repudiation of Scholasticism and the classical tradition. Dougherty does this by referencing the dominant preoccupations of the Middle Ages, of the Renaissance, of the Reformation, of eighteenth-century British empiricism, and of nineteenth-century German philosophy, drawing upon the readings of Remi Brague, Pierre Manent, and others. What unifies these reflections is the role of religion (both in Christianity and Islam) in society and its impact on the culture, as well as looking at what is called “modernity” where this role becomes reduced or absent.
The second part of the volume examines selected addresses by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI from a philosophical point of view. Benedict, like others through the course of history, has recognized the role of religion in producing cultural unity. These essays are an appreciation primarily of the subtlety of the former pontiff’s thought.
The third part of Interpretations collects essays and addresses on the practice and nature of philosophy that Dean Dougherty has given throughout his career at The Catholic University of America, and reflects the trajectory of his career and the development of his thought.
In this sweeping revision of avant-garde history, John Cage takes his rightful place as Wordsworth's great and final heir. George Leonard traces a direct line back from Cage, Pop, and Conceptual Art through the Futurists to Whitman, Emerson, Ruskin, Carlyle, and Wordsworth, showing how the art of everyday objects, often thought an exclusively contemporary phenomenon, actually began as far back as 1800.
In recovering the links between such seemingly disparate figures, Leonard transforms our understanding of modern culture.
Selected by the American Library Association's journal, Choice, as "one of the Outstanding Academic Books of the Year"
"Leonard's book is a fine example of interdisciplinary studies. He shifts focus persuasively from art theory to literature to religious thought and biography, making his method seem the natural mode of inquiry into culture."—Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
Neither day nor night, twilight has long exerted a fascination for Western artists, thinkers, and writers, while haunting the Romantics and intriguing philosophers and scientists. In The Last of the Light, Peter Davidson takes readers through our culture’s long engagement with the concept of twilight—from the melancholy of smoky English autumn evenings to the midnight sun of northern European summers and beyond. Taking in poets and painters, Victorians and Romans, city and countryside, and deftly combining memoir, literature, philosophy, and art history, Davidson shows how the atmospheric shadows and the in-between nature of twilight has fired the imagination and generated works of incredible beauty, mystery, and romance. Ambitious and brilliantly executed, this is the perfect book for the bedside table, richly rewarding and endlessly thought-provoking.
The Legend of Light
Bob Hicok University of Wisconsin Press, 1995 Library of Congress PS3558.I28L4 1995 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Whether Hicok is considering the reflection of human faces in the Vietnam War Memorial or the elements of a “Modern Prototype” factory, he prompts an icy realization that we may have never seen the world as it truly is. But his resilient voice and consistent perspective is neither blaming nor didactic, and ultimately enlightening. From the shadowed corners into which we dare not look clearly, Hicok makes us witness and hero of The Legend of Light.
Letters of Light
J. R. Osborn Harvard University Press, 2017 Library of Congress PJ6123.O83 2017 | Dewey Decimal 492.71109
Arabic script is one of the world’s most widely used writing systems, for Arabic and non-Arabic languages alike. J. R. Osborn traces its evolution from the earliest inscriptions to digital fonts, from calligraphy to print and beyond. Students of communication, contemporary practitioners, and historians will find this narrative enlightening.
Michael I. Sobel University of Chicago Press, 1989 Library of Congress QC355.2.S63 1987 | Dewey Decimal 535
Rainbows and exploding stars, ancient Greek optics and modern lasers—these are but a few facets of this entertaining exploration of light in all areas of science and technology.
"Like the denizens of some brilliant ocean, humans are awash in light. Surrounded by illuminations both natural and artificial, we remain blissfully unaware of how light determines most of life's rhythms and rituals or how it dominates every field of modern science. Michael I. Sobel, a professor of physics at Brooklyn College, has attempted no less a task than to enlighten us (see how it pervades our language) about the many facets of this ubiquitous phenomenon, from its earliest stirrings of emotion and wonder in ancient savants to its modern applications in lasers and silicon chips. His broader objective, however, is to show the unity of the natural sciences by using light as a central theme. . . . As a guide along the path of light Mr. Sobel is excellent."—James Cornell, New York Times Book Review
"At long last, here is a book about a technical subject that anyone can read with interest and understand. . . . The author's technical genius and communication skills are combined with excellent lucid sketches, concise meaty captions, and fascinating photographs."—Jason R. Taylor, Science Books and Films
“The title says it all. It is simply a magnificent dissertation on every aspect of light. Its lucid and attractive prose may be read for pleasure and wonder, yet the book is also a reference book of authority. I doubt whether any question about light cannot be answered by consulting it, whether the question is about glow-worms or the aurora borealis, black bodies of the structure of the eye, mirages or fluorescence. This is a marvelous book, one of the best paperbacks I have ever encountered.”—New Scientist
Germany’s political and cultural past from ancient times through World War II has dimmed the legacy of its Enlightenment, which these days is far outshone by those of France and Scotland. In this book, T. J. Reed clears the dust away from eighteenth-century Germany, bringing the likes of Kant, Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, and Gotthold Lessing into a coherent and focused beam that shines within European intellectual history and reasserts the important role of Germany’s Enlightenment.
Reed looks closely at the arguments, achievements, conflicts, and controversies of these major thinkers and how their development of a lucid and active liberal thinking matured in the late eighteenth century into an imaginative branching that ran through philosophy, theology, literature, historiography, science, and politics. He traces the various pathways of their thought and how one engendered another, from the principle of thinking for oneself to the development of a critical epistemology; from literature’s assessment of the past to the formulation of a poetic ideal of human development. Ultimately, Reed shows how the ideas of the German Enlightenment have proven their value in modern secular democracies and are still of great relevance—despite their frequent dismissal—to us in the twenty-first century.
Light in the Dark is the culmination of Gloria E. Anzaldúa's mature thought and the most comprehensive presentation of her philosophy. Focusing on aesthetics, ontology, epistemology, and ethics, it contains several developments in her many important theoretical contributions.
Light in the Trees
Gail Folkins Texas Tech University Press, 2016 Library of Congress PS3606.O455Z46 2016 | Dewey Decimal 814.6
From the book
At the end of our visit in the big snow, I hiked the mountain behind Dad’s house with my brother, stepping into his size 13 footprints. With trail signposts long buried, we kept to the main road, a route once used for logging. Although almost every trip home included this steep climb, I’d never hiked it in two feet of snow. The muffled whiteness made it difficult to tell how far we’d come, how much farther we had to go. More than once I sat on a log saying I’d stay there and wait for Ken, whose long strides made it look easy, to go up without me. Each time I did this, he stopped, waited, and told me we were almost there, although I suspected we weren’t.
A memoir of home, nature, and change in the American West, Light in the Trees makes cultural and environmental topics personal through a narrator’s travels between past and present, rural and urban. Growing up on a mountain foothill in western Washington, Gail Folkins offers a small-town viewpoint of the Pacific Northwest. Sasquatch myths and serial killer realities, a runaway Appaloosa, and turbulent volcanoes beneath serene mountaintops help chronicle a coming of age for both a narrator and a place. Later, a move to the Southwest expands Folkins’s view of the West. From this new perspective paired with frequent journeys to the Northwest, she explores challenges of the natural world, from wildlife habitat and water quality to a changeable climate and wildfires, navigating new versions of home and self along the way.
The Light of Christ provides an accessible presentation of Catholicism that is grounded in traditional theology, but engaged with a host of contemporary questions or objections. Inspired by the theologies of Iranaeus, Thomas Aquinas and John Henry Newman, and rooted in a post-Vatican II context, Fr. Thomas Joseph White presents major doctrines of the Christian religion in a way that is comprehensible for non-specialists: knowledge of God, the mystery of the Trinity, the Incarnation and the atonement, the sacraments and the moral life, eschatology and prayer.
At the same time, The Light of Christ also addresses topics such as evolution, the modern historical study of Jesus and the Bible, and objections to Catholic moral teaching. Touching on the concerns of contemporary readers, Fr. White examines questions such as whether Christianity is compatible with the findings of the modern sciences, do historical Jesus studies disrupt or confirm the teaching of the faith, and does history confirm the antiquity of Catholic claims.
This book serves as an excellent introduction for young professionals with no specialized background in theology who are interested in learning more about Catholicism, or as an introduction to Catholic theology. It will also serve as a helpful text for theology courses in a university context.
As Fr. White states in the book’s introduction: “This is a book that offers itself as a companion. I do not presume to argue the reader into the truths of the Catholic faith, though I will make arguments. My goal is to make explicit in a few broad strokes the shape of Catholicism. I hope to outline its inherent intelligibility or form as a mystery that is at once visible and invisible, ancient and contemporary, mystical and reasonable.”
Marjorie Agosín’s intensely personal long poem The Light of Desire is both a secular and sacred meditation on love and its meanings in the land of Israel. Following the tradition of the Song of Songs and the secular poetry of Sepharad, the beloved in The Light of Desire is both physical and metaphorical. The lovers’ bodies are the paths, the geography, leading not only from desire to sensual pleasure, but to memory and illumination. The light on the pink stones of Jerusalem, the sunlight of Galilee, from hills to the sea, the fragrant air and “mantle of stars,” all become one in this tender, rhapsodic expression of longing and desire. This is not unrequited love, but rather a reciprocal passion that brings exquisite pleasure, pain, a sense of fragility, and the hope and belief in that which is eternal.
The poem was written over a four-year span in Jerusalem’s Mishkenot Sha’ananim neighborhood, overlooking the wall of the Second Temple, and these hallowed surroundings imbued Agosín’s poetic voice. Lori Marie Carlson’s sensitive translation maintains the spirit of the original Spanish in this bilingual edition.
A seamless social history of the native peoples of the American South, bridging prehistory and history.
The past 20 years have witnessed a change in the study of the prehistory and history of the native peoples of the American South. This paradigm shift is the bridging of prehistory and history to fashion a seamless social history that includes not only the 16th-century Late Mississippian period and the 18th-century colonial period but also the largely forgotten--and critically important--century in between. The shift is in part methodological, for it involves combining methods from anthropology, history, and archaeology. It is also conceptual and theoretical, employing historical and archaeological data to reconstruct broad patterns of history--not just political history with Native Americans as a backdrop, nor simply an archaeology with added historical specificity, but a true social history of the Southeastern Indians, spanning their entire existence in the American South.
The scholarship underlying this shift comes from many directions, but much of the groundwork can be attributed to Charles Hudson. The papers in this volume were contributed by Hudson’s colleagues and former students (many now leading scholars themselves) in his honor. The assumption links these papers is that of a historical transformation between Mississippian societies and the Indian societies of the historic era that requires explanation and critical analysis.
In all of the chapters, the legacy of Hudson’s work is evident. Anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians are storming the bridge that connects prehistory and history in a manner unimaginable 20 years ago. While there remains much work to do on the path toward understanding this transformation and constructing a complete social history of the Southeastern Indians, the work of Charles Hudson and his colleagues have shown the way.
"Are you afraid of the sun?" Emily Dickinson asked a friend in 1859.
Wendy Barker states here that that apparently casual query reveals a major theme of Dickinson’s poetry, a theme she shares with women writers ranging from Anne Finch to Anne Sexton. It is a tradition based upon the inversion of the traditional male-centered metaphors of light and dark. Through time the light-giving sun has represented vitality, order, God; the light-swallowing night death, chaos, Satan. These metaphors are reinforced in the writing of Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, and Keats,but Eliot, Brontë, Browning, and Dickinson use the sun and images of light quite differently.
Barker argues that since light was a masculine tradition, ithad come to represent male power, energy, sexuality—not only to Dickinson but to other women writing during the era. To these writers the inversion of the light/darkness metaphor became a countertradition used as a means to express their energies in a society that was hostile to their intelligence. Dickinson, who read avidly, could not have been insensitive to this usage of light as a masculine symbol—of her Calvinist God, of her father, of all that was male—and of darkness as a feminine symbol.
Emily Dickinson thought in a richly symbolic manner. Her most frequently used metaphor is one of light in contrast to darkness, employing single-word references to light more than one thousand times in her 1,775 poems. Barker offers close readings and new interpretations of some previously overlooked or misunderstood poems and demonstrates that "Many of her most ecstatic images are oflittle lights created from darkness." Inanswer to those critics who have characterized her poems as being piecemeal, Barker argues that Dickinson’s consistent use of light as a metaphor unifies her poetry.
In her final chapter, Barker explores the ways in which twentieth-century female writers have carried on the countertradition of the light/darkness metaphor. "That Dickinson was able so brilliantly to transform and transcend the normative metaphoric patterning of her culture, creating, in effect, a metaphor of her own, has much to do with the genius of her art."
Much of the writing of and about the twelfth-century rabbi, philosopher, and theologian Moses Maimonides is addressed to an elite audience of philosophers and intellectuals. Here, Ralph Lerner's exploration of Maimonides' popular writings reveals that the education of the common man was one of the great teacher's chief concerns.
Lerner describes the brilliant and sometimes wily ways in which Maimonides sought to break through the despair and superstition that gripped the Jewish people's minds, without sacrificing the dignity and core of his message. These writings—presented here in uncommonly accurate, mostly new translations—also reveal that Maimonides was willing to risk the scorn of his contemporaries to enlighten both his own and future generations. By addressing the writings of Maimonides' disciples, including Shem Tov ben Joseph Ibn Falaquera in the mid-thirteenth century and Joseph Albo in the fifteenth century, Lerner shows how this technique was passed on.
In striking contrast to the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, Maimonides' enlightenment is premised on the inequality of understandings and other differences between the elite and the common people. Instead of scorning the past, Lerner shows, Maimonides' enlightenment invests it with a new and ennobling dignity. A valuable reference for students of political philosophy and Jewish studies, Lerner's elegantly written book also brings to life the richness and relevance of medieval Jewish thought for all those interested in the Jewish tradition.
Sunset. Fire. Rainbow. Drawing on such common occurrences of light, Navajo artists have crafted an uncommon array of design in colored glass beads. Beadwork is an art form introduced to the Navajos through other Indian and Euro-American contacts, but it is one that they have truly made their own. More than simple crafts, Navajo beaded designs are architectures of light.
Ellen Moore has written the first history of Navajo beadwork—belts and hatbands, baskets and necklaces—in a book that examines both the influence of Navajo beliefs in the creation of this art and the primacy of light and color in Navajo culture. Navajo Beadwork: Architectures of Light traces the evolution of the art as explained by traders, Navajo consultants, and Navajo beadworkers themselves. It also shares the visions, words, and art of 23 individual artists to reveal the influences on their creativity and show how they go about creating their designs.
As Moore reveals, Navajo beadwork is based on an aggregate of beliefs, categories, and symbols that are individually interpreted and transposed into beaded designs. Most designs are generated from close observation of light in the natural world, then structured according to either Navajo tradition or the newer spirituality of the Native American Church. For many beadworkers, creating designs taps deeply embedded beliefs so that beaded objects reflect their thoughts and prayers, their aesthetic sensibilities, and their sense of being Navajo—but above all, their attention to light and its properties.
No other book offers such an intimate view of this creative process, and its striking color plates attest to the wondrous results. Navajo Beadwork: Architectures of Light is a valuable record of ethnographic research and a rich source of artistic insight for lovers of beadwork and Native American art.
The New Negro Artist in Paris analyzes the experiences and works of six African American artists who lived and worked in Paris during the Jazz Age sculptors Elizabeth Prophet and Augusta Savage, and painters Palmer Hayden, Hale Woodruff, Archibald J. Motley, Jr., and Albert Alexander Smith. More than 120 works of art are analyzed, many never before published.
These artists exhibited the works they created in Paris at prestigious salons in France and in the United States, winning fellowships, grants, and awards. Leininger-Miller argues that it was study abroad that won these artists critical acclaim, establishing their reputations as some of the most significant leaders of the New Negro movement in the visual arts. She begins her study with a history of the debut of African American artists in Paris, 1830–1914, then provides readers with rarely seen profiles of each of the six artists from their birth through the end of their time abroad. Finally, Leininger-Miller examines patterns and differences in these individuals’ backgrounds and development, their patronage in the United States and France, their shared experiences abroad, and the impact their study in Paris had on the rest of their careers.
This is the hardest kind of listening. / And who will care? / Most do not. / It’s all applause, / applause applause. / How is it possible / to ask for more than that?
An honest work, stunningly passionate: Kim Cornwall’s spirit-infused poetry weaves family and myth—strong women, wild landscapes, the search for reconciliation in circumstances beyond control—in a radiant language of pain, solace, wonder, and gratitude. This remarkable first and last collection of poetry celebrates and chronicles the borderless area between joy and suffering, like breath after long submersion: for one must breech the surface/where what we most need/ lives.
There is perhaps no greater constant in religious intuition and experience than the presence of light. In spiritual traditions East and West, light is not only ubiquitous but something that assumes strikingly similar forms in altogether different historical and cultural settings. This study examines light as an aspect of religiously valued experiences and its entailments for mystical theology, philosophy, politics, and religious art.
The essays in this volume make an important contribution to religious studies by proposing that it is misleading to conceive of religious experience in terms of an irreconcilable dichotomy between universality and cultural construction. An esteemed group of contributors, representing the study of Asian and Western religious traditions from a range of disciplinary perspectives, suggests that attention to various forms of divine radiance shows that there is indeed a range of principles that, if not universal, are nevertheless very widely occurring and amenable to fruitful comparative inquiry. What results is a work of enormous scope, demonstrating compelling cross-connections that will be of value to scholars of comparative religions, mysticism, and the relationship between art and the sacred.
* Catherine B. Asher
* Raoul Birnbaum
* Sarah Iles Johnston
* Matthew T. Kapstein
* Andrew Louth
* Paul E. Muller-Ortega
* Elliot R. Wolfson
* Mimi Hall Yiengpruksawan
* Hossein Ziai
What’s in the dark? Countless generations have gazed up at the night sky and asked this question—the same question that cosmologists ask themselves as they study the universe.
The answer turns out to be surprising and rich. The space between stars is filled with an exotic substance called “dark matter” that exerts gravity but does not emit, absorb, or reflect light. The space between galaxies is rife with “dark energy” that creates a sort of cosmic antigravity causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate. Together, dark matter and dark energy account for 95 percent of the content of the universe. News reporters and science journalists routinely talk about these findings using terms that they assume we have a working knowledge of, but do you really understand how astronomers arrive at their findings or what it all means?
Cosmologists face a conundrum: how can we study substances we cannot see, let alone manipulate? A powerful approach is to observe objects whose motion is influenced by gravity. Einstein predicted that gravity can act like a lens to bend light. Today we see hundreds of cases of this—instances where the gravity of a distant galaxy distorts our view of a more distant object, creating multiple images or spectacular arcs on the sky. Gravitational lensing is now a key part of the international quest to understand the invisible substance that surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the universe together.
A Ray of Light in a Sea of Dark Matter offers readers a concise, accessible explanation of how astronomers probe dark matter. Readers quickly gain an understanding of what might be out there, how scientists arrive at their findings, and why this research is important to us. Engaging and insightful, Charles Keeton gives everyone an opportunity to be an active learner and listener in our ever-expanding universe.
Surrender to a wild river and unexpected things can happen. Time on the water can produce moments of pristine clarity or hatch wild thoughts, foster a deep connection with the real world or summon the spiritual.
River of Light: A Conversation with Kabir is centered in one man’s meditations and revelations while traveling on a river. John Morgan spent a week traveling the Copper River in Southcentral Alaska, and the resulting encounters form the heart of this book-length poem. The river’s shifting landscape enriches the poem’s meditative mood while currents shape the poem and the pacing of its lines. The mystic poet Kabir is Morgan’s internal guide and serves as a divine foil through quiet stretches that bring to mind questions about war and human nature. Artwork by distinguished Alaska artist Kesler Woodward is a sublime companion to the text.
A combination of adventurer’s tale and spiritual quest, River of Light: A Conversation with Kabir takes the reader on a soulful journey that is both deeply personal and profoundly universal.
Over nearly three centuries, Jesuit, Franciscan, and Dominican missionaries built a network of churches throughout the “new world” of New Spain. Since the early twentieth century, scholars have studied the colonial architecture of southern New Spain, but they have largely ignored the architecture of the north. However, as this book clearly demonstrates, the colonial architecture of Northern New Spain—an area that encompasses most of the southwestern United States and much of northern Mexico—is strikingly beautiful and rich with meaning. After more than two decades of research, both in the field and in archives around the world, Gloria Fraser Giffords has authored the definitive book on this architecture.
Giffords has a remarkable eye for detail and for images both grand and diminutive. Because so many of the buildings she examines have been destroyed, she sleuthed through historical records in several countries, and she discovered that the architecture and material culture of northern New Spain reveal the influences of five continents. As she examines objects as large as churches or as small as ornamental ceramic tile she illuminates the sometimes subtle, sometimes striking influences of the religious, social, and artistic traditions of Europe (from the beginning of the Christian era through the nineteenth century), of the Muslim countries ringing the Mediterranean (from the seventh through the fifteenth centuries), and of Northern New Spain’s indigenous peoples (whose art influenced the designs of occupying Europeans).
Sanctuaries of Earth, Stone, and Light is a pathbreaking book, featuring 200 stunning photographs and over 300 illustrations ranging from ceremonial garments to detailed floor plans of the churches.
The chorus of the Christian hymn “Amazing Grace” reads, “I once was lost, but now am found, / Was blind but now I see.” Composed by a minister who formerly worked as a slave trader, the song expresses his experience of divine intervention that ultimately caused him to see the error of his ways. This theme of personal awakening is a feature of countless stories throughout history, where the “lost” and the “blind” are saved from darkness and despair by suddenly seeing the light.
In Seeing the Light, Thomas DeGloma explores such accounts of personal awakening, in stories that range from the discovery of a religious truth to remembering a childhood trauma to embracing a new sexual orientation. He reveals a common social pattern: When people discover a life-changing truth, they typically ally with a new community. Individuals then use these autobiographical stories to shape their stances on highly controversial issues such as childhood abuse, war and patriotism, political ideology, human sexuality, and religion. Thus, while such stories are seemingly very personal, they also have a distinctly social nature. Tracing a wide variety of narratives through nearly three thousand years of history, Seeing the Light uncovers the common threads of such stories and reveals the crucial, little-recognized social logic of personal discovery.
In Jamaican dancehalls competition for the video camera's light is stiff, so much so that dancers sometimes bleach their skin to enhance their visibility. In the Bahamas, tuxedoed students roll into prom in tricked-out sedans, staging grand red-carpet entrances that are designed to ensure they are seen being photographed. Throughout the United States and Jamaica friends pose in front of hand-painted backgrounds of Tupac, flashy cars, or brand-name products popularized in hip-hop culture in countless makeshift roadside photography studios. And visual artists such as Kehinde Wiley remix the aesthetic of Western artists with hip-hop culture in their portraiture. In Shine, Krista Thompson examines these and other photographic practices in the Caribbean and United States, arguing that performing for the camera is more important than the final image itself. For the members of these African diasporic communities, seeking out the camera's light—whether from a cell phone, Polaroid, or video camera—provides a means with which to represent themselves in the public sphere. The resulting images, Thompson argues, become their own forms of memory, modernity, value, and social status that allow for cultural formation within and between African diasporic communities.
Don Cusic presents gospel music as part of the history of contemporary Christianity. From the psalms of the early Puritans through the hymns of Isaac Watts and the social activism of the Wesleys, gospel music was established in eighteenth-century America. With the camp meetings songs of the Kentucky Revival and the spirituals and hymns that stemmed from the Civil War and beyond, gospel music grew through the nineteenth century and expanded through new technologies in the twentieth century.
Jones has a lyrical mind and meanders through memory and imagination in his poems, fusing them and making them work to surprise the reader with intriguing and challenging images. The collection builds beautifully, each section nurturing the others, and all of it displays Jones’s fine talent—keenly intelligent, human, and compassionate. His quick, splendid sense of humor surprises the reader, playing one image off another that is seemingly unrelated to the first, yet achieving a sense of rightness in poem after poem.
The horse that, trotting with open heart
Against the wind, achieves bend and flow
Will live forever. So far, so good,
But they never do, until too late,
Bend properly and time spreads from
The momentary hesitations
Of their spines, circles their tossing necks,
Falls from their teeth like rejected oats,
Litters the ground like penitence.
This is where we come in, where the drop
Of time congeals the air and someone
Speaks to the discouraged grass . . .
Tricks of the Light explores the often fraught relationships between domestic animals and humans through mythological figurations, vibrant thought, and late-modern lyrics that seem to test their own boundaries. Vicki Hearne (1946–2001), best known and celebrated today as a writer of strikingly original poetry and prose, was a capable dog and horse trainer, and sometimes controversial animal advocate.
This definitive collection of Hearne’s poetry spans the entirety of her illustrious career, from her first book, Nervous Horses (1980), to never-before-published poems composed on her deathbed. But no matter the source, each of her meditative, metaphysical lyrics possesses that rare combination of philosophical speculation, practical knowledge of animals, and an unusually elegant style unlike that of any other poet writing today. Before her untimely death, Hearne entrusted the manuscript to distinguished poet, scholar, and long-time friend John Hollander, whose introduction provides both critical and personal insight into the poet’s magnum opus. Tricks of the Light—acute, vibrant, and deeply informed—is a sensuous reckoning of the connection between humans and the natural world.
Praise for The Parts of Light
“Hearne . . . strives to capture exactly what she knows she can't—the intense immediacy of animal consciousness, a consciousness free of the moral vagaries and intellectual preoccupations that pockmark human experience. Her style, smooth in some places, choppy in others, reflects both the wholeness of animal presence and the jarring, fragmentary nature of human reason and reflection. Hearne's poems demand participation, refuse passive enjoyment; she dares the reader to stay in the saddle.”—Publishers Weekly
In 1979, Ed Stilley was leading a simple life as a farmer and singer of religious hymns in Hogscald Hollow, a tiny Ozark community south of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Life was filled with hard work and making do for Ed, his wife Eliza, and their five children, who lived in many ways as if the second half of the twentieth century had never happened.
But one day Ed’s life was permanently altered. While plowing his field, he became convinced he was having a heart attack. Ed stopped his work and lay down on the ground. Staring at the sky, he saw himself as a large tortoise struggling to swim across a river. On his back were five small tortoises—his children—clinging to him for survival. And then, as he lay there in the freshly plowed dirt, Ed received a vision from God, telling him that he would be restored to health if he would agree to do one thing: make musical instruments and give them to children.
And so he did. Beginning with a few simple hand tools, Ed worked tirelessly for twenty-five years to create over two hundred instruments, each a crazy quilt of heavy, rough-sawn wood scraps joined with found objects. A rusty door hinge, a steak bone, a stack of dimes, springs, saw blades, pot lids, metal pipes, glass bottles, aerosol cans—Ed used anything he could to build a working guitar, fiddle, or dulcimer. On each instrument Ed inscribed “True Faith, True Light, Have Faith in God.”
True Faith, True Light: The Devotional Art of Ed Stilley documents Ed Stilley’s life and work, giving us a glimpse into a singular life of austere devotion.
During the nineteenth century, Britain became the first gaslit society, with electric lighting arriving in 1878. At the same time, the British government significantly expanded its power to observe and monitor its subjects. How did such enormous changes in the way people saw and were seen affect Victorian culture?
To answer that question, Chris Otter mounts an ambitious history of illumination and vision in Britain, drawing on extensive research into everything from the science of perception and lighting technologies to urban design and government administration. He explores how light facilitated such practices as safe transportation and private reading, as well as institutional efforts to collect knowledge. And he contends that, contrary to presumptions that illumination helped create a society controlled by intrusive surveillance, the new radiance often led to greater personal freedom and was integral to the development of modern liberal society.
The Victorian Eye’s innovative interdisciplinary approach—and generous illustrations—will captivate a range of readers interested in the history of modern Britain, visual culture, technology, and urbanization.
Hans Urs von Balthasar’s vast corpus of theological, philosophical, literary, and pastoral writings remains one of the most impressive achievements in 20th century thought. In light of liberation theology and now the papacy of Francis, however, a theological affirmation of the option for the poor remains dangerously weak in Balthasar’s corpus. Von Balthasar and the Option for the Poor offers a sympathetic reforming of Balthasar’s account of the drama of salvation – what he calls “theodramatics” – in response to this weakness.
Winner of the 2017 National Jewish Book Award, poetry category
What is it like living today in the chaos of a city that is at once brutal and beautiful, heir to immigrant ancestors "who supposed their children's children would be rich and free?" What is it to live in the chaos of a world driven by "intolerable, unquenchable human desire?" How do we cope with all the wars? In the midst of the dark matter and dark energy of the universe, do we know what train we're on? In this cornucopia of a book, Ostriker finds herself immersed in phenomena ranging from a first snowfall in New York City to the Tibetan diaspora, asking questions that have no reply, writing poems in which "the arrow may be blown off course by storm and returned by miracle."
By the mid-1960s, New American poets and Underground filmmakers had established a vibrant community. Allen Ginsberg, John Ashbery, Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley, and Frank O’Hara joined Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, Robert Frank, Alfred Leslie, and Andy Warhol to hang out, make films, read poems, fight censorship, end racism, and shut down the Vietnam War. Their personal, political, and artistic collaborations led them to rethink the moving picture and the lyric, resulting in an extraordinary profusion of poetry/film hybrids.
Drawing on unpublished correspondences and personal interviews with key figures in the innovative poetry and film communities, Daniel Kane’s stunningly erudite and accessible work not only provides a fresh look at avant-garde poetry and film but also encourages readers to rethink the artistic scenes of the 1960s and today. We Saw the Light will reframe the very way we talk about how film influences poetry and force us to think anew about the radical ways in which art is created and in turn influences subsequent work.