In six progressive essays, thinker Alan Watts explores the connection among non secular adventure and traditional life—and the necessity for them to coexist inside of every one people. With essays on “cosmic recognition” (including Watts’ account of his personal ventures into this inward realm); the paradoxes of self-consciousness; LSD and attention; and the fake competition of spirit and subject, This Is It and different Essays on Zen and religious event is a very mind-opening assortment.
By Jessica Hopper
By Jon Ronson
New York Times–bestselling writer of The Psychopath Test Jon Ronson writes in regards to the darkish, uncanny facets of humanity with readability and humor. Lost at Sea—now with new material—reveals how deep our collective craziness lies, even within the such a lot mundane circumstances.
Ronson investigates the unusual issues we’re keen to think in, from robots programmed with our family’ personalities to indigo little ones to the Insane Clown Posse’s juggalo lovers. He appears at traditional lives that tackle striking views. between them: a pop singer whose maximum ardour is the arrival alien invasion, assisted-suicide practitioners, and an Alaskan town’s Christmas-induced highschool mass-murder plot. He explores these kind of stories with a feeling of upper objective and universality, but they're tales now not concerning the edge of society. they're approximately we all. Incisive and hilarious, poignant and maddening, revealing and disturbing—Ronson writes approximately our glossy international, and divulges how deep our collective craziness lies, and the chaos stirring on the fringe of our day-by-day lives.
By David Foster Wallace
Brilliant, astonishing, never-before-collected nonfiction writings via "one of America's such a lot bold and proficient writers." (Los Angeles occasions e-book Review).
Both Flesh and Not gathers fifteen of Wallace's seminal essays, all released in ebook shape for the 1st time.
Never has Wallace's doubtless unending interest been extra obvious than during this compilation of labor spanning approximately twenty years of writing. right here, Wallace turns his severe eye with equivalent enthusiasm towards Roger Federer and Jorge Luis Borges; Terminator 2 and The better of the Prose Poem; the character of being a fiction author and the obstacle of defining the essay; the simplest underappreciated novels and the English language's such a lot irksome misused phrases; and lots more and plenty more.
Both Flesh and Not restores Wallace's essays as initially written, and it contains a choice from his own vocabulary record, an meeting of bizarre phrases and definitions.
By Simon J. Bronner
This vigorous reader strains the hunt for American culture and nationwide identification via folklore and folklife from the nineteenth century to the current. via an enticing set of essays, Folk Nation indicates how American thinkers and leaders have used folklore to specific the that means in their nation. Simon Bronner has conscientiously chosen statements through public intellectuals and renowned writers in addition to by means of students, all selected for his or her clarity and importance as provocative texts in the course of their time. the typical thread operating all through is the worth of folklore in expressing or denying an American nationwide tradition.
This textual content increases well timed matters concerning the personality of yankee tradition and the path of yankee society. The essays express the improvement of perspectives of yankee nationalism, multiculturalism, and commercialism. Provocative themes comprise debates over the connection among pop culture and people tradition, the distinctiveness of an American literature and humanities in line with people assets, the fabrication of people heroes comparable to Pecos invoice and Paul Bunyan as propaganda for patriotism and nationalism, the romanticizations of vernacular tradition via popularizers equivalent to Walt Disney and Ben Botkin, using folklore for ethnocentric reasons, and the political deployment of folklore by way of conservatives as logos of "traditional values" and civil virtues and via liberals as logos of multiculturalism and tolerance of other existence.
The ebook additionally lines the debate over who conveyed the parable of "America." was once it the nation's poets and artists, its teachers, its politicians and leaders, its groups and native academic associations, its subject matter parks and gala's, its motion picture moguls and entertainers? Folk Nation indicates how the method of defining the yank mystique via folklore used to be on the middle of debates between writers and thinkers in regards to the price of Davey Crockett, John Henry, quilts, cowboys, and immigrants as symbols of the USA.
By Mario Vargas Llosa
One of Latin Am erica's such a lot garlanded novelists―and the recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature―Mario Vargas Llosa is usually an acute and wide-ranging cultural critic and an acerbic political commentator. Touchstones collects Vargas Llosa's fantastic readings of seminal twentieth-century novels, from Heart of Darkness to The Tin Drum; incisive essays on political and social thinkers; and modern items on Sept. 11 and the instant aftermath of the warfare in Iraq.
Fantastically clever, encouraged, and brilliant, Touchstones is a landmark selection of essays from one of many world's top writers and intellectuals.
By Martin W. Sandler
Stories that background forgot but readers will remember
The in simple terms factor new within the world,” acknowledged Harry S. Truman, is the background you don't know.” during this clean and interesting selection of historic vignettes, Martin W. Sandler (author of Resolute and Atlantic Ocean) restores to reminiscence vital occasions, humans, and advancements which have been misplaced to time.
Though slightly recognized at the present time, those are significant historic tales, from Ziryab, an eighth-century black slave whose impact on track, delicacies, model, and manners nonetheless reverberates, to Cahokia, a twelfth century urban north of the Rio Grande, which at its zenith contained a inhabitants predicted to were as excessive as 40,000 (more than any modern eu city), to the worst peacetime maritime catastrophe ever, the explosion and sinking of the Sultana at the Mississippi in 1865.
These stories are faraway from minutiae; they remove darkness from little-known American and international achievements, ingenuity, heroics, errors, and tragedies that modified the process heritage and resonate today.
By René Girard
Auteur du très bel essai de critique littéraire Mensonge romantique et vérité romanesque, René Girard, qui enseigne dans une grande université américaine, se suggest dans son nouvel ouvrage, l. a. Violence et le Sacré, de remonter jusqu'aux origines de tout l'édifice culturel et social qui est au centre de notre civilisation.
L'enquête s'appuie à l. a. fois sur une relecture très personnelle des tragiques grecs et sur une dialogue serrée des principaux systèmes, sociologiques, ethnologiques, psychanalytiques, qui ont tenté de donner une explication globale des premiers rites et des premières associations culturelles et sociales. Freud en particulier est pris vivement à partie, ou plutôt ses successeurs, peu clairvoyants au sujet de certaines intuitions de Totem et tabou. René Girard, après avoir critiqué les insuffisances de l. a. théorie du complexe d'oedipe, met l'accent sur le rôle de l. a. " violence fondatrice " et sur celui de l. a. " victime émissaire ", négligés jusqu'à présent par tous les chercheurs, et pourtant fondamentaux.
S'inscrivant dans le courant de los angeles révision, devenue nécessaire, du freudisme, tenant compte de Lévi-Strauss et du meilleur structuralisme souvent déformé par les épigones, appelé à soulever de multiples discussions, l'essai audacieux et percutant de René Girard ressortit aussi bien au domaine des sciences humaines qu'à celui de l. a. littérature. Une vaste tradition ethnologique, des références de most advantageous ordre et toujours incontestables permettent à l'auteur de construire une théorie nouvelle du sacré, et de donner une interprétation convaincante de nombreux thèmes mythiques et rituels (la fête, les jumeaux, les frères ennemis, l'inceste, l'ambivalence du modèle, le double, le masque, etc.) dont los angeles signification profonde n'apparaît ici avec tant d'évidence que parce qu'ils sont étudiés, pour l. a. première fois, dans leur unité circulaire.
Enfin, le plus grand mérite de René Girard est peut-être dans los angeles clarté et dans l'élégance de son exposé. Libéré de toutes les obscurités tenant aux jargons initiatiques, voici un livre d'une grande significance scientifique qui est aussi une belle oeuvre littéraire.
By Stephen Jay Gould
Technology meets activity during this shiny choice of baseball essays via the past due evolutionary biologist.Among Stephen Jay Gould's many presents used to be his skill to jot down eloquently approximately baseball, his nice ardour. over the years, the popular paleontologist released a number of essays at the activity; those have now been gathered in a quantity alive with the candor and perception that characterised all of Gould's writing. listed below are his suggestions at the complexities of youth streetball and the fun of starting day; tributes to Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, and lesser-knowns equivalent to deaf-mute centerfielder "Dummy" Hoy; and a frank admission of the contradictions inherent in being a lifelong Yankees fan with pink Sox season tickets. Gould additionally deftly applies the instruments of evolutionary idea to the loss of life of the .400 hitter, the Abner Doubleday production delusion, and the improbability of Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak.
This booklet is a satisfaction, a necessary addition to Gould's notable legacy, and a becoming tribute to his love for the sport.
By David Rakoff
During this deeply clever and sneakily poignant selection of essays, the bestselling writer of Fraud and Don’t Get Too Comfortable makes an encouraged case for regularly assuming the worst—because then you’ll by no means be dissatisfied. even if he’s taking up popular culture phenomena with Oscar Wilde-worthy wit or facing own tragedy, Rakoff’s sharp observations and humorist’s aptitude for the absurd may have you certainly reveling within the untapped strength of negativity.