Passions: Philosophy and the Intelligence of Emotions [TTC Video]
21 November 2016, 21:04
Course No 4123 | AVI, XviD, 544x384 | MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | 7.02GB
Fear, joy, grief, love, hate, pride, shame. We all have emotions, and we recognize emotions in others. But do we really understand what emotions are and what they signify? It is remarkable how often we are wrong about our own emotions and misread the emotions of others. We also deceive ourselves about their meaning. The more we puzzle over the nature of emotions, the deeper the mystery becomes. It is a mystery that is by no means solved, but one that repays careful, philosophical analysis.
Far from being routine, emotions are "the key to the meaning of life," says distinguished philosopher and author Robert C. Solomon, who in these 24 lectures takes you on a tour of his more than three-decade-long intellectual struggle to reach an understanding of these complex phenomena. Some of his conclusions are surprising and very much against the current of common sense.
Professor Solomon's lectures unfold as a rich dialogue with other philosophers, including Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, Descartes, Adam Smith, Nietzsche, William James, Freud, Heidegger, and Sartre. He also relates these views to contemporary work in the cognitive sciences on emotions, notably research by Antonio Damasio, Joseph LeDoux, and Paul Ekman. And he discusses the portrayal of emotions in writers and artists including Homer, Shakespeare, Melville, Dostoevsky, and Picasso.
Emotions Have Intelligence
By probing the ideas of these and other thinkers and presenting his own views, Professor Solomon will lead you to a remarkable conclusion: Emotions have intelligence and provide personal strategies that are vitally important to our everyday lives of perceiving, evaluating, appraising, understanding, and acting in the world.
This idea runs counter to the widespread view that draws a sharp distinction between the emotional and the rational and views the emotions as inferior, disruptive, primitive, and even bestial forces. For Professor Solomon, many emotions are distinctively human and they are far more complicated than mere "feelings." They are rational judgments—sophisticated strategies for survival.
In exploring the multifaceted nature of emotions you will address questions such as:
- How do we distinguish emotions from feelings, such as heartache?
- What is the meaning of our emotions, and how do they serve to enrich and guide our lives?
- Is there a determinable number of basic emotions that serve as building blocks for the range of emotions we experience?
- Is an emotion such as jealousy a genetic trait shared by all humans—or is it something learned?
- The Japanese have an emotion named amae, but it seems unknown to Westerners. To what extent do language and culture determine emotional experience?
- Are emotions subconscious products of the mind, or are they under conscious control?
Philosopher at Work
One of the fascinating features of this course is that you get to witness a philosopher wrestling with the ideas of his predecessors—accepting, rejecting, refining their contributions, and modifying some of his own earlier views—in a demonstration of the intellectual honesty required to make progress in tackling a profound philosophical problem. He also ranges beyond philosophy to draw insights from psychology, sociology, neurology, history, and literature.
A multi-award-winning teacher at The University of Texas at Austin, Professor Solomon has written or edited more than 45 books, including The Passions, Not Passion's Slave, In Defense of Sentimentality, and About Love, as well as works on Existentialism, Nietzsche, Hegel, business ethics, and introductory philosophy.
In a review of Not Passion's Slave, he was singled out for being "at the heart of a revival of philosophical interest in the emotions" by The Times Literary Supplement, which noted his "energetic and provocative contributions to the field."
Professor Solomon had such a profound effect on one of his students at UT, the future film director Richard Linklater (best known for Before Sunrise and Before Sunset), that Linklater included a memorable extract of Professor Solomon lecturing on Existentialism in the acclaimed feature film Waking Life.
Professor Solomon has conducted three other highly popular Teaching Company courses: No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life; Will to Power: The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche (with Kathleen Higgins); and Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition (selected lectures).
"I want to invite you to look at your own emotions as if they are something wondrous, mysterious, and exotic, something you've always taken for granted—even when they've gotten you in trouble," says Professor Solomon at the outset of this course, which he divides into three sections:
- Passions, Love, and Violence: The Drama of the Emotions (Lectures 2–9). The course begins with eight lectures on specific emotions (anger, fear, love, compassion, pride, envy, vengeance, and grief) with insights into the complexity, importance, and roles emotions play in our lives.
- Out of Touch with Our Feelings: Misunderstanding the Emotions (Lectures 10–17). These eight lectures examine how we misinterpret and fail to take responsibility for our emotions. For example, the innocent-sounding claim that emotions are feelings represents a fundamental misunderstanding of what emotions are about. Other misconceptions are the seemingly innocent assertion that emotions are "in the mind" and the idea that we are the victims or slaves of our passions.
- How Our Passions Enrich Our Lives (Lectures 18–24). The concluding section takes a positive look at the richness and value of our emotions, probing what it is about them that make life worth living. Professor Solomon talks about laughter, music, and the roles that emotions play in different cultures.
Throughout the course, Professor Solomon returns again and again to his thesis that emotions have intelligence, an idea that has roots in Western philosophy tracing back to Aristotle. The notion of "emotional intelligence" gained notoriety through a 1990s bestseller by psychologist Daniel Goleman, but while Goleman and other popular writers on the subject primarily discuss learning how to control emotions, Professor Solomon digs deeper to reach the core of how emotions themselves contain intelligence—indeed many kinds of intelligence—and to explore the complex emotional repertoire that makes us uniquely human.
As you listen to these lectures, prepare to think: Think about your own emotions; think about what you observe in others; think about the enormous body of research and conjecture on this fascinating topic as Professor Solomon takes you on a challenging and stimulating journey.
"Emotions are our doing," he says. "An emotion is not just a product of evolution, but a product of cultivation and, sometimes, personal choice. If you look at your emotions and say, 'I will take responsibility for this because it is my doing,' sometimes you will be wrong; but in general, you will suddenly find that you've taken ownership of your life in a way that you hadn't before. And it seems to me that is a very important philosophical lesson."
Cosmology: The History and Nature of Our Universe [TTC Video]
21 November 2016, 21:04
Course No 1830 | AVI, XviD, 640x480 | MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 36x30 mins | 7.01GB
Evidence for the birth of the universe is raining down on you. It's called the cosmic microwave background, and it's had quite a journey. Born in the stupendous annihilation of matter and antimatter seconds after the big bang, trapped in the hot plasma of the expanding universe for 380,000 years, and then suddenly released when the universe cooled to the point that atoms could form, this echo of creation has been on an uninterrupted voyage through space for 13.7 billion years—until it reached you. The cosmic microwave background is just one of the many clues about the history and nature of our universe that make the science of cosmology a wondrous, fascinating, and philosophically profound field of study.
Cosmology: The History and Nature of Our Universeintroduces you to the biggest story of all in 36 half-hour lectures that cover the origin, evolution, composition, and probable fate of our universe. This detailed and accessible course, presented by award-winning Professor Mark Whittle of the University of Virginia, incorporates more than 1,700 stunning illustrations.
The Perfect Time to Learn Cosmology
An expert on the dynamics of supermassive black holes at the cores of galaxies, Professor Whittle is an astronomer with a gift for making his subject vivid, understandable, and awe inspiring. For example, in explaining the vastness of the universe, he asks you to imagine yourself as a stupendous giant making billion-light-year strides through the cosmos, hour after hour. Even at this ultra-warp-drive pace, you would always find yourself in the middle of a uniform mist of galaxies with no end in sight.
Professor Whittle notes that we are the first generation ever to know in detail just how the universe came to be. Right now is the perfect time to learn cosmology, since researchers have just completed the work on more than a decade of breathtaking discoveries. The picture they have assembled is truly stunning in its richness and coherence and includes such findings as these:
- The universe began 13.7 billion years ago in a hot big bang.
- The geometry of the universe's space is "flat," supporting the theory of a cosmic origin in a rapid, inflationary burst of unimaginable speed.
- Ripples frozen in space at the instant of inflation formed the seeds from which galaxies and all later structure grew.
- The universe will expand forever at an accelerating rate.
Take an Intimate Look at the Universe
Einstein famously said, "The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible." As Cosmology shows, the universe is comprehensible at a remarkably deep level in simple, intuitive terms. As the course unfolds, you are introduced to the major clues that have gone into deciphering the mystery of the cosmos. Some of these clues involve concepts at the cutting edge of astrophysics, such as dark matter, dark energy, and cosmicinflation. Professor Whittle introduces these and many other ideas with inventive analogies and then builds on his explanations.
For instance, one of the most extraordinary aspects of the cosmic microwave background is that it tells us the universe was ringing with sound during its first 380,000 years. It took a satellite measuring minute fluctuations in the microwave background to disclose this property of the early universe. But the story does not end there because scientists can say a great deal about this primordial sound and what it means:
- Was it loud? Variations in the microwave background indicate that the sound was the approximate decibel evel of front-row seats at a rock concert. (Professor Whittle picks Pink Floyd as a suitably deafening example.)
- What's the pitch? The primordial sound was 50 octaves lower than the range of human hearing. Just as larger organ pipes make deeper notes, so the universe's "pipes" are cosmic in size and make extremely low notes.
- Was it musical? As you hear in Professor Whittle's different re-creations of the primordial sound, it had a harmonic complexity with a quality somewhere between a musical note and noise.
- What does it tell us? The primordial sound included pressure waves destined to grow into the largest structures in the universe.
At Home in the Cosmos
There is also much to see in Cosmology. In addition to showing magnificent telescopic images, Professor Whittle illustrates his lectures with hundreds of informative diagrams, together with computer animations from NASA and other sources that give a three-dimensional perspective on the universe. You take a tour of our local supercluster, watch galaxies collide, and see "rivers" of galaxies flowing toward pockets of invisible dark matter, among other compelling simulations. Such a comprehensive, in-depth presentation is only available with this course and not in any classroom, book, or documentary.
Professor Whittle enriches his lectures with a number of simple equations, such as Hubble's Law. But you don't need to follow the math in detail, since he always restates what's going on in plain English. Indeed, Professor Whittle suggests that we may be hardwired to understand the universe at an intuitive level, since we evolved on a planet embedded in an astrophysical setting and subject to the same laws of physics that apply throughout all of space and time. We are truly at home in the cosmos.
Prepare to Be Surprised
Nonetheless, prepare to be surprised by some of the startling ideas you encounter in Cosmology:
- Matter and energy are only the positive side of reality. There is an equal and opposite negative side that resides in gravitational fields. Together they sum to zero, implying that the universe came from nothing.
- The annihilation of virtually all matter by antimatter just after the big bang means that every proton and electron in your body has survived a game of Russian roulette with a billion bullets and one blank.
- Dark energy has the crucial property of making the universe fall outward, rather than inward, which is why the expansion of the universe is accelerating.
- Our universe may be only one of many, in what has come to be called the multiverse. If each of these universes has different laws of physics, we should not be surprised that at least one—ours—happens to have the parameters that are conducive to life.
Looking back on the wealth of recent discoveries about the universe that are covered in this course, Professor Whittle can hardly contain his excitement. "I wouldn't be surprised if 500 years from now, these two decades will be seen as a period of breakthrough, not unlike the periods of discovery we associate with names like Copernicus, Newton, Darwin, or Einstein. ... One might say that right now is when cosmology has finally come of age."
Biology and Human Behavior: The Neurological Origins of Individuality, 2nd Edition [TTC Video]
21 November 2016, 21:02
Course No 1597 | AVI, XviD, 528x384 | MP3, 1286 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 5.9GB
When are we responsible for our own actions, and when are we in the grip of biological forces beyond our control? This intriguing question is the scientific province of behavioral biology, a field that explores interactions among the brain, mind, body, and environment that have a surprising influence on how we behave—from the people we fall in love with, to the intensity of our spiritual lives, to the degree of our aggressive impulses. In short, it is the study of how our brains make us the individuals that we are.
Biology and Human Behavior: The Neurological Origins of Individuality, 2nd Edition, is an interdisciplinary approach to this fascinating subject. In 24 lectures, you will investigate how the human brain is sculpted by evolution, constrained or freed by genes, shaped by early experience, modulated by hormones, and otherwise influenced to produce a wide range of behaviors, some of them abnormal. You will see that little can be explained by thinking about any one of these factors alone because some combination of influences is almost always at work.
Intense, Dynamic, and Entertaining
This course is a newly recorded and much-expanded update of Professor Robert Sapolsky's original Teaching Company course introduced in 1998, which was lauded as "extremely stimulating" by The American Biology Teacher.
A prominent neurobiologist, zoologist, and MacArthur "genius" grant recipient, Professor Sapolsky is a spellbinding lecturer who is also very entertaining. In a feature story in The New York Times, he was compared to a cross between renowned primatologist Jane Goodall and a borscht belt comedian. An article in the alumni magazine at Stanford University, where he teaches, called him "a man who exudes adrenaline and has a reservoir of intensity deep enough to spin the turbines at Hoover Dam."
What You Will Learn
The course opens with an introductory lecture and then proceeds to Modules I and II, which start at the level of how a single neuron works. You build upward to examine how millions of neurons in a particular region of the brain operate. The focus is on the regions of the brain most pertinent to emotion and behavior.
Modules III, IV, and V explore how the brain and behavior are regulated. First, you cover how the brain regulates hormones and how hormones influence brain function and behavior. Next you examine how both the brain and behavior evolved, covering contemporary thinking about how natural selection has sculpted and optimized behavior and how that optimization is mediated by brain function. Then you focus on a bridge between evolution and the brain, investigating what genes at the molecular level have to do with brain function and how those genes have evolved.
Module VI examines ethology, which is the study of the behavior of animals in their natural habitats. The focus in these lectures is on how hormones, evolution, genes, and behavior are extremely sensitive to environment.
Finally, Module VII explores how the various approaches—neurobiology, neuroendocrinology, evolution, genetics, and ethology—help explain an actual set of behaviors, with a particular focus on aggression. The final lecture summarizes what is known about the biology of human behavior and probes the societal implications of having such knowledge.
Insight into Yourself and Others
As you work through this thought-provoking and engaging material, you will learn much about your own behavior, not to mention that of others. One particularly intriguing region of the brain relating to behavior is the frontal cortex, which plays a central role in decision-making, gratification postponement, and other important functions. The frontal cortex is the part of the brain that "makes you do the harder thing," whether it is concentrating on an unwelcome task, keeping anger under control, or telling a white lie about a spouse's new haircut. Consider these cases:
- What happens when there is essentially no frontal cortex?: Railroad worker Phineas Gage suffered a massive frontal cortical lesion in a serious accident in the 1840s. Overnight, he changed from a sober, conscientious worker to a profane, aggressive, socially inappropriate man who could never regularly work again. The loss of his frontal cortex meant he lost his emotional regulation; he had no means to do the "harder thing."
- What happens when the frontal cortex is "offline"?: During rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the frontal cortex goes offline, which explains why dreams are often wild and unrepressed—why dreams are dreamlike. People don't dream about balancing a checkbook. They dream about dancing in musicals or floating in the air.
- What happens when the frontal cortex is immature?: One of the great myths is that the brain is completely wired up and matured at a very early stage. However, the frontal cortex is not fully functional until an individual is about a quarter-century old—a fact that explains a lot of fraternity behavior, notes Professor Sapolsky. With this in mind, it's worth asking if a 16-year-old violent criminal is not, by definition, organically impaired in frontal cortical function.
Myths that Die Hard
The myth of the fully wired, mature young brain is one of the often-heard pieces of misinformation that this course corrects. Other areas where Professor Sapolsky revises widely held beliefs include:
- "For the good of the species": The old notion of group selection has been proven wildly incorrect. This is the idea that animals behave "for the good of the species" and that behaviors are driven by ways to increase the likelihood of the species surviving and multiplying. Evolution is not about animals behaving for the good of the species but, rather, behaving to optimize the number of copies of their own genes to pass on to the next generation.
- The inevitability of social structures: Professor Sapolsky's own fieldwork in Africa has shown that an archetypal male-dominated, aggressive society of baboons can change radically to a tradition of low aggression within a single generation. "If these guys are freed from the central casting roles for them in the anthropology textbooks, we as a species have no excuse to say we have inevitable social structures," he says.
Cause for Concern and Hope
At the end of the course, Professor Sapolsky explores the implications of our emerging understanding of the origins of individual differences. How much do these insights threaten our own sense of self and individuality? Where do we draw the line between the essence of the person and the biological abnormalities? What counts as being ill? Who is biologically impaired, and who is just different? As more and more subtle abnormalities of neurobiology are understood, how much should we worry about the temptation to label people as "abnormal"? And what happens when we each have a few of these labels?
These and other questions should concern us all. But while Professor Sapolsky sees alarming trends, he also sees cause for hope. We needn't worry that we are on the verge of unmasking the secret behind everything we do, he says, since we can never explain everything; every answer opens up a dozen new questions. Furthermore, to explain something is not to destroy the capacity to be moved by it. "In the end," says Professor Sapolsky, "the purpose of science is not to cure us of our sense of mystery and wonder but to constantly reinvent and reinvigorate it."
Reading Biblical Literature: Genesis to Revelation [TTC Video]
21 November 2016, 21:02
Course No 6650 | MP4, AVC, 856x480 | AAC, 96 kbps, 2 Ch | 36x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 4.7GB
Rightly recognized as one of the world’s most important spiritual texts, the Bible has shaped thousands of years of faith, art, and human history. Yet for all its importance to believers and nonbelievers alike, we rarely engage with the Bible as a collection of unique narratives that were only later united into what we now know as the Old and New Testaments. And these different texts—historical narratives, dramatic visions, poems, songs, letters—speak to a broad range of experience, from joy and wonder to tragedy and mystery.
The diversity of material in biblical books like Exodus, Isaiah, Psalms, Mark, and Revelation that has prompted people throughout history (from religious scholars to celebrated artists to everyday worshippers) to ponder and debate the meaning of these classic texts. To truly understand and appreciate the Bible’s many perspectives on faith, war, suffering, love, memory, community, and other enduring themes, it is enlightening to use a literary approach to reading and thinking about these separate books.
- What do you learn when you consider biblical books with a focus on their settings, narrative structures, characterizations, images, and themes?
- How do various biblical books offer quite different responses to events and issues, challenging readers to think of them in bold new ways?
- How does this respectful perspective help us better understand the early history of Judaism and Christianity, as well as the roots of religious belief?
Enjoy an intellectual adventure like no other in Reading Biblical Literature, which offers a comprehensive, book-by-book analysis of the Bible from the fascinating perspective of literature and narrative. Delivered by religion scholar and acclaimed professor Craig R. Koester of Luther Seminary, these 36 lectures guide you through ancient stories, empowering you to engage with the books of the Bible as richly meaningful texts. From the stories of figures like Moses and King David to the gospel accounts of Jesus and the formation of the earliest Christian communities, this course offers an unforgettably vivid sense of the Bible as a tale filled with complex characters, dramatic conflicts, universal themes, inspirational wisdom, hidden meanings, revolutionary crises, and powerful life lessons. No wonder it’s considered the greatest story ever told.
Begin “In the Beginning…”
Composed over the span of 10 centuries, the books of the Bible are today divided into those of the Old Testament (known to some as the Jewish Bible) and the New Testament (the cornerstone of the Christian faith). But there’s no need to be overwhelmed by the sheer size of the Bible. Reading Biblical Literature lets you encounter these books in a manner that’s accessible and engaging.
Professor Koester begins these lectures at the only appropriate place: with the creation of the universe as recounted in the book of Genesis. From there, you’ll plunge into Old Testament plotlines dealing with migration and exile, slavery and deliverance, anticipation and disappointment, conflict and reconciliation. It’s the story of the formation of the people of Israel, and along the way you’ll reconsider your ideas about a variety of biblical figures, moments, and ideas ranging from the familiar to the often overlooked.
- One tower, many stories: At surprising moments in Genesis, God comes to regret ever creating humankind. One instance of this is the famous story of the construction of the tower of Babel. As you’ll investigate, it can be read in different ways: as a sort of folk tale, a critique of ancient society, and a commentary on humanity’s refusal to live within limits. The multiple levels of possible meaning create a more deeply significant story.
- Abraham’s funny fallibility: One aspect that is often overlooked in reading Abraham’s life story is the inherent humor in it. There are certainly points where Abraham is portrayed as faithful and courageous, but he also appears as someone who can be woefully short-sighted, whose actions create as many problems as they solve. And yet this familiar trait makes the biblical patriarch all the more engaging, and all the more human.
- King Saul vs. King Macbeth: The rise and fall of Israel’s first king, Saul, is a tale of ambition and arrogance similar to that of the medieval king Macbeth in Shakespeare’s eponymous play. There are machinations and prophecies of doom, political paranoia and the drive for power, and even a witch. Ultimately, in both worlds, people must deal with the consequences of their actions—and the will of God.
- Words of wisdom: The Old Testament is packed with writings that form the core of the Bible’s wisdom literature, collected in Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job. The first book offers advice on how to lead a prosperous and meaningful life, the second is an unsettling and thought-provoking reflection on the emptiness of success, and the third challenges the idea that life is fair and suffering is meted out by God in proportion to wrongdoing. Each of these books, you’ll learn, is in conversation with one another on many levels.
Explore the “New” World of the New Testament
Whereas the Old Testament focused on Israel’s ancestors, kings, and prophets from the second and first millennia BC, the New Testament takes as its predominant focus the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth—as well as his followers and the dawn of the earliest Christian communities in the first centuries AD.
Reading Biblical Literature takes you deep inside this revolutionary moment in human history as it is recounted in the Bible’s pages. Throughout, Professor Koester focuses on enduring themes of suffering, service, death, hope, and rebirth. How does the narrative of Jesus and his follows expand upon, or respond to, similar themes established in the Old Testament? This key question leads you to revisit (or visit for the first time) iconic moments in the Bible in the company of a master scholar.
- One life, four gospels: The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are each devoted to recounting the story of Jesus and his relationship to the God of Israel. Yet each book tells the story in a unique way, and the differences offer an intriguing range of perspectives on who Jesus was. From their accounts of Jesus’s teachings to the drama of his crucifixion and resurrection, each gospel follows a distinctive plotline. Through scenes of conflict and redemption, readers are taken more deeply into the question of Jesus’s identity and impact on those who followed him.
- Apostolic Acts: One book you spend time with in this course is the Acts of the Apostles, which tells the story of the first followers of Jesus and the establishment of the early church. Written by the same person who wrote the gospel of Luke, this book narrates the struggle that early Christians faced as they tried to come to grips with their role in larger Jewish, Greek, and Roman society.
- Pauline correspondence: Paul is considered to be one of the most controversial figures in the New Testament, if not the entire Bible. Professor Koester devotes several lectures to unpacking his letters to Christians in the ancient world, including 1 and 2 Corinthians. One theme in these letters is that of divine love. If love is shown by giving, writes Paul, then Jesus’s crucifixion shows God performing the utmost act of self-giving.
- The end of days: Revelation, the last book of the Bible, uses the stirring visions of conflict and hope as a commentary on the nature of good and evil. Here, God is portrayed as a creator and Satan as a destroyer, a contrast that is essential for the writer’s understanding of evil. The writer of Revelation assumes that God created the world to be good. Therefore, evil is an invading cancer that must be defeated in order to bring new life to the world.
Join an Ongoing Spiritual and Literary Conversation
Adept at explaining each book’s meaning and highlighting its literary beauty, Professor Koester transforms the encounter with these ancient texts into a grand learning experience that’s equal parts educational and entertaining. A biblical scholar and noted author, he brings to Reading Biblical Literature the same incisive insights he’s brought to his academic work, including commentaries on the books of Hebrews and Revelation, as well as major studies of John’s gospel.
While his goal is to uncover and examine the Bible’s multiple perspectives, and to present the books of the Old and New Testament as narratives that can be studied the same way one would study any great work of literature, Professor Koester always highlights the spiritual importance these stories have had for people and communities throughout the world. Engaging in a dialogue with these multiple readings and voices brings a greater appreciation of just how intricate, vibrant, and abidingly meaningful the Bible is.
“My hope with this course is that, by tending to the different viewpoints within the Bible, readers of all sorts might find promising avenues to explore,” he says. “As we share our perspectives with those of others, we join a conversation that’s ongoing. It’s one that I find both challenging and enlivening. May that be true for you as well.”
Becoming a Great Essayist [TTC Video]
21 November 2016, 21:01
Course No 2521 | MP4, AVC, 856x480 | AAC, 64 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 3.12GB
If you have a clever anecdote, an interesting memory, a new way to explain how something works, or an opinion on a social or political issue, then you have an essay in you. Unlike a novel, history book, or scientific publication, essays provide you with the versatility to express all the various facets that make you you. The concise and direct nature of an essay means that you may tap into your sense of wit, share your individual point of view, persuade others to your perspective, and record a part of your memories for future generations in as many distinct essay forms as you wish.
Discover the keys to unlocking your potential in essay writing with Becoming a Great Essayist. These 24 illuminating lectures explore numerous genres or types of essays, challenge you with stimulating writing prompts, and provide insights into how to get to know yourself like never before so that you may write honest, compelling, and GREAT essays. And because essays are so flexible in their style and function, the skills you build writing great essays may be applied to almost all other forms of writing.
Dr. Jennifer Cognard-Black, Professor of English at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, is your expert guide. Professor Cognard-Black—who is an award-winning author, a 2012 Fulbright Scholar, and a former student of the renowned author Jane Smiley—has an intimate, honest, and direct approach. She teaches you that the versatility and expressiveness of the essay make it an ideal medium for crafting stories and drawing perspectives out of even the most reluctant writers. As Professor Cognard-Black notes, “The essay has no fixed parameters apart from including a first-person narrator who is intent on telling the truth. An essay’s form and style is entirely dependent upon your purpose—and your audience. You get to create a new form, and adopt a new style, with each essay that you write.… Essays explore. Essays imagine. Essays digress. Their structures don’t have to have fixed rules.” The goal of a great essay is to connect a personal experience, an idea, or a memory to the world outside of yourself—and the first step is to look deep within your memories, knowledge, and opinions to find that experience. When mastered, the ability to write a great essay provides a solid foundation that allows you to move into other forms of writing with both confidence and skill.
The first step in your journey with Professor Cognard-Black is to redefine what the essay means. For many, the word “essay” brings flashbacks of the schoolroom. Whether you were the kind of student who couldn’t wait to get started or one who faced each writing assignment with a feeling of dread, this course will change how you think about and approach the essay. From the very first lecture, you’ll see how the five-paragraph essay you might remember is vastly different from the master-level essays you’ll review, analyze, and learn to create. You’ll get instrumental insight into what makes an essay great; learn how to work your own stories, perspectives, and memories into a compelling piece; and investigate what to do once you’ve crafted an essay that you want to share.
Essay Types: From Personal to Public
Since the 16th century, essays have served as a means of connection: a way to persuade others to a certain perspective, a medium to tell a story, and a written record of individual and national histories. The word “essay” comes from the French essai, meaning an attempt or a trial, which speaks to the flexibility of the form in both delivery and outcomes. The essay itself is a thought experiment which can employ a variety of lengths, styles, and genres, including political, personal, humorous, and historical approaches. Further, a well-written essay may evoke an assortment of emotions or reactions. These works, often short yet profoundly poignant, have the power to make readers laugh, cry, think, or change their opinions or actions. Even the delivery platforms are versatile—essays are published in journals and newspapers, anthologies and collections, blogs and web pages, and more.
When it comes to crafting a great piece of writing, Professor Cognard-Black begins with well-established principles derived from Aristotle, who believed that writers are most convincing when they create a strong ethos (or credibility), and then support this ethos with appeals to reason (logos) and emotion (pathos). Similar rhetorical strategies are still utilized today in creating compelling stories and arguments. Most importantly, essays use a convincing and honest first-person voice because the writer has a deep connection to the material that comes from living, witnessing, or caring profoundly about an experience. By merging what Aristotle calls the artistic proofs (the pathos of the essay, or the personal experience and thoughts, and the logos of the essay, or rationality) with the inartistic proofs (or research and data), your essay will come across as credible even to skeptical readers.
Over these 24 enlightening lectures, you’ll delve into the various genres of the essay.
- Epistolary essays originated in the politics, philosophy, and theology of Greco-Roman rhetoricians. Letters or “epistles” are unlike any other means of communication, which is exactly what draws essay writers to them. Epistolary essays adopt elements that define the genre of the letter—its intimacy, immediacy, and materiality.
- Polemical essays are essays that strongly support one side of an argument.
- Historical essays draw from historical artifacts and scholars, as well as a writer’s ideas within her or his own historical moment.
- Humorous essays, more often than not, focus on a predicament or a situation where something goes wrong. As Aristotle noted, laughing at tragedy may be cathartic for the writer and the audience.
- Memoirs recall and meditate on the writer’s past, using that contemplation for self-reflection. A memoir essay must evolve from a writer’s intimate recollections of the past brought together with thoughtful reflections on those memories.
And because understanding what makes a great essay requires that you read great essayists, this course also contains a treasure trove of selections from famous and lesser-known writers. You’ll be introduced to some of the greatest essayists of the ages who have pushed the limits of how essays are defined, including:
- Michel de Montaigne, whose 1580 collection Les Essais established the essay as a literary genre
- Joseph Addison and Sir Richard Steele, 18th-century British wits and protйgйes of Montaigne, who circulated their essays about manners and society in highly popular and somewhat scandalous periodicals
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American philosopher-poet, who wrote some of the first essays on nature and the environment
- Rainer Maria Rilke, an Austrian poet, who created intimate essays through personal letters, often on the topic of what it means to be an artist
- Virginia Woolf, an author who is widely considered one of the finest essayists of the 20th century, who wrote episodic pieces which have a dreamlike quality
- Mary McCarthy, an American author, critic, and political activist, who used essays to articulate sharply observant and often self-scrutinizing points
You’ll also sample contemporary essayists hailing from diverse backgrounds, such as Naomi Shihab Nye, Annie Dillard, Joan Didion, Barbara Kingsolver, David Sedaris, and Maya Angelou. In addition, you’ll have the unique opportunity to dig into the process of essay writing by looking at drafts of works in progress, including some from Professor Cognard-Black’s own students. Finally, each chapter will give you a chance to put into practice everything you’ve just learned.
The Right and Wrong Ways to Write
As you attempt to start writing your own essay, looking at a blank computer screen or piece of paper might be daunting. Professor Cognard-Black invites you to overcome this common stumbling block by considering that, unlike other forms of writing that are often strictly plotted or outlined, essays create their own forms as they go along. Aristotle called this process inventio or invention. This method means that you explore what the essay wants to say as you draft your piece. Rather than focusing on how precisely you want to form your thoughts into a specific structure on the page, you get to discover what happens as you get the raw material down—and this explosion of ideas and words becomes your first draft. As Professor Cognard-Black puts it, “The purpose of invention—of that first attempt to get your thoughts down on paper and give them a shape—is to explore and to discover what your essay wants to be about.”
The process of invention is specific to each writer, and so with each essay, there’s a certain version of truth or memory that is created. But striving for the truth is essential. Sometimes that truth will reveal flaws in a precious idea or shine a light on the imperfect sides of humanity—people you know, people you care about, even members of your own family—but maintaining the intention of honesty will help you create and sustain a strong ethos or credibility. Keep in mind that your truth is only one version of events; each situation you write about contains many possible truths.
Once the central purpose of each essay you write is clear, you then need a sense of direction as you revise. Opening sentences that preview the place, people, perspective, and purpose of your essays give your reader an invitation to join you on a journey into your chosen subject.
While the essay is a very flexible form, there are mistakes that will weaken your writing, which Professor Cognard-Black explains in depth. Known to rhetorical theorists as logical fallacies, these potential pitfalls are easy to fall into and will ruin your essay’s credibility. They include:
- Faulty generalizations: when a writer makes a sweeping comment, reaches a decision based on too little evidence, or makes claims that are impossible to validate
- Ad hominem arguments: its literal translation meaning “against the man,” this fallacy occurs when a writer attacks a person, rather than the idea under discussion, and occurs often in American popular culture and politics
- Appeals to bandwagonism: when a writer attempts to win readers over to a specific opinion by claiming that it’s the most popular position
Another factor to consider is the length of your essay. While essays don’t necessarily have length requirements, they do tend to cut to the chase. To keep your writing concise, clear, and to the point, Professor Cognard-Black recommends cutting everything you’ve written in half between the first and second draft. If your essay is 6,000 words, cut it to 3,000. Don’t discard the excess copy, but do revisit your edited version after a few days. You may be surprised at how often you don’t need that extra text.
As you examine many types of essays, build a toolbox of abilities to help you polish and perfect your writing, and analyze samples of masterfully composed essays, you’ll find yourself exploring your own memories, opinions and stories in an entirely new way. The essay is, above all else, one of the most profoundly personal outlets for writing.
While the goal of this course is to provide you with fundamental abilities that will improve your essays, the skills you will learn also provide a foundation to develop any writing project you undertake. Becoming a Great Essayist is an unrivalled opportunity to advance your critical and creative thinking skills, enhance your ability to master a strong and persuasive style, and most importantly, allow you to get to know your own inner voice.
Bear: The Life and Times of Augustus Owsley Stanley III [EPUB]
21 November 2016, 21:01
2016 | EPUB | 2.18MB
The creator of the dancing bear logo and designer of the Wall of Sound for the Grateful Dead, Augustus Owsley Stanley III, better known by his nickname, Bear, was one of the most iconic figures in the cultural revolution that changed both America and the world during the 1960s.
Owsley's high octane rocket fuel enabled Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters to put on the Acid Tests. It also powered much of what happened on stage at Monterey Pop. Owsley turned on Pete Townshend of The Who and Jimi Hendrix. The shipment of LSD that Owsley sent John Lennon resulted in The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour album and film.
Convinced that the Grateful Dead were destined to become the world's greatest rock 'n' roll band, Owsley provided the money that kept them going during their early days. As their longtime soundman, he then faithfully recorded many of the Dead's greatest live performances and designed the massive space age system that came to be known as the Wall of Sound.
Award-winning author and biographer Robert Greenfield’s definitive biography of this Grateful Dead legend masterfully takes us through Owsley's incredible life and times to bring us a full picture of this fascinating man for the first time.
The Spoonflower Handbook [AZW3]
21 November 2016, 21:00
2015 | AZW3 | 14.9MB
Designing fabric, wallpaper, and gift wrap used to be the stuff of dreams. Only a few select creatives got to do it, and it required formal training and significant financial investment. But times have changed, and today anyone with a computer, Internet connection, and idea can upload a file and order their own fabric or paper, printed affordably one yard or more at a time. At the forefront of this revolutionary DIY movement is Spoonflower, a North Carolina startup that produces designs for hundreds of thousands of users worldwide—24 hours a day/seven days a week to keep up with demand.
With step-by-step tutorials and projects that span a wide spectrum of skills, The Spoonflower Handbook is written for both new and experienced users of this print-on-demand technology. Covering everything from equipment to software to working with photos, scans, repeats, vector files, and more, it is an essential guide to a booming new creative outlet.
The Coconut Oil Miracle, 5th Edition [Audiobook]
21 November 2016, 20:59
2015 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 7 hrs 18 mins | 201.13MB
A completely revised and updated guide for maximizing the health and beauty benefits of coconut oil
For years, The Coconut Oil Miracle has been a reliable guide for men and women alike. Now in its fifth edition, this revised and updated version has even more information on the benefits of coconut oil and shows readers how to use it for maximum effect, including a nutrition plan with 50 delicious recipes. Coconut oil is much more than just a fad. It is a uniquely curative elixir that has been shown to have countless health benefits.
When taken as a dietary supplement, used in cooking, or applied directly to the skin, coconut oil has been found to:
- Promote weight loss
- Help prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer's, and many other degenerative diseases
- Strengthen the immune system
- Improve digestion
- Prevent premature aging of the skin
- Beautify skin and hair
Dr. Bruce Fife is widely recognized as one of the leading authorities on the health benefits of coconut oil. This newest edition of The Coconut Oil Miracle is updated with crucial information, including the latest studies on links between coconut oil and benefits relating to heart function, Alzheimer’s prevention, bodily detoxification, weight loss, and many other hot topics.
The Earthwise Herbal Repertory: The Definitive Practitioner's Guide [AZW3]
21 November 2016, 20:59
2016 | AZW3 | 2.25MB
Internationally known herbalist Matthew Wood takes the guesswork out of the application of medicinal plants and provides an invaluable cross-reference of constitutional types, energetic categories, and specific symptoms that helps the herbalist narrow down the number of possible remedies for a specific condition. Unlike many reference books in which medicinal plants are defined simply by condition or disease name, this book contains tools to differentiate between remedies and analyze each case in a holistic fashion. While this system of cross-referencing is well known to homeopaths, it is less frequently used by herbalists; The Earthwise Herbal Repertory seeks to bridge the gap between different systems, incorporating knowledge from ancient Greek and traditional Native American medicine, nineteenth-century botanical medicine, homeopathy, and modern biomedical research. This definitive repertory proves useful for homeopaths and herbalists, professionals and home practitioners alike.
The Lexicographer's Dilemma: The Evolution of 'Proper' English, from Shakespeare to South Park [Audiobook]
21 November 2016, 20:58
2013 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 10 hrs 3 mins | 276.5MB
In its long history, the English language has had many lawmakers--those who have tried to regulate or otherwise organize the way we speak. The Lexicographer's Dilemma offers the first narrative history of these endeavors and shows clearly that what we now regard as the only "correct" way to speak emerged out of specific historical and social conditions over the course of centuries. As historian Jack Lynch has discovered, every rule has a human history and the characters peopling his narrative are as interesting for their obsession as for their erudition: the sharp-tongued satirist Jonathan Swift, who called for a government-sponsored academy to issue rulings on the language; the polymath Samuel Johnson, who put dictionaries on a new footing; the eccentric Hebraist Robert Lowth, the first modern to understand the workings of biblical poetry; the crackpot linguist John Horne Tooke, whose bizarre theories continue to baffle scholars; the chemist and theologian Joseph Priestly, whose political radicalism prompted violent riots; the ever-crotchety Noah Webster, who worked to Americanize the English language; the long-bearded lexicographer James A. H. Murray, who devoted his life to a survey of the entire language in the Oxford English Dictionary; and the playwright George Bernard Shaw, who worked without success to make English spelling rational.
Grammatical "rules" or "laws" are not like the law of gravity, or even laws against murder and theft--they're more like rules of etiquette, made by fallible people and subject to change. Witty, smart, full of passion for the world's language, The Lexicograher's Dilemma will entertain and educate in equal measure.
The Seven Words You Can't Say On Television [EPUB]
21 November 2016, 20:58
2008 | EPUB | 1.86MB
Why do so many swear words involve sex, bodily functions and religion? Why are some words rude and others aren't? Why can launching into expletives be so shocking - and sometimes so amusing?
Steven Pinker takes us on a fascinating and funny journey through the world of profanities, taken from his bestselling The Stuff of Thought, to show us why we swear (whatever our language or culture), how taboos change and how we use obscenities in different ways. You'll discover that in Quebecois French the expression 'Tabernacle' is outrageous, that the Middle Ages were littered with four-letter words, that 'scumbag' has a very unsavoury origin and that in a certain Aboriginal language every word is filthy when spoken in front of your mother-in-law.
Covering everything from free speech to Tourette's, from pottymouthed celebrities to poetry, this book reveals what swearing tells us about how our minds work. (It's also a bloody good read).
Texas Ranger: The Epic Life of Frank Hamer, the Man Who Killed Bonnie and Clyde [Audiobook]
21 November 2016, 20:57
2016 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 17 hrs 42 mins | 483.82MB
To most Americans, Frank Hamer is known only as the villain of the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde. Now, in Texas Ranger, historian John Boessenecker sets out to restore Hamer's good name and prove that he was in fact a classic American hero.
From the horseback days of the Old West through the gangster days of the 1930s, Hamer stood on the front lines of some of the most important and exciting periods in American history. He participated in the Bandit War of 1915, survived the climactic gunfight in the last blood feud of the Old West, battled the Mexican Revolution's spillover across the border, protected African Americans from lynch mobs and the Ku Klux Klan, and ran down gangsters, bootleggers, and Communists. When at last his career came to an end, it was only when he ran up against another legendary Texan: Lyndon B. Johnson.
Written by one of the most acclaimed historians of the Old West, Texas Ranger is the first biography to tell the full story of this near-mythic lawman.
Abstractionist Aesthetics: Artistic Form and Social Critique in African American Culture [EPUB]
21 November 2016, 20:56
2015 | EPUB | 7.92MB
In a major reassessment of African American culture, Phillip Brian Harper intervenes in the ongoing debate about the “proper” depiction of black people. He advocates for African American aesthetic abstractionism—a representational mode whereby an artwork, rather than striving for realist verisimilitude, vigorously asserts its essentially artificial character. Maintaining that realist representation reaffirms the very social facts that it might have been understood to challenge, Harper contends that abstractionism shows up the actual constructedness of those facts, thereby subjecting them to critical scrutiny and making them amenable to transformation.
Arguing against the need for “positive” representations, Abstractionist Aesthetics displaces realism as the primary mode of African American representational aesthetics, re-centers literature as a principal site of African American cultural politics, and elevates experimental prose within the domain of African American literature. Drawing on examples across a variety of artistic production, including the visual work of Fred Wilson and Kara Walker, the music of Billie Holiday and Cecil Taylor, and the prose and verse writings of Ntozake Shange, Alice Walker, and John Keene, this book poses urgent questions about how racial blackness is made to assume certain social meanings. In the process, African American aesthetics are upended, rendering abstractionism as the most powerful modality for Black representation.
Hate Spin: The Manufacture of Religious Offense and Its Threat to Democracy [EPUB]
21 November 2016, 20:56
2016 | EPUB | 0.5MB
In the United States, elements of the religious right fuel fears of an existential Islamic threat, spreading anti-Muslim rhetoric into mainstream politics. In Indonesia, Muslim absolutists urge suppression of churches and minority sects, fostering a climate of rising intolerance. In India, Narendra Modi’s radical supporters instigate communal riots and academic censorship in pursuit of their Hindu nationalist vision. Outbreaks of religious intolerance are usually assumed to be visceral and spontaneous. But in Hate Spin, Cherian George shows that they often involve sophisticated campaigns manufactured by political opportunists to mobilize supporters and marginalize opponents. Right-wing networks orchestrate the giving of offense and the taking of offense as instruments of identity politics, exploiting democratic space to promote agendas that undermine democratic values.
George calls this strategy “hate spin”—a double-sided technique that combines hate speech (incitement through vilification) with manufactured offense-taking (the performing of righteous indignation). It is deployed in societies as diverse as Buddhist Myanmar and Orthodox Christian Russia. George looks at the world’s three largest democracies, where intolerant groups within India’s Hindu right, America’s Christian right, and Indonesia’s Muslim right are all accomplished users of hate spin. He also shows how the Internet and Google have opened up new opportunities for cross-border hate spin.
George argues that governments must protect vulnerable communities by prohibiting calls to action that lead directly to discrimination and violence. But laws that try to protect believers’ feelings against all provocative expression invariably backfire. They arm hate spin agents’ offense-taking campaigns with legal ammunition. Anti-discrimination laws and a commitment to religious equality will protect communities more meaningfully than misguided attempts to insulate them from insult.
Preventive Force: Drones, Targeted Killing, and the Transformation of Contemporary Warfare [EPUB]
21 November 2016, 20:27
2016 | EPUB | 0.8MB
More so than in the past, the US is now embracing the logic of preventive force: using military force to counter potential threats around the globe before they have fully materialized. While popular with individuals who seek to avoid too many “boots on the ground,” preventive force is controversial because of its potential for unnecessary collateral damage. Who decides what threats are ‘imminent’? Is there an international legal basis to kill or harm individuals who have a connection to that threat? Do the benefits of preventive force justify the costs? And, perhaps most importantly, is the US setting a dangerous international precedent?
In Preventive Force, editors Kerstin Fisk and Jennifer Ramos bring together legal scholars, political scientists, international relations scholars, and prominent defense specialists to examine these questions, whether in the context of full-scale preventive war or preventive drone strikes. In particular, the volume highlights preventive drones strikes, as they mark a complete transformation of how the US understands international norms regarding the use of force, and could potentially lead to a ‘slippery slope’ for the US and other nations in terms of engaging in preventive warfare as a matter of course. A comprehensive resource that speaks to the contours of preventive force as a security strategy as well as to the practical, legal, and ethical considerations of its implementation, Preventive Force is a useful guide for political scientists, international relations scholars, and policymakers who seek a thorough and current overview of this essential topic.
Words on the Move: Why English Won't - and Can't - Sit Still (Like, Literally) [EPUB]
21 November 2016, 20:27
2016 | EPUB | 1.16MB
A bestselling linguist takes us on a lively tour of how the English language is evolving before our eyes – and why we should embrace this transformation and not fight it
Language is always changing – but we tend not to like it. We understand that new words must be created for new things, but the way English is spoken today rubs many of us the wrong way. Whether it’s the use of literally to mean “figuratively” rather than “by the letter,” or the way young people use LOL and like, or business jargon like What’s the ask? – it often seems as if the language is deteriorating before our eyes.
But the truth is different and a lot less scary, as John McWhorter shows in this delightful and eye-opening exploration of how English has always been in motion and continues to evolve today. Drawing examples from everyday life and employing a generous helping of humor, he shows that these shifts are a natural process common to all languages, and that we should embrace and appreciate these changes, not condemn them.
Words on the Move opens our eyes to the surprising backstories to the words and expressions we use every day. Did you know that silly once meant “blessed”? Or that ought was the original past tense of owe? Or that the suffix -ly in adverbs is actually a remnant of the word like? And have you ever wondered why some people from New Orleans sound as if they come from Brooklyn?
McWhorter encourages us to marvel at the dynamism and resilience of the English language, and his book offers a lively journey through which we discover that words are ever on the move and our lives are all the richer for it.
Classic Human Anatomy in Motion: The Artist's Guide to the Dynamics of Figure Drawing [EPUB]
21 November 2016, 20:26
2015 | EPUB + AZW3 | 371.27/58.28MB
This essential companion book to the bestselling Classic Human Anatomy provides artists and art students with a deeper understanding of human anatomy and different types of motion, inspiring more realistic and energetic figurative art.
Fine-art instruction books do not usually focus on anatomy as it relates to movement, despite its great artistic significance. Written by a long-time expert on drawing and painting human anatomy, Classic Human Anatomy in Motion offers artists everything they need to realistically draw the human figure as it is affected by movement. Written in a friendly style, the book is illustrated with hundreds of life drawing studies (both quick poses and long studies), along with charts and diagrams showing the various anatomical and structural components.
This comprehensive manual features 5 distinct sections, each focusing on a different aspect of the human figure: bones and joint movement, muscle groups, surface form and soft tissue characteristics, structure, and movement. Each chapter builds an artistic understanding of how motion transforms the human figure and can create a sense of expressive vibrancy in one's art.
Bio-Young: Get Younger at a Cellular and Hormonal Level [EPUB]
21 November 2016, 20:23
2016 | EPUB | 1.96MB
A groundbreaking, easy-to-follow, all-natural anti-aging program using vitamins, natural oils, and many common foods that will help you to look and feel younger.
You’ve always heard that “age is just a number”—now Roxy Dillon, the Youth Guru, has the science to prove it. Those wrinkles under your eyes are not simply an inevitable part of the aging process. Actually, those unpleasant surprises in the mirror are a result of the decline in your cellular and hormonal functions. Science shows us that your hormones quickly decline after age thirty, leading to a variety of changes in your body including hair loss, saggy skin, and unwanted facial hair. The good news is that all of your aging symptoms can be halted—and even reversed.
In Bio-Young, renowned anti-aging expert Roxy Dillon guides you through an easy-to-follow regimen that will naturally stop and reverse the aging process. Amazingly, common plants and foods contain compounds that are now scientifically proven to stimulate cellular and hormonal function, and actually reverse aging! Using ingredients that you can find at home, you can stimulate your hormone-producing glands into youthful activity again. Discover the bio-actives—foods, herbs, supplements, edibles, and essential oils—that you should be eating, or applying externally, and learn how their key compounds (such as resveratrol in red wine, squalene in olive oil, or ferulic acid in rice bran oil) will plump your skin, reduce high blood pressure, and even fight cancer cells. From restoring thinning hair with rosemary and smoothing wrinkles with honey, to preventing grey hair with onion juice—there’s a natural solution for every problem. Roxy has created a clear-cut program that will help you take control of your looks and turn back the clock. Get ready to look and feel years younger!
Cervantes' 'Don Quixote' by Roberto González Echevarría [EPUB]
21 November 2016, 20:20
2015 | EPUB | 14.63 MB
The novel Don Quixote, written in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, is widely considered to be one of the greatest fictional works in the entire canon of Western literature. At once farcical and deeply philosophical, Cervantes’ novel and its characters have become integrated into the cultures of the Western Hemisphere, influencing language and modern thought while inspiring art and artists such as Richard Strauss and Pablo Picasso. Based on Professor Roberto González Echevarría’s popular open course at Yale University, this essential guide to the enduring Spanish classic facilitates a close reading of Don Quixote in the artistic and historical context of renaissance and baroque Spain while exploring why Cervantes’ masterwork is still widely read and relevant today. González Echevarría addresses the novel’s major themes and demonstrates how the story of an aging, deluded would-be knight-errant embodies that most modern of predicaments: the individual’s dissatisfaction with the world in which he lives, and his struggle to make that world mesh with his desires.
Dore's Illustrations for Don Quixote [EPUB]
21 November 2016, 20:17
2013 | EPUB | 62.17MB
"His Don Quixote … from its first to its last page [is] a marvel of imagination, poetry, sentiment, and sarcasm. . . . People still speak of it only as 'Dore's Don Quixote'." — Life and Reminiscences of Gustave Dore
Dore himself had something of Quixote's chivalry and spent an arduous life drafting impossible dreams; he knew fame as well as pain, disillusionment, and failure. At age 30 he was ready for Quixote and prepared to realize his dream of illustrating the world's great books.
Dore never became the painter he yearned to be, but he came very close to realizing his desired intimacy with the classics. His sympathy with Cervantes' satire was so close that, of the numerous Quixote interpretations by many outstanding artists, Dore's has become the standard. The French translation of Cervantes that Dore illustrated is forgotten; here is the memorable remnant of that work — all 120 full-page plates, plus a selection of 70 characteristic headpiece and tailpiece vignettes.
As can be seen in the backgrounds, Dore was ready professionally as well as emotionally for Quixote. He had traveled through Spain preparing an earlier work, and his graphic memory was as strong and indelible as that of another great Quixote interpreter, Picasso. From Sancho's village through Spanish hills and dry plateaus, in the Pyrenees and by the sea, in rural castles and Barcelona luxury, Dore illuminated the seventeenth-century setting with a nineteenth-century acquaintance with the scene. Dore was also a careful student of Renaissance costume and architecture; his minutiae, so copious, are invariably correct.
Captions written especially for this edition describe the action with reference to the original Spanish text, capturing high points of the story. But of course Dore conveys it all in a picture: the famous windmill charge, traversing the Sierra Morena, battling the Knight of the White Moon, visions of giants, dragons, flaming lakes, and damsels, the Dulcinea never found, all in full-page wood engravings. Dore's marvelous penchant for ghostly effects in panoramic landscapes and seascapes finds large scope here, carefully engraved by one of the best of his longtime studio engravers, H. Pisano.
Dore's Man of la Mancha glows with the artist's own enchantment and humor. Artists and illustration aficionados will add this royalty-free volume to other Dover editions of Dore's works — art he created to stand with great literature that now stands alone. Dore's Quixote indeed stands alone, unique among the knights and graphic castles in Spain.
Creative 52: Weekly Projects to Invigorate Your Photography Portfolio [EPUB]
21 November 2016, 20:16
2013 | EPUB | 14.25MB
A powerful portfolio involves so much more than just a strong grasp of the technical aspects of photography–it’s a complex mix of style, techniques, and intriguing ideas. Many photographers struggle to achieve a high-impactportfolio, feeling that they lack the creative spark to invigorate them andmove their work forward.
Creative 52 is that spark–and your guide to a new and more creative portfolio in just one year! A remedy for that “average” portfolio, this collection of innovative projects will help portrait, wedding, and fashion photographers build a portfolio that draws the attention of editors and clients–leaving the competition behind. While other how-to books often use bland imagery simply to prove a technical point, and many fine art books are filled with beautiful imagery but contain minimal (if any) educational insights to help working photographers, this book blends both: inspiration and knowledge that you can use to create images that attract potential clients.
Divided into three parts–concept, technique, and post-processing–author Lindsay Adler’s 52 challenges each contain a description of the project, potential inspiration and suggestions of other artists to check out, and her own unique solution to the challenge–all to push you beyond your comfort zone to explore new ideas and approaches to your work.
- Includes a year’s worth of weekly projects that motivate you to experiment with new concepts, techniques, and software tools like Adobe Photoshop to achieve more eye-catching images
- Offers the cure for “expected” imagery, showing how to produce memorable photographs that are distinct from the competition, enabling you to reach new clients
- Empowers you with the encouragement and expertise necessary to create spectacular images
Light, Shadow & Skin Tone: The Complete Guide to Shooting Black & White Glamour Photography [EPUB]
21 November 2016, 20:16
2009 | EPUB | 8.57MB
In this groundbreaking new book, Bill Lemon explores the art of shooting black and white glamour photography. The book details the similarities and differences between digital photography and traditional film and provides numerous artistic, visual examples of each. Also covered is the post-production process for digital photography, with complete step-by-step instructions for effectively converting color images to black and white while maintaining depth, detail, and clarity to create a captivating image.
Featuring both studio and outdoor settings, Light, Shadow, and Skin Tone explains, image by image, how each photo was created. Lemon discusses the equipment used, the type of light, fill flash, exposures, as well as the time of day that produces the best image and how to use the light to your advantage. Also included are hints on posing and working with models.
The step-by-step, image-by-image information contained in this book is highly enjoyable, whether you are interested in learning the process or simply want to gaze at breathtaking, tasteful artwork.
Masters of Light: Conversations with Contemporary Cinematographers [EPUB]
21 November 2016, 20:15
2013 | EPUB | 3.53MB
Through conversations held with fifteen of the most accomplished contemporary cinematographers, the authors explore the working world of the person who controls the visual look and style of a film. This reissue includes a new foreword by cinematographer John Bailey and a new preface by the authors, which bring this classic guide to cinematography, in print for more than twenty-five years, into the twenty-first century.
John Donne: The Reformed Soul: A Biography [EPUB]
21 November 2016, 20:15
2008 | EPUB | 2.07MB
From scholar to buccaneer, from outcast to establishment figure, John Donne emerged as one of the greatest English poets. Following Donne from Plague-ridden streets to palaces, from taverns to the pulpit of St Paul's, John Stubbs's "exemplary literary biography" (Harold Bloom) is a vivid portrait of an extraordinary writer and his country at a time of bewildering and cruel transformation.
The Decadent Handbook: For the Modern Libertine [EPUB]
21 November 2016, 20:14
2007 | EPUB | 0.8MB
The ultimate lifestyle guide for the people who want to transform the spirit of the age, or failing that, ignore it altogether. Featuring contributions by the bad, dangerous and eccentric free spirits of contemporary society, The Decadent Handbook will become the bible for the modern libertine.
Contributors include Hari Kunzru,Tom Holland,Salena Godden,Michael Bywater, Lisa Hilton, Helen Walsh, Michael Bywater, Vanora Bennett, Medlar Lucan, Andrew Crumey, Durian Gray, Nicholas Royle,Mark Mason, Alan Jenkins and Robert Irwin. Guest contributors include the J.K.Huysmans, Pieyre de Mandiargues, Octave Mirbeau and Sebastian Horsley. The contributors ( that is those who are still alive by the time of publication) have chosen to be remunerated with La Fee Absinthe.
Secrets of the World's Best-Selling Writer: The Storytelling Techniques of Erle Stanley Gardner [EPUB]
21 November 2016, 20:14
2015 | EPUB | 3.05MB
All the hard-earned storytelling skills of Erle Stanley Gardner, creator of Perry Mason and one of the best-selling writers of all time, are revealed in this informative, entertaining, and instructive book. The authors clearly present and analyze all the elements of narrative character, plot, conflict, and resolution as Gardner used them. Numerous extraordinary charts, diagrams, and outlines makes his hard-earned technical skills available to the reader in practical and useful forms.
This book is ideal for Gardner collectors and fans, and equally for students of writing at all levels would-be writers, neophytes, and even published authors for it offers one of the most practical and professional courses ever in storytelling technique.
Applying Music in Exercise and Sport [AZW3]
21 November 2016, 20:13
2016 | AZW3 | 7.58MB
Music has been intertwined with exercise and sport for many decades, and recent advancements in digital technology and personal listening devices have significantly strengthened that bond. Applying Music in Exercise and Sport combines contemporary research, evidence-based practice, and specific recommendations to help exercise and sport professionals, coaches, students, researchers, and enthusiasts use music to enhance enjoyment, motivation, and performance of physical activity. Readers will explore the psychological and physiological effects of music and learn how to apply scientific principles to personal workouts, group exercise classes, and both individual and team sport settings.
Globally known authority and author Costas I. Karageorghis draws from contemporary research in an emerging field of academic study, exploring the application of music in the domain of exercise and sport. Respected psychologist and consultant for major organizations such as British Athletics, England Rugby, Nike, Red Bull, Spotify, IMG, Sony, and Universal Music, Karageorghis incorporates his unique experiences as a performer, researcher, and practitioner in music and sport to create a groundbreaking text that provides readers with an understanding of how music can play an important role in enhancing the experience of exercisers and athletes.
- Though Applying Music in Exercise and Sport is grounded in scientific research, content is presented in a way that is easy to comprehend and apply. Readers benefit from tools such as these:
- Recommended playlists for a variety of exercise- and sport-specific settings that provide a guide to selecting and segueing music tracks
- Tip boxes that help readers determine which track to play to promote or suppress certain emotions
- Case studies that illustrate the process of identifying a goal, selecting an appropriate music program, and evaluating outcomes
Applying Music in Exercise and Sport presents an interdisciplinary approach to selecting, integrating, and studying music in physical activity settings. Part I introduces the science of how music can help in exercise and sport and how it can be used to influence specific behaviors and emotions. Legal considerations regarding the use of music in exercise and sport environments are also covered. A range of assessment methods are provided for exercise and sport professionals that will enable them to select music and measure its effectiveness when used in individual, group, or team settings.
Part II focuses on using music to enhance the exercise experience in both individual and group settings. Individual exercise types that are examined include flexibility, aerobic, and strength workouts, while group exercise activities include popular fitness classes such as Spinning, yoga, and circuit training. Part III focuses on how music can enhance sport training and performance, providing rich insight for coaches and competitive athletes participating in individual sports such as cycling, golf, gymnastics, martial arts, and tennis and in team sports such as basketball, soccer, baseball, and American football.
Applying Music in Exercise and Sport facilitates creation of effective playlists, empowers music-related interventions, and enables assessment of the effects of music in the field. Collectively, these music-related skills promote purposeful selection of tracks, optimize psychological responses, and enhance performance.
Buddha's Diet: The Ancient Art of Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind [EPUB]
21 November 2016, 20:12
2016 | EPUB | 5.16MB
There’s a lot you probably don’t know about the Buddha. For one, the real Buddha was thin. And before he became the “Enlightened One,” he was a pampered prince named Siddhartha. He tried dieting once and didn’t like it any more than you do. Instead, he sought a “middle way” between unhealthy overindulgence and unrealistic abstinence. The instructions he gave his monks about eating, more than 2,500 years ago, were surprisingly simple.
Fast forward to today, and modern science confirms what Buddha knew all along. It’s not what you eat that’s important, but when you eat. You don’t need to follow the latest fads or give up your favorite foods. You just have to remember a few guidelines that Buddha provided—guidelines that, believe it or not, will help you lose weight, feel better, and stop obsessing about food. Sure, Buddha lived before the age of doughnuts and French fries, but his wisdom and teachings endure, providing us with a sane, mindful approach to achieving optimum health.
Rosset: My Life in Publishing and How I Fought Censorship [EPUB]
21 November 2016, 20:12
2016 | EPUB | 7.82MB
Genet…Beckett…Burroughs…Miller…Ionesco, Oe, Duras. Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard. Hubert Selby Jr. and John Rechy. The legendary film I Am Curious (Yellow). The books that assaulted the fort of propriety that was the United States in the 1950s and ’60s, Lady Chatterley’s Lover and The Tropic of Cancer. The Evergreen Review. Victorian “erotica.” The Autobiography of Malcolm X. A bombing, a sit-in, and a near-fistfight with Norman Mailer. The common thread between these disparate elements, a number of which reshaped modern culture, was Barney Rosset.
Rosset was the antidote to the trope of the “gentleman publisher” personified by other pioneering figures of the industry such as Alfred A. Knopf, Bennett Cerf and James Laughlin. If Barney saw a crowd heading one way—he looked the other. If he knew something was forbidden, he regarded it as a plus. Unsurprisingly, financial ruin, along with the highs and lows of critical reception, marked his career. But his unswerving dedication to publishing what he wanted made him one of the most influential publishers ever.
Rosset began work on his autobiography a decade before his death in 2012, and several publishers and a number of editors worked with him on the project. Now, at last, in his own words, we have a portrait of the man who reshaped how we think about language, literature—and sex. Here are the stories behind the filming of Norman Mailer’s Maidstone and Samuel Beckett’s Film; the battles with the US government over Tropic of Cancer and much else; the search for Che’s diaries; his romance with the expressionist painter Joan Mitchell, and more.
At times appalling, more often inspiring, never boring or conventional: this is Barney Rosset, uncensored.
The Drone Memos: Targeted Killing, Secrecy, and the Law [EPUB]
21 November 2016, 20:11
2016 | EPUB | 1.18MB
The Drone Memos collects for the first time the legal and policy documents underlying the U.S. government’s deeply controversial practice of “targeted killing”—the extrajudicial killing of suspected terrorists and militants, typically using remotely piloted aircraft or “drones.” The documents—including the Presidential Policy Guidance that provides the framework for drone strikes today, Justice Department white papers addressing the assassination of an American citizen, and a highly classified legal memo that was published only after a landmark legal battle involving the ACLU, the New York Times, and the CIA—together constitute a remarkable effort to legitimize a practice that most human rights experts consider to be unlawful and that the United States has historically condemned.
In a lucid and provocative introduction, Jameel Jaffer, who led the ACLU legal team that secured the release of many of the documents, evaluates the “drone memos” in light of domestic and international law. He connects the documents’ legal abstractions to the real-world violence they allow, and makes the case that we are trading core principles of democracy and human rights for the illusion of security.
Beyond Black and White: From Civil Rights to Barack Obama (Radical Thinkers) [EPUB]
21 November 2016, 20:11
2016 | EPUB | 0.5MB
Highly acclaimed dissection of the “new racism,” from one of the greatest radical black intellectuals of our time
Many in the US, including Barack Obama, have called for a ‘post-racial’ politics: yet race still divides the country politically, economically and socially. In this highly acclaimed work, Manning Marable rejects both liberal inclusionist strategies and the separatist politics of the likes of Louis Farrakhan. Beginning by looking back at African-American politics and the fight against racism of the recent past, outlining a trenchant analysis of the ‘New Racial Domain’ that must be uprooted, he argues powerfully for a ‘transformationist’ strategy, which retains a distinctive black cultural identity but draws together all the poor and exploited in a united struggle against oppression.
Jews Who Rock [EPUB]
21 November 2016, 20:10
2016 | EPUB | 6.92MB
Jewish achievement in the sciences? Celebrated. Jews in literature? Lionized. But until now, there's been no record of the massive contributions of Jews in Rock n' Roll. Jews Who Rock features 100 top Jewish rockers, from Bob Dylan to Adam Horowitz, Courtney Love (yes, she's half Jewish) to John Zorn, with a concise page of essential data and a biography of each one.
The Mosaic of Islam: A Conversation with Perry Anderson [EPUB]
21 November 2016, 20:10
2016 | EPUB | 0.5MB
A comprehensive introduction to the faith and politics of Islam
Today, 23 percent of the global population is Muslim, but ignorance and misinformation about Islam persist. In this fascinating and useful book, Perry Anderson interviews the noted scholar of Islam Suleiman Mourad about the Qurʾan and the history of the faith.
Mourad elucidates the different stages in Islam’s development: the Qurʾan as scripture and the history of its codification; Muhammad and the significance of his Sunna and Hadith; the Sunni–Shiʿi split and the formation of various sects; the development of jihad; the transition to modernity and the challenges of reform; and the complexities of Islam in the modern world. He also looks at Wahhabism from its inception in the eighteenth century to its present-day position as the movement that galvanized modern Salafism and gave rise to militant Islam or jihadism.
The Mosaic of Islam reveals both the richness and the fissures of the faith. It speaks of the different voices claiming to represent the religion and spans peaceful groups and manifestations as well as the bloody confrontations that disfigure the Middle East, such as the Saudi intervention in the Yemen and the collapse of Syria and Iraq.
Jackson Pollock: An American Saga [EPUB]
21 November 2016, 20:08
2015 | EPUB | 59.49MB
Jackson Pollock was more than a great artist, he was a creative force of nature. He changed not only the course of Western art, but our very definition of "art." He was the quintessential tortured genius, an American Vincent van Gogh, cut from the same unconforming cloth as his contemporaries Ernest Hemingway and James Dean–and tormented by the same demons; a "cowboy artist" who rose from obscurity to take his place among the titans of modern art, and whose paintings now command millions of dollars.
Here, for the first time, is the life behind that extraordinary achievement–the disjointed childhood, the sibling rivalry, the sexual ambiguity, and the artistic frustration out of which both artist and art developed.
Based on more than 2,000 interviews with 850 people, Jackson Pollock is the first book to explore the life of a great artist with the psychological depth that marks the best biographies of literary and political figures. In eight years of research the authors have uncovered previously unknown letters and documents, gained access to medical and psychiatric records, and interviewed scores of the artist's friends and acquaintances whose stories had never been told. They were also the first biographers in twenty years to benefit from the cooperation of Pollock's widow, Lee Krasner.
The results of these unprecedented efforts lie before you: a rich, sprawling, landmark biography of one of the most compelling figures in all of American culture; a brilliant, explosive "portrait of the artist," intimately detailed, abundantly illustrated (with more than 200 photographs from Pollock's life and work, many of them never before published), and filled with new information and new insights.
In a style as richly textured, engrossing, and poignant as the best of contemporary literature, Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith give us the family crucible out of which the artist and his art emerged. Beginning with Jackson's birth on a sheep ranch in Wyoming, we follow the Pollock family on a relentless trek across the American West, as their dreams of a better life somewhere else are repeatedly frustrated. We see the young Jack Pollock as a struggling art student in New York, escaping into drunken rages or throwing himself into the Hudson River in one of several attempts at suicide.
Later, we see Pollock, by turns, gently affectionate and outrageously cruel, creatively bankrupt and heroically productive. We see him alternately fascinated and intimidated by his contemporaries: Clement Greenberg, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Harold Rosenberg, Clyfford Still, Tennessee Williams. We see him enter into a tumultuous marriage with the painter Lee Krasner, creating a powerful alliance that will lead first to triumph, then to decline, and finally to death when, with his mistress at his side, Pollock smashes his car into a tree.
But Jackson Pollock is more than the epic story of a tormented man and his sublime art, it is also a compulsively readable, sweeping saga of America's cultural coming of age. From frontier Iowa to the dust bowl of Arizona, from the twilight of the Wild West to the desolation of Depression-era New York, from the excitement and experimentation of the Mexican muralists to the fanfare of the Surrealists' visit to America, from the arts projects of the WPA to the explosion of interest and money that marked the beginning of the modern art world, Pollock's story unfolds against the dramatic landscape of American history.
Here then is a definitive record of the journey of an artist, filled with piercing psychological insights, that brings us to a truer understanding of the power and pathos of creative genius.