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Embracing the Ordinary: Lessons From the Champions of Everyday Life
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Embracing the Ordinary: Lessons From the Champions of Everyday Life [Format Kindle]

Michael Foley

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

'A wise, funny, erudite book' Independent
'Foley's writing is funny and accessible, his ability to rain ordinariness on such lofty topics as love, sex and religion is insightful and amusing' Scotsman

Présentation de l'éditeur

It has always been difficult to appreciate everyday life, often devalued as dreary, banal and burdensome, and never more so than in a culture besotted with fantasy, celebrity and glamour. Yet many writers, artists, film-makers and photographers have celebrated the ordinary life around them, and many philosophers, anthropologists, psychologists and neuroscientists have offered insights into the difficulties and rewards of paying attention to the here and now. With characteristic wit and earthiness, Michael Foley - author of the bestselling The Age of Absurdity - draws on the work of these artists and thinkers, and encourages us to delight in the complexities of everyday psychopathology. With astute observation, Foley brings fresh insights to such things as the banality of everyday speech, the madness and weirdness of snobbery, love and sex, and the strangeness of everyday objects and the everyday environment, such as the office. It is all more fascinating, comical and mysterious than you think.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 476 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 336 pages
  • Editeur : Simon & Schuster UK (5 juillet 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B006VJN182
  • Synthèse vocale : Non activée
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  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°71.132 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Some great sections, but overall unconvincing 22 septembre 2012
Par Acorn - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This is a strange beast. Much of the book is about the works of James Joyce and Marcel Proust, especially their fascination with everyday life and its petty annoyances, fleeting moments of joy and ever-present absurdities. It is also a plea for all of us to be more attentive to the mundane and to admire its multiple facets and its aesthetic wonder. Finally, it allows Michael Foley to exercise some of his own skill in depicting daily life, something he does very well.

Foley argues that everyday life was largely neglected by philosophers and artists until the early 20th century, and sees Proust and Joyce as instrumental in re-directing people's attention. His analysis ignores the works of sociology and anthropology, though these would have greatly strengthened his case. Instead he gives a lot of attention to psychology, with dubious interpretations of human motivations and drives and stereotypical views on human evolution. When he steps away from literature, Foley's patchy research unnecessarily undermines the impact of what he has to say.

Foley covers many elements of daily life. His views on imagination are marred by his obsession with the dated idea of a left-brain versus right-brain dichotomy, something that ignores the integrated networking of the brain. He is better on comedy and the spiritual life, though there is little here that has not been said before. His discussions of people's speech and how we present ourselves to others will hopefully stimulate readers to listen and observe the world about them more closely, but on the presentation of self he never reaches the eloquence of Erving Goffman.

Chapters on memory, snobbery and sex highlight neglected areas in the works of Joyce and Proust, and Foley covers them in an amusing style. But for me the best section of this book is Part 5, where Foley abandons theoretical analysis and writes from his own experience about the city, the office and the home. Here he gives free rein to expressing his pleasure in such things as graffiti, derelict buildings, weeds, pencils, staplers, swivel chairs, old wooden desks and the morning and evening rituals of home. It's a lively and exuberant part of the book and made me wonder why he didn't adopt this approach throughout.

The magic fades in the final chapter where Foley imagines an overnight conversation between Proust and Joyce. In fact the two men only met once, briefly, in Paris in 1922. Reports of the encounter differ markedly (a lot of alcohol was being consumed) but all say it was no great meeting of minds. Foley attempts to remedy this in a way that highlights the key themes in the book, but for me the exercise felt pointless and drawn out.

I had not read anything by Michael Foley before, but he has a dedicated following. In parts of Embracing the Ordinary he shows that he can write with imagination and skill, but for me too much of this book was not sufficiently coherent once Foley stepped outside his fields of expertise (he's an IT specialist as well as a man of letters).

Many literature buffs love to twitter on about Joyce and Proust, though most have never taken the time to read their novels. It would be a champion result if Foley's book encouraged more people to read the two authors, but sadly I don't think it is going to do that.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Delightful meander through the ordinary with Proust and Joyce 6 septembre 2012
Par Tracy Sorensen - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I enjoyed this book. I loved the passages about ordinary, banal things like the pleasure of the stationery cupboard at work. I, too, have had epiphanies where the ordinary things in a day seem almost unbearably wonderful. They are fleeting and few, but I'll never forget them. What I wasn't expecting from this book was the lashings of Proust and Joyce. They were good lashings. I'd read and enjoyed Proust but had never read any Joyce other than the Portrait of the Artist. The fabulous thing about the Kindle is that you can get all inspired and click for a new book all in one go. So I was soon reading a bit of Ulysses, and it wasn't difficult at all if you don't mind not being able to follow what's going on and just go along for the ride, the way a dog goes for a ride in a car, seeing and enjoying everything. It's about paying attention, even if you have no hope of knowing what's really going on. Thank you Mr Foley for this book.
0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 embracing the ordinary 12 juillet 2012
Par Marie - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
the book is the title. by reading this book that is exactly what you are doing.
Dragging my mind slowly up the hill and only three chapters in . .knowing i can certainly expect more eye opening and mind shocking realisations in the chapters to follow.
Ride the chapters like a wave. . and enjoy the good ones cause you never know what the next has in store.. I am a massive fan of Michael Foley, his clever perspective intrigues me. .his frequent joyce and proust comparisons not so much.
A 5 star writer, worth a patient read.
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