Tim Morton’s book will open your mind to a new way of being

Updated 14 May 2018
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Tim Morton’s book will open your mind to a new way of being

BEIRUT: “Being Ecological” will interest anyone passionate about ecology, but this is not the readership Tim Morton is targeting. Being Ecological is primarily meant for anyone who doesn’t care about ecology. “Don’t read ecology books? This book is for you,” says  Morton, acknowledging that ecology books are either clogged with information already out of date by the time they are published or filled with shocking news to make us feel bad.

“This book has none of that” and “it also contains no ecological facts, no shocking revelations about our world, no ethical or political advice, and no grand tour of ecological thinking. This is a pretty useless ecology book, in fact,” says Morton. His wry humor and playful tone run throughout this collection of essays which show us how to live ecological knowledge through the lense of philosophy, literature and popular culture.

“I have a lot of sympathy for the ‘What are we going to do?’ sort of question. And this is precisely why I refuse to give it a straight answer,” writes Morton. 

In a powerful and dazzling display of intellectual calisthenics, Morton opens our minds to new ways of thinking. 

The narrative is clever, challenging and hardly coherent.  He writes like he thinks: Unrestrained and unbridled. He re-molds the language, invents words and brings a new dimension to the art of writing so you can feel the texture of an idea, the taste of a thought and express the color of a feeling.

Tim Morton has devised an exhilarating approach to creating a liveable future. All forms of life are connected. Each one of us is a symbiotic being entwined with other symbiotic beings. 

This interconnectedness encompasses all dimensions of life. In other words, being ecological is not an option because we are ecological.


What We Are Reading Today: The Tale of Genji, A Visual Companion

Updated 17 October 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: The Tale of Genji, A Visual Companion

  • Melissa McCormick provides a unique companion to Murasaki’s tale with the oldest dated set of Genji illustrations known to exist

Book Title:  The Tale of Genji, A Visual Companion

Author: Melissa McCormick

 

Written in the 11th century by the Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji is a masterpiece of prose and poetry that is widely considered the world’s first novel. Melissa McCormick provides a unique companion to Murasaki’s tale that combines discussions of all 54 of its chapters with paintings and calligraphy from the Genji Album (1510) in the Harvard Art Museums, the oldest dated set of Genji illustrations known to exist.

In this book, the album’s colorful painting and calligraphy leaves are fully reproduced for the first time, followed by McCormick’s insightful essays that analyze the Genji story and the album’s unique combinations of word and image. 

This stunning compendium also includes English translations and Japanese transcriptions of the album’s calligraphy, enabling a holistic experience of the work for readers today. In an introduction to the volume, McCormick tells the fascinating stories of the individuals who created the Genji Album in the sixteenth century, from the famous court painter who executed the paintings and the aristocrats who brushed the calligraphy to the work’s warrior patrons and the poet-scholars who acted as their intermediaries.

Beautifully illustrated, this book serves as an invaluable guide for readers interested in The Tale of Genji, Japanese literature, and the captivating visual world of Japan’s most celebrated work of fiction.