If mediatization has surprisingly revealed the secret life of inert matter and the 'face of things', the flipside of this has been the petrification of living organisms, an invasion of stone bodies in a state of suspended animation. Within a contemporary imaginary pervaded by new forms of animism, the paradigm of death looms large in many areas of artistic experimentation, pushing the modern body towards mineral modes of being which revive ancient myths of flesh-made-stone and the issue of the monument. Scholars in media, visual culture and the arts propose studies of bodies of stone, from actors simulating statues to the transmutation of the filmic body into a fossil; from the real treatment of the cadaver as a mineral living object to the rediscovery of materials such as wax; from the quest for a "thermal" equivalence between stone and flesh to the transformation of the biomedical body into a living monument.
Lyricism in poetry dominated the Chinese literary tradition for three millenia. Lyric aesthetics captured the world in verse, and compelled people to seek the totalistic behind the contingent, the abiding behind the fluid, and the perfect behind the incomplete. The development of the novel and the cultural milieu that produced it, however, rendered this lyric ideal more prosaic, both in everyday life and in literature.
The Chinese Garden as Lyric Enclave places The Story of the Stone in relation to this history. Read as an allegory of the fate of lyricism, The Stone is a parodic response to both the lyrical phenomena in the literary and social worlds and the cosmological beliefs on which Chinese lyricism is based. Thus we can trace the social life of lyricism through different cultural zones: the world where the novel was produced, the world of fiction, and the narrative universe of the story itself. The garden, in both the novel and cultural tradition, is a link between all three zones.
Chi Xiao breaks new ground in understanding The Story of the Stone, blending his extensive knowledge of traditional Chinese fiction with a remarkably crafted history of the garden as an enduring feature of elite Chinese life. By focusing on the role of the garden in The Stone, Xiao Chi reveals the special linkages between the world of fiction, the world that produced the novel, and the narrative universe of the story itself.
Nineteenth-century neoclassical sculpture was a highly politicized international movement. Based in Rome, many expatriate American sculptors created works that represented black female subjects in compelling and problematic ways. Rejecting pigment as dangerous and sensual, adherence to white marble abandoned the racialization of the black body by skin color.
In The Color of Stone, Charmaine A. Nelson brilliantly analyzes a key, but often neglected, aspect of neoclassical sculpture—color. Considering three major works—Hiram Powers’s Greek Slave, William Wetmore Story’s Cleopatra, and Edmonia Lewis’s Death of Cleopatra—she explores the intersection of race, sex, and class to reveal the meanings each work holds in terms of colonial histories of visual representation as well as issues of artistic production, identity, and subjectivity. She also juxtaposes these sculptures with other types of art to scrutinize prevalent racial discourses and to examine how the black female subject was made visible in high art.
By establishing the centrality of race within the discussion of neoclassical sculpture, Nelson provides a model for a black feminist art history that at once questions and destabilizes canonical texts.
Charmaine A. Nelson is assistant professor of art history at McGill University.
A major contribution to both art history and Latin American studies, A Culture of Stone offers sophisticated new insights into Inka culture and the interpretation of non-Western art. Carolyn Dean focuses on rock outcrops masterfully integrated into Inka architecture, exquisitely worked masonry, and freestanding sacred rocks, explaining how certain stones took on lives of their own and played a vital role in the unfolding of Inka history. Examining the multiple uses of stone, she argues that the Inka understood building in stone as a way of ordering the chaos of unordered nature, converting untamed spaces into domesticated places, and laying claim to new territories. Dean contends that understanding what the rocks signified requires seeing them as the Inka saw them: as potentially animate, sentient, and sacred. Through careful analysis of Inka stonework, colonial-period accounts of the Inka, and contemporary ethnographic and folkloric studies of indigenous Andean culture, Dean reconstructs the relationships between stonework and other aspects of Inka life, including imperial expansion, worship, and agriculture. She also scrutinizes meanings imposed on Inka stone by the colonial Spanish and, later, by tourism and the tourist industry. A Culture of Stone is a compelling multidisciplinary argument for rethinking how we see and comprehend the Inka past.
The Steven C. Minkin (Union Chapel) Paleozoic Footprint Site ranks among the most important fossil sites in the world today, and Footprints in Stone recounts the accidental revelation of its existence and detailed findings about its fossil record.
Currently 2,500 miles from the equator and more than 250 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico, the Minkin site was a swampy tropical forest adjacent to a tidal flat during the Coal Age or Carboniferous Period more than 300 million years ago. That fecund strand of sand and mud at the ocean’s edge teemed with the earth’s earliest reptiles as well as amphibians, fish, horseshoe crabs, spiders, jumping insects, and other fascinating organisms. Unlike dinosaurs and other large animals whose sturdy bodies left hard fossil records, most of these small, soft-bodied creatures left no concrete remains. But they did leave something else. Preserved in the site’s coal beds along with insect wings and beautifully textured patterns of primeval plants are their footprints, fossilized animal tracks from which modern paleontologists can glean many valuable insights about their physical anatomies and behaviors.
The paleontological examination of fossil tracks is now the cutting-edge of contemporary scholarship, and the Minkin site is the first and largest site of its kind in eastern North America. Discovered by a local high school science teacher, the site provides both professional and amateur paleontologists around the world with a wealth of fossil track samples along with an inspirational story for amateur explorers and collectors.
Authoritative and extensively illustrated, Footprints in Stone brings together the contributions of many geologists and paleontologists who photographed, documented, and analyzed the Minkin site’s fossil trackways. An engrossing tale of its serendipitous discovery and a detailed study of its fossil records, Footprints in Stone is a landmark publication in the history of paleontology.
We have come to admire Buddhism for being profound but accessible, as much a lifestyle as a religion. The credit for creating Buddhism goes to the Buddha, a figure widely respected across the Western world for his philosophical insight, his teachings of nonviolence, and his practice of meditation. But who was this Buddha, and how did he become the Buddha we know and love today?
Leading historian of Buddhism Donald S. Lopez Jr. tells the story of how various idols carved in stone—variously named Beddou, Codam, Xaca, and Fo—became the man of flesh and blood that we know simply as the Buddha. He reveals that the positive view of the Buddha in Europe and America is rather recent, originating a little more than a hundred and fifty years ago. For centuries, the Buddha was condemned by Western writers as the most dangerous idol of the Orient. He was a demon, the murderer of his mother, a purveyor of idolatry.
Lopez provides an engaging history of depictions of the Buddha from classical accounts and medieval stories to the testimonies of European travelers, diplomats, soldiers, and missionaries. He shows that centuries of hostility toward the Buddha changed dramatically in the nineteenth century, when the teachings of the Buddha, having disappeared from India by the fourteenth century, were read by European scholars newly proficient in Asian languages. At the same time, the traditional view of the Buddha persisted in Asia, where he was revered as much for his supernatural powers as for his philosophical insights. From Stone to Flesh follows the twists and turns of these Eastern and Western notions of the Buddha, leading finally to his triumph as the founder of a world religion.
Emily Pérez’s House of Sugar, House of Stone weaves Grimm’s Fairy Tales into the business of modern life—laptops and late nights with sleepless children—to explore an undercurrent of terror about living in a family. These poems slip between the worlds of the wolf-haunted forest and the harried house of the contemporary artist/parent, until the two blend and bleed into each other. Children learn not to trust their parents, while simultaneously yearning to win back their affections. Parents similarly question their own trustworthiness as protectors. They are devoured by children, which leaves them equally apt to dismember a lion to protect their young as they are to leave those children alone in the woods. These musical, emotionally ruthless pieces occasionally find respite, but Perez reminds us that despite our best efforts to map our way to safety: “Either way / you’re lost. Either way / you’ll wander into deeper woods.”
The Indians of northeastern North America are known to us primarily through reports and descriptions written by European explorers, clergy, and settlers, and through archaeological evidence. An additional invaluable source of information is the interpretation of rock art images and their relationship to native peoples for recording practical matters or information, as expressions of their legends and spiritual traditions, or as simple doodling or graffiti. The images in this book connect us directly to the Indian peoples of the Northeast, mainly Algonkian tribes inhabiting eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland and the lower Potomac River Valley, New York, New Jersey, the six New EnglandStates, and Atlantic Canada. Lenik provides a full range of rock art appearances in the study area, including some dendroglyphs, pictographs, and a selection of portable rock objects. By providing a full analysis and synthesis of the data, including the types and distribution of the glyphs, and interpretations of their meaning to the native peoples, Lenik reveals a wealth of new information on the culture and lifeways of the Indians of the Northeast.
No Walls of Stone is a unique collection of short fiction, essays, verse, and drama entirely by deaf and hard of hearing writers. This volume presents a rich variety of superb work by such well-known authors as Robert Panara, Anne McDonald, David Wright, and Jack Clemo, and exciting contributions by other previously unpublished, gifted writers.
In a literature where recognition is hard earned, this anthology demonstrates what distinguishes contemporary Bolivian fiction and poetry from the rest of Latin American writing and shows clearly how Bolivian writers relate to that tradition.
Bolivia is a landlocked nation of mountains and high, arid plains, a place native writer Jesús Urzagasti calls the “Land of Silence.” This crucible of indigenous and European influences has contributed to the creation of a writing style that is always down-to-earth, often grittily realistic.
From this fundamental base, Bolivian writers express provincial customs and values, decry political oppression, and sound universal themes of isolation, even resignation; but, more often, they show the will to move forward as a people. This rich thematic mix encourages what critic Edgar Lora has called the “dynamic and vigorous social dis course” and the resulting “subversive, militant, and revolutionary” qualities of Bolivian literature.
Editor Sandra Reyes has gathered a panoramic sampling of twenty two poets and eighteen fiction writers. Focusing predominantly on living, practicing writers, this anthology defines the current literary voice of Bolivia and gives us a distillation of the contemporary Bolivian consciousness.
Most people who are familiar with the Painted Desert of northeastern Arizona know it only from having pulled off at the Petrified Forest exit on Interstate 40. If they happen to come by it at midday, as most do, they find a landscape drained of color and flattened under the direct sunlight.
But this remote pocket of the Arizona desert, sandwiched between the Little Colorado River on one side and bold escarpments on the other, is much more than most tourists ever experience. An ethereal landscape of sculpted rock, wind-fluted cliffs, and elegantly drifting sand, the Painted Desert is a rich storehouse of natural beauty, colorful history, and scientific wonders. Here the strongest winds in Arizona blow across extensive dunefields, where less than ten inches of rain falls each year and only a few desert-savvy Navajo are able to live.
Now, for the first time award-winning writer Scott Thybony and freelance photographer David Edwards offer an intimate look at a place that remains inhospitable and inaccessible to so many. They share insights about the geology, paleontology, anthropology, and human history of the region as well as personal stories that dispel the misconceptions and mysteries that surround this delicate and difficult landscape.
With fifteen stunning photographs gracing the text, this book offers a vibrant portrait of one of the Southwest’s most barren, and most colorful landscapes.
From ancient Persia to the Third Reich, imperial powers have built cities in their image, seeking to reflect their power and influence through a show of magnificence and a reflection of their values. Statues, pictures, temples, palaces—all combine to produce the necessary justification for the wielding of power while intimidating opponents. In Power in Stone, Geoffrey Parker traces the very nature of power through history by exploring the structural symbolism of these cities.
Traveling from Persepolis to Constantinople, Saint Petersburg to Beijing and Delhi, Parker considers how these structures and monuments were brought together to make the most powerful statement and how that power was wielded to the greatest advantage. He examines imperial leaders, their architects, and their engineers to create a new understanding of the relationship among buildings, design, and power. He concludes with a look at the changing nature of power in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries and the way this is reflected symbolically in contemporary buildings and urban plans. With illuminating images, Power in Stone is a fascinating history of some of the world’s most intriguing cities, past and present.
Rainbows of Stone
Ralph Salisbury University of Arizona Press, 2000 Library of Congress PS501.S85 vol. 43 | Dewey Decimal 810.80054
Son of a Cherokee-English father and an Irish mother, Ralph Salisbury grew up among storytellers and has shared his family's tales and experiences in seven previous books of prose and poetry. Now in Rainbows of Stone he returns with a striking collection of poems that interweaves family tales with personal and tribal history.
Salisbury conjures images that define his life, from the vanishing farming and hunting traditions with which he was raised to his experiences in World War II as a member of a bomber crew. He writes of himself and of Indian people as Vanishing Americans—vanishing into the mingling of races—and sees himself as a pacifistic patriot concerned that we not continue the destructive reliance on war that marks our history.
Writing as one who is "not part Indian, part white, but wholly both," Salisbury has produced a haunting, powerful work that expresses his devotion to the Cherokee religion, its fidelity to its forebears, and its harmony with the forces of Nature. For all concerned with ecology, social justice, and peace, Rainbows of Stone conveys a growing awareness of the world and a sense of how each individual connects with the universal and timeless realities of every other human being.
Ancient Athenians were known to reuse stone artifacts, architectural blocks, and public statuary in the creation of new buildings and monuments. However, these construction decisions went beyond mere pragmatics: they were often a visible mechanism for shaping communal memory, especially in periods of profound and challenging social or political transformation.
Sarah Rous develops the concept of upcycling to refer to this meaningful reclamation, the intentionality of reemploying each particular object for its specific new context. The upcycling approach drives innovative reinterpretations of diverse cases, including column drums built into fortification walls, recut inscriptions, monument renovations, and the wholesale relocation of buildings. Using archaeological, literary, and epigraphic evidence from more than eight centuries of Athenian history, Rous's investigation connects seemingly disparate instances of the reuse of building materials. She focuses on agency, offering an alternative to the traditional discourse on spolia. Reset in Stone illuminates a vital practice through which Athenians shaped social memory in the physical realm, literally building their past into their city.
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.
In the final decades of the Manchu Qing dynasty in China, technologies such as the phonograph, telephone, telegraph, and photography were both new and foreign. In The Stone and the Wireless Shaoling Ma analyzes diplomatic diaries, early science fiction, feminist poetry, photography, telegrams, and other archival texts, and shows how writers, intellectuals, reformers, and revolutionaries theorized what media does despite lacking a vocabulary to do so. Media defines the dynamics between technologies and their social or cultural forms, between devices or communicative processes, and their representations in texts and images. More than simply reexamining late Qing China's political upheavals and modernizing energies through the lens of media, Ma shows that a new culture of mediation was helping to shape the very distinctions between politics, gender dynamics, economics, and science and technology. Ma contends that mediation lies not only at the heart of Chinese media history, but of media history writ large.
Chaco Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, Mesa Verde, Hovenweep . . . For many, such historic places evoke images of stone ruins, cliff dwellings, pot shards, and petroglyphs. For others, they recall ancestry. Remnants of the American Southwest's ancestral Puebloan peoples (sometimes known as Anasazi) have mystified and tantalized explorers, settlers, archaeologists, artists, and other visitors for centuries. And for a select group of writers, these ancient inhabitants have been a profound source of inspiration.
Collected here are more than fifty selections from a striking body of literature about the prehistoric Southwest: essays, stories, travelers' reports, and poems spanning more than four centuries of visitation. They include timeless writings such as John Wesley Powell's The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Tributaries and Frank Hamilton Cushing's "Life at Zuni," plus contemporary classics ranging from Colin Fletcher's The Man Who Walked Through Time to Wallace Stegner's Beyond the Hundredth Meridian to Edward Abbey's "The Great American Desert." Reuben Ellis's introduction brings contemporary insight and continuity to the collection, and a section on "reading in place" invites readers to experience these great works amidst the landscapes that inspired them. For anyone who loves to roam ancient lands steeped in mystery, Stories and Stone is an incomparable companion that will enhance their enjoyment.
Vasily Konovalenko’s unique, dynamic, and theatrical sculptures stand alone in the gem-carving world—bawdy but not salacious, political but not diplomatic, boisterous and exuberant yet occasionally sensitive. Stories in Stone offers the first comprehensive treatment of the life of this little-known Russian artist and the remarkable history of his wonderful sculptures.
Part art catalogue and part life history, Stories in Stone tells the tale of Konovalenko’s impressive works, explaining their conception, creation, and symbolism. Each handcrafted figure depicts a scene from life in the Soviet Union—a bowman hunting snow geese, a woman reposing in a hot spring surrounded by ice, peasants spinning wool, a pair of gulag prisoners sawing lumber—painstakingly rendered in precious stones and metals. The materials used to make the figurines are worth millions of dollars, but as cultural artifacts, the sculptures are priceless. Author Stephen Nash draws upon oral history and archival research to detail the life of their creator, revealing a rags-to-riches and life-imitates-art narrative full of Cold War intrigue, Communist persecution, and capitalist exploitation.
Augmented by Richard M. Wicker’s exquisite and revelatory photographs of sixty-five Konovalenko sculptures from museums, state agencies, and private collections around the world, Stories in Stone is a visually stunning glimpse into a unique corner of Russian art and cultural history, the craft and science of gem carving, and the life of a Russian artist and immigrant who loved people everywhere.
Co-published with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, home to the most significant collection of Russian gem-carving sculptures by Vasily Konovalenko in the world.
In this pathbreaking study of three of the most familiar texts in the Chinese tradition—all concerning stones endowed with magical properties—Jing Wang develops a monumental reconstruction of ancient Chinese stone lore. Wang’s thorough and systematic comparison of these classic works illuminates the various tellings of the stone story and provides new insight into major topics in traditional Chinese literature. Bringing together Chinese myth, religion, folklore, art, and literature, this book is the first in any language to amass the sources of stone myth and stone lore in Chinese culture. Uniting classical Chinese studies with contemporary Western theoretical concerns, Wang examines these stone narratives by analyzing intertextuality within Chinese traditions. She offers revelatory interpretations to long-standing critical issues, such as the paradoxical character of the monkey in The Journey to the West, the circularity of narrative logic in The Dream of the Red Chamber, and the structural necessity of the stone tablet in Water Margin. By both challenging and incorporating traditional sinological scholarship, Wang’s The Story of Stone reveals the ideological ramifications of these three literary works on Chinese cultural history and makes the past relevant to contemporary intellectual discourse. Specialists in Chinese literature and culture, comparative literature, literary theory, and religious studies will find much of interest in this outstanding work, which is sure to become a standard reference on the subject.
From Delicate Arch to the Zion Narrows, Utah’s five national parks and eight national monuments are home to some of America’s most amazing scenic treasures, created over long expanses of geologic time. In Wonders of Sand and Stone, Frederick H. Swanson traces the recent human story behind the creation of these places as part of a protected mini-empire of public lands.
Drawing on extensive historical research, Swanson presents little-known accounts of people who saw in these sculptured landscapes something worth protecting. Readers are introduced to the region’s early explorers, scientists, artists, and travelers as well as the local residents and tourism promoters who worked with the National Park Service to build the system of parks and monuments we know today, when Utah’s national parks and monuments face multiple challenges from increased human use and from development outside their borders. As scientists continue to uncover the astonishing diversity of life in these desert and mountain landscapes, and archaeologists and Native Americans document their rich cultural resources, the management of these federal lands remains critically important. Swanson provides us with a detailed and timely background to advance and inform discussions about what form that management should take.
Whether done by Stone Age hunters or artisans in ancient civilizations, the transformation of resistant stone into useful implements required skills with a high level of sophistication. Because stone tools are durable, today we have a lithic record to explain past behavior and the evolution of culture over long spans. Interpretive and analytical approaches to the study of stone tools, however, are often treated as independent, disconnected specialties. Works in Stone provides a broad look at the field of lithic analysis by bringing together a cross section of recent research. Scholars present a diverse range of concepts and methods with case studies that extend to every continent and contexts ranging from the Paleolithic to late prehistory. Showcasing the latest research of lithic analysts, Works in Stone provides a cohesive overview of recent methods and conclusions.
Is it “Stalinist” for a formerly communist country to tear down a statue of Stalin? Should the Confederate flag be allowed to fly over the South Carolina state capitol? Is it possible for America to honor General Custer and the Sioux Nation, Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln? Indeed, can a liberal, multicultural society memorialize anyone at all, or is it committed to a strict neutrality about the quality of the lives led by its citizens?
In Written in Stone, legal scholar Sanford Levinson considers the tangled responses of ever-changing societies to the monuments and commemorations created by past regimes or outmoded cultural and political systems. Drawing on examples from Albania to Zimbabwe, from Moscow to Managua, and paying particular attention to examples throughout the American South, Levinson looks at social and legal arguments regarding the display, construction, modification, and destruction of public monuments. He asks what kinds of claims the past has on the present, particularly if the present is defined in dramatic opposition to its past values. In addition, he addresses the possibilities for responding to the use and abuse of public spaces and explores how a culture might memorialize its historical figures and events in ways that are beneficial to all its members.
Written in Stone is a meditation on how national cultures have been or may yet be defined through the deployment of public monuments. It adds a thoughtful and crucial voice into debates surrounding historical accuracy and representation, and will be welcomed by the many readers concerned with such issues.
Twentieth Anniversary Edition with a new preface and afterword
From the removal of Confederate monuments in New Orleans in the spring of 2017 to the violent aftermath of the white nationalist march on the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville later that summer, debates and conflicts over the memorialization of Confederate “heroes” have stormed to the forefront of popular American political and cultural discourse. In Written in Stone Sanford Levinson considers the tangled responses to controversial monuments and commemorations while examining how those with political power configure public spaces in ways that shape public memory and politics. Paying particular attention to the American South, though drawing examples as well from elsewhere in the United States and throughout the world, Levinson shows how the social and legal arguments regarding the display, construction, modification, and destruction of public monuments mark the seemingly endless confrontation over the symbolism attached to public space.
This twentieth anniversary edition of Written in Stone includes a new preface and an extensive afterword that takes account of recent events in cities, schools and universities, and public spaces throughout the United States and elsewhere. Twenty years on, Levinson's work is more timely and relevant than ever.
For twenty years, the Poets on Poetry series, under the editorship of Donald Hall, has provided readers with a variety of prose reflections, interviews, essays, and other works by America's leading contemporary poets. With Written in Water, Written in Stone, Martin Lammon celebrates the longevity and literary success of the series by gathering together exemplary selections from many of its volumes. Organized by theme ranging from language and form, politics and poetry, to the literary industry, Written in Water, Written in Stone offers a remarkable survey of the salient issues that concern contemporary poets and their readers.
Included are selections from, among others, Robert Bly, Hayden Carruth, Amy Clampitt, Robert Creeley, Tess Gallagher, Donald Hall, Robert Hayden, Galway Kinnell, Richard Kostelanetz, Maxine Kumin, Philip Levine, Marge Piercy, Anne Sexton, Charles Simic, Louis Simpson, William Stafford, Diane Wakoski, Charles Wright, and James Wright. This diverse collection of popular contemporary poets is sure to appeal to a wide range of readers.
Martin Lammon teaches creative writing at Fairmont State College. He is a poet and editor of the literary magazine Kestrel.