The Spell of the Sensuous

The Spell of the Sensuous

Perception and Language in A More-than-human World

Book - 1997
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Random House, Inc.
Winner of the International Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction

Animal tracks, word magic, the speech of stones, the power of letters, and the taste of the wind all figure prominently in this intellectual tour de force that returns us to our senses and to the sensuous terrain that sustains us. This major work of ecological philosophy startles the senses out of habitual ways of perception.

For a thousand generations, human beings viewed themselves as part of the wider community of nature, and they carried on active relationships not only with other people with other animals, plants, and natural objects (including mountains, rivers, winds, and weather patters) that we have only lately come to think of as "inanimate." How, then, did humans come to sever their ancient reciprocity with the natural world? What will it take for us to recover a sustaining relation with the breathing earth? 

In The Spell of the Sensuous David Abram draws on sources as diverse as the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty, Balinese shamanism, Apache storytelling, and his own experience as an accomplished sleight-of-hand of magician to reveal the subtle dependence of human cognition on the natural environment. He explores the character of perception and excavates the sensual foundations of language, which--even at its most abstract--echoes the calls and cries of the earth. On every page of this lyrical work, Abram weaves his arguments with a passion, a precision, and an intellectual daring that recall such writers as Loren Eisleley, Annie Dillard, and Barry Lopez.

Baker & Taylor
Describes the influence of spoken and written language and rational thinking on humankind's perception of the natural world and on the physical interaction with nature. Reprint. 10,000 first printing.

Baker
& Taylor

Describes the influence of spoken and written language and rational thinking on man's perception of the natural world around him

Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1997,c1996
ISBN: 9780679776390
0679776397
Characteristics: xii, 326 p. ; 21 cm. (trade copy)

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lindeeana
May 21, 2012

A brilliant book from 1997. But VIRL needs more copies - there are currently 6 holds on 1 copy. And it's on a limit of a 14 day loan. Well worth another copy or two.

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