Cultural Amnesia: Notes in the Margin of My Time [EPUB]
24 January 2017, 10:23
2008 | EPUB | 6.25MB
‘In this book can be heard the merest edge of an enormous conversation. As they never were in life, we can imagine the speakers all gathered in some vast room, wearing name tags in case they don’t recognize each other (although some recognize each other all too well, and avoid contact). My heroes and heroines are here. The reader will recognize some of their names, while other names will be more obscure. My intellectual betes noires are here too, and the same division might apply.’
An almanac combining a comprehensive survey of modern culture with an annotated index of who-was-who and what-was-what, Cultural Amnesia is Clive James’ unique take on the places and the faces that shaped the twentieth-century. From Anna Akhmatova to Stefan Zweig, via Charles de Gaulle, Hitler, Thomas Mann and Wittgenstein, this varied and unfailingly absorbing book is both story and history, both public memoir and personal record – and provides an essential field-guide to the vast movements of taste, intellect, politics and delusion that helped to prepare the times we live in now.
The Meaning of Herbs: Myth, Language & Lore [EPUB]
22 January 2017, 03:08
2015 | EPUB | 7.98MB
"Take borage for courage. Send a bouquet of yarrow to declare war. Hang a sprig of rue at the door to keep witches at bay."
Like flowers, herbs are steeped in myth and magic, secrets and lore. For centuries, their powers have been called upon to seduce lovers and dispel witches, send hidden messages and brew potent elixirs, entice the palate and soothe the mind. Illustrated with enchanting collages by acclaimed artist Ann Field, this delightful tribute to the meaning and magic of herbs offers a contemporary introduction to an age-old tradition.
The text draws on botanical, mythological, and historical sources worldwide, from ancient Rome to Victorian England, from Asia to the Americas, presenting profiles of over 50 herbs favored through the ages. Blending fact, folktale, natural history, and original art, The Meaning of Herbs explores the language and lore of nature's most versatile and powerful gifts.
Haunted: On Ghosts, Witches, Vampires, Zombies, and Other Monsters of the Natural and Supernatural Worlds [EPUB]
22 January 2017, 00:04
2016 | EPUB | 1.79MB
An award-winning scholar and author charts four hundred years of monsters and how they reflect the culture that created them
Leo Braudy, a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, has won accolades for revealing the complex and constantly shifting history behind seemingly unchanging ideas of fame, war, and masculinity.
Continuing his interest in the history of emotion, this book explores how fear has been shaped into images of monsters and monstrosity. From the Protestant Reformation to contemporary horror films and fiction, he explores four major types: the monster from nature (King Kong), the created monster (Frankenstein), the monster from within (Mr. Hyde), and the monster from the past (Dracula). Drawing upon deep historical and literary research, Braudy discusses the lasting presence of fearful imaginings in an age of scientific progress, viewing the detective genre as a rational riposte to the irrational world of the monstrous. Haunted is a compelling and incisive work by a writer at the height of his powers.