How we create and organize knowledge is the theme of this major achievement by Umberto Eco. Demonstrating once again his inimitable ability to bridge ancient, medieval, and modern modes of thought, he offers here a brilliant illustration of his longstanding argument that problems of interpretation can be solved only in historical context.
The worldwide prominence of snakes in religion, myth, and folklore underscores our deep connection to the serpent - but why, when so few of us have firsthand experience? The surprising answer, this book suggests, lies in the singular impact of snakes on primate evolution. Predation pressure from snakes, Lynne Isbell tells us, is ultimately responsible for the superior vision and large brains of primates - and for a critical aspect of human evolution.
In 1815, Goethe gave symbolic expression to his intense relationship with Marianne Willemer, a recently married woman thirty-five years his junior. He gave her a leaf from the ginkgo tree, explaining that, like its deeply cleft yet still whole leaf, he was "single yet twofold." Although it is not known if their relationship was ever consummated, they did exchange love poetry, and Goethe published several of Marianne's poems in his West-East Divan without crediting her authorship.
In this beautiful little book, renowned Goethe scholar Siegfried Unseld considers what this episode means to our estimation of a writer many consider nearly godlike in stature. Unseld begins by exploring the botanical and medical lore of the ginkgo, including the use of its nut as an aphrodisiac and anti-aging serum. He then delves into Goethe's writings for the light they shed on his relationship with Marianne. Unseld reveals Goethe as a great yet human being, subject, as any other man, to the vagaries of passion.
Our thoughts are shaped as much by what things make of us as by what we make of them. Lyric poetry is especially concerned with things and their relationship to thought, sense, and understanding. In Romantic Things, Mary Jacobus explores the world of objects and phenomena in nature as expressed in Romantic poetry alongside the theme of sentience and sensory deprivation in literature and art.
Jacobus discusses objects and attributes that test our perceptions and preoccupy both Romantic poetry and modern philosophy. John Clare, John Constable, Rainer Maria Rilke, W. G. Sebald, and Gerhard Richter make appearances around the central figure of William Wordsworth as Jacobus explores trees, rocks, clouds, breath, sleep, deafness, and blindness in their work. While she thinks through these things, she is assisted by the writings of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jacques Derrida, and Jean-Luc Nancy. Helping us think more deeply about things that are at once visible and invisible, seen and unseen, felt and unfeeling, Romantic Things opens our eyes to what has been previously overlooked in lyric and Romantic poetry.
Nature has published news about the history of life ever since its first issue in 1869, in which T. H. Huxley ("Darwin's bulldog") wrote about Triassic dinosaurs. In recent years, the field has enjoyed a tremendous flowering due to new investigative techniques drawn from cladistics (a revolutionary method for charting evolutionary relationships) and molecular biology.
Shaking the Tree brings together nineteen review articles written for Nature over the past decade by many of the major figures in paleontology and evolution, from Stephen Jay Gould to Simon Conway Morris. Each article is brief, accessible, and opinionated, providing "shoot from the hip" accounts of the latest news and debates. Topics covered include major extinction events, homeotic genes and body plans, the origin and evolution of the primates, and reconstructions of phylogenetic trees for a wide variety of groups. The editor, Henry Gee, gives new commentary and updated references.
Shaking the Tree is a one-stop resource for engaging overviews of the latest research in the history of life on Earth.
Tree of Heaven
James Mckean University of Iowa Press, 1995 Library of Congress PS3563.C3737T7 1995 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
This second book by James McKean displays a large, dignified, and precise talent—McKean is always looking and reaching out to the difficult world, pulling it to him for examination. Although beginning with outward themes of travels and crossings, Tree of Heaven circles in the end to the journeys of the inner life: the struggle to understand, the ability to see, to suffer the trials of illness and death, to survive love and longing, learning when to leave things as they are, when to let go. McKean's accomplished voice is quiet but firm, at times full of wonder, exploring the personal and discovering what salvation there is in rhythm and words.
On the Brink of the Precipice, the first volume of the trilogy The Tree of Life, describes the lives of the novel’s ten protagonists in the Lodz Ghetto before the outbreak of World War II. Chava Rosenfarb, herself a survivor of the Lodz Ghetto, Auschwitz, and Bergen-Belsen, draws on her own history to create realistic characters who struggle daily to retain a sense of humanity and dignity despite the physical and psychological effects of ghetto life. Although the novel depicts horrendous experiences, the light of faith in the human spirit shines through this novel’s every page.
Winner of the 1972 J. J. Segal Prize and the 1979 Manger Prize for Yiddish Literature
The third volume in this powerful trilogy, The Cattle Cars Are Waiting follows the tragic fate of the inhabitants of the ghetto. Chava Rosenfarb, herself a survivor of the Lodz Ghetto, Auschwitz, and Bergen-Belsen, draws on her own history to create characters who struggle daily to retain a sense of humanity and dignity despite the physical and psychological effects of ghetto life. Although the novel depicts horrendous experiences, the light of faith in the human spirit shines through every page.
Winner, Georges Bugnet Award for Best Novel, Writers Guild of Alberta
This volume describes the lives of the novel’s protagonists in the Lodz Ghetto at the beginning of World War II. Chava Rosenfarb, herself a survivor of the Lodz Ghetto, Auschwitz, and Bergen-Belsen, draws on her own history to create realistic characters who struggle daily to retain a sense of humanity and dignity despite the physical and psychological effects of ghetto life. Although horrendous experiences are depicted, the light of faith in the human spirit shines through this novel’s every page.
Political violence does not end with the last death. A common feature of mass murder has been the attempt at destroying any memory of victims, with the aim of eliminating them from history. Perpetrators seek not only to eliminate a perceived threat, but also to eradicate any possibility of alternate, competing social and national histories. In his timely and important book, Unchopping a Tree, Ernesto Verdeja develops a critical justification for why transitional justice works. He asks, “What is the balance between punishment and forgiveness? And, “What are the stakes in reconciling?”
Employing a normative theory of reconciliation that differs from prevailing approaches, Verdeja outlines a concept that emphasizes the importance of shared notions of moral respect and tolerance among adversaries in transitional societies. Drawing heavily from cases such as reconciliation efforts in Latin America and Africa—and interviews with people involved in such efforts—Verdeja debates how best to envision reconciliation while remaining realistic about the very significant practical obstacles such efforts face
Unchopping a Tree addresses the core concept of respect across four different social levels—political, institutional, civil society, and interpersonal—to explain the promise and challenges to securing reconciliation and broader social regeneration.