Kierkegaard's Muse: The Mystery of Regine Olsen [EPUB]
20 June 2017, 11:30
2017 | EPUB | 16.67MB
The first biography of Kierkegaard's literary muse and one-time fiancée, from the author of the definitive biography of the philosopher
Kierkegaard's Muse, the first biography of Regine Olsen (1822-1904), the literary inspiration and one-time fiancée of Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, is a moving portrait of a long romantic fever that had momentous literary consequences. Drawing on more than one hundred previously unknown letters by Regine that acclaimed Kierkegaard biographer Joakim Garff discovered by chance, the book tells the story of Kierkegaard and Regine's mysterious relationship more fully and vividly than ever before, shedding new light on her influence on his life and writings.
Like Dante's Beatrice, Regine is one of the great muses of literary history. Kierkegaard proposed to her in 1840, but broke off the engagement a year later. After their break, they saw each other strikingly often, inside dimly lit churches, on the streets of Copenhagen, and on the paths along the old city ramparts, passing by without uttering a word.
Despite or because of their separation in life, Kierkegaard made Regine his literary life companion, "that single individual" to whom he dedicated all his works. Garff shows how Regine became a poetic presence in the frequent erotic conflicts found throughout Kierkegaard's writings, from the famous "Seducer's Diary" account of their relationship to diary entries made shortly before his death in 1855. In turn, Regine remained preoccupied with Kierkegaard until her own death almost fifty years later, and her newly discovered letters, written to her sister Cornelia, reveal for the first time a woman of flesh and blood.
A psychologically acute narrative that is as gripping as a novel, Kierkegaard's Muse is an unforgettable account of a wild, strange, and poignant romance that made an indelible mark on literary history.
Cutting Back: My Apprenticeship in the Gardens of Kyoto [EPUB]
20 June 2017, 09:20
2017 | EPUB | 0.82MB
At thirty-five, Leslie Buck made an impulsive decision to put her personal life on hold to pursue her passion. Leaving behind a full life of friends, love, and professional security, she became the first American woman to learn pruning from one of the most storied landscaping companies in Kyoto. Cutting Back recounts Buck’s bold journey and the revelations she has along the way. During her apprenticeship in Japan, she learns that the best Kyoto gardens look so natural they appear untouched by human hands, even though her crew spends hours meticulously cleaning every pebble in the streams. She is taught how to bring nature’s essence into a garden scene, how to design with native plants, and how to subtly direct a visitor through a landscape. But she learns the most important lessons from her fellow gardeners: how to balance strength with grace, seriousness with humor, and technique with heart.
Young and Damned and Fair: The Life and Tragedy of Catherine Howard at the Court of Henry VIII [EPUB]
19 June 2017, 09:31
2017 | EPUB | 16.72MB
Written with an exciting combination of narrative flair and historical authority, this interpretation of the tragic life of Catherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII, breaks new ground in our understanding of the very young woman who became queen at a time of unprecedented social and political tension and whose terrible errors in judgment quickly led her to the executioner’s block.
On the morning of July 28, 1540, as King Henry’s VIII’s former confidante Thomas Cromwell was being led to his execution, a teenager named Catherine Howard began her reign as queen of a country simmering with rebellion and terrifying uncertainty. Sixteen months later, the king’s fifth wife would follow her cousin Anne Boleyn to the scaffold, having been convicted of adultery and high treason.
The broad outlines of Catherine’s career might be familiar, but her story up until now has been incomplete. Unlike previous accounts of her life, which portray her as a naïve victim of an ambitious family, this compelling and authoritative biography will shed new light on Catherine Howard’s rise and downfall by reexamining her motives and showing her in her context, a milieu that goes beyond her family and the influential men of the court to include the aristocrats and, most critically, the servants who surrounded her and who, in the end, conspired against her. By illuminating Catherine's entwined upstairs/downstairs worlds as well as societal tensions beyond the palace walls, the author offers a fascinating portrayal of court life in the sixteenth century and a fresh analysis of the forces beyond Catherine’s control that led to her execution—from diplomatic pressure and international politics to the long-festering resentments against the queen’s household at court.
Including a forgotten text of Catherine’s confession in her own words, color illustrations, family tree, map, and extensive notes, Young and Damned and Fair changes our understanding of one of history’s most famous women while telling the compelling and very human story of complex individuals attempting to survive in a dangerous age.