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Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition par [Harrison, Robert Pogue]
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Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition Format Kindle


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Description du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur



Humans have long turned to gardens—both real and imaginary—for sanctuary from the frenzy and tumult that surrounds them. Those gardens may be as far away from everyday reality as Gilgamesh’s garden of the gods or as near as our own backyard, but in their very conception and the marks they bear of human care and cultivation, gardens stand as restorative, nourishing, necessary havens.


With Gardens, Robert Pogue Harrison graces readers with a thoughtful, wide-ranging examination of the many ways gardens evoke the human condition. Moving from from the gardens of ancient philosophers to the gardens of homeless people in contemporary New York, he shows how, again and again, the garden has served as a check against the destruction and losses of history.  The ancients, explains Harrison, viewed gardens as both a model and a location for the laborious self-cultivation and self-improvement that are essential to serenity and enlightenment, an association that has continued throughout the ages. The Bible and Qur’an; Plato’s Academy and Epicurus’s Garden School; Zen rock and Islamic carpet gardens; Boccaccio, Rihaku, Capek, Cao Xueqin, Italo Calvino, Ariosto, Michel Tournier, and Hannah Arendt—all come into play as this work explores the ways in which the concept and reality of the garden has informed human thinking about mortality, order, and power.


Alive with the echoes and arguments of Western thought, Gardens is a fitting continuation of the intellectual journeys of Harrison’s earlier classics, Forests and The Dominion of the Dead. Voltaire famously urged us to cultivate our gardens; with this compelling volume, Robert Pogue Harrison reminds us of the nature of that responsibility—and its enduring importance to humanity.


"I find myself completely besotted by a new book titled Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition, by Robert Pogue Harrison. The author . . . is one of the very best cultural critics at work today. He is a man of deep learning, immense generosity of spirit, passionate curiosity and manifold rhetorical gifts."—Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune


"This book is about gardens as a metaphor for the human condition. . . . Harrison draws freely and with brilliance from 5,000 years of Western literature and criticism, including works on philosophy and garden history. . . . He is a careful as well as an inspiring scholar."—Tom Turner, Times Higher Education


"When I was a student, my Cambridge supervisor said, in the Olympian tone characteristic of his kind, that the only living literary critics for whom he would sell his shirt were William Empson and G. Wilson Knight.  Having spent the subsequent 30 years in the febrile world of academic Lit. Crit. . . . I’m not sure that I’d sell my shirt for any living critic.  But if there had to be one, it would unquestionably be Robert Pogue Harrison, whose study Forests: The Shadow of Civilization, published in 1992, has the true quality of literature, not of criticism—it stays with you, like an amiable ghost, long after you read it.


“Though more modest in scope, this new book is similarly destined to become a classic. It has two principal heroes: the ancient philosopher Epicurus . . . and the wonderfully witty Czech writer Karel Capek, apropos of whom it is remarked that, whereas most people believe gardening to be a subset of life, ‘gardeners, including Capek, understand that life is a subset of gardening.’”—Jonathan Bate, The Spectator



Biographie de l'auteur

Robert Pogue Harrison is the Rosina Pierotti Professor of Italian Literature at Stanford University. He is the author of four books, including Forests: The Shadow of Civilization and The Dominion of the Dead, both published by the University of Chicago Press.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2087 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 264 pages
  • Editeur : University of Chicago Press (15 novembre 2008)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B001R23RI2
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards)

Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5 14 commentaires
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A magnificent essay by a wonderfully erudite writer with an unusual view of the role ... 16 août 2016
Par Lois E. Meessen - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
A magnificent essay by a wonderfully erudite writer with an unusual view of the role CARE of gardens plays in shaping our lives and culture.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 written with beauty and insight...a very, very good read 10 juillet 2014
Par Susan Dunlap - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
If you love gardening or plants you will truly enjoy this book. It is written with poetic beauty and scholarly insight and invites contemplation - just as the gardens and plants which give you pleasure. Harrison thinks, and writes, about gardens with a novelty that deserves our attention. He has poured his soul into this material and we might respond by reading it to glean the amazing thoughts he conveys on these pages, put there for our benefit.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Five Stars 1 avril 2015
Par Yardboy - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Got this as a gift from my beautiful daughter, who shares a love of gardens with me.
1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Epicurean Delight 11 août 2011
Par a reader - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Harrison's book is a thought-provoking survey of a host of topics that are effectively tied together under the theme of gardens. I was not prepared for the philosophical focus that Harrison undertakes but, as a lay reader, I always found the discussion understandable and indeed compelling. Literature discussed ranges from the Bible, the Qur'an, Plato, Epicurus, Dante, Boccaccio, Camus, Calvino, and Malcolm Lowery. You don't have to be a gardener to appreciate this book, but if you are (as I am) you will certainly appreciate the theme that one must give more to the garden than one takes back, a guiding metaphor for other aspects of life. The book has motivated me to turn to his two earlier works, Forests, and The Dominion of the Dead. I discovered that Harrison also has an interesting website ("Entitled Opinions")that contains interviews and podcasts on a wide variety of scholarly topics.
16 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Professor Harrison again provides insight 6 décembre 2008
Par Kenny Boxer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
As in "Dominion of the Dead," Professor Harrison has taken a topic (this time Gardens and our relations to them) and interwoven scholarship with stirring judgment. I am no gardener; this book can resonate with all who take up work and action to cultivate anyone or anything. The chapter on Care was particularly poignant. For example, on page 27, Harrison writes: "Care is accustomed to act, to take the initiative, to stake its claims, yet powerlessness and even helplessness are as intrinsic to the lived experience of care as the latter's irrepressible impulse to act, enable, nurse, and promote."

If you have read and were moved by "Dominion of the Dead," or if you are one of the many listeners of his insightful radio show/podcast called "Entitled Opinions," or if you are one of us seeking for bold thinkers willing to powerfully interpret our current human condition, then sit down somewhere comfortable and open this important book.
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