From his daughter's first days Brian Hall has been fascinated by her interactions with the world around her, what she noticed, what she cared about, what links she made. By the time of her third birthday, she was living in a rich complex of games, fears and dreams that had points of contact with the adult world, but that spun on its own axis.
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Do you remember your first three years? If you could, what details would you summon--your first smile? Nursing? The delightful discovery of digits? Madeleine's World takes us back to this early journey, contending that these years hold the essence of life's story. From birth and infancy to the ripe old age of three, Brian Hall chronicles his daughter's interactions with her new world--from her squalling recognition that her body is separate from the world ("She and the world were distinct from each other. Her hands--these fascinating wiggly objects that floated into her field of vision ... could be commanded") to the discovery of the great gap between wants and satiation. The first year is rife with challenges and delights. Madeleine falls out of paradise as she teeters toward a sense of an identity separate from the physical world. Her first birthday triggers Hall's provocative insights on the nature of language: "Everything you need as an adult," he concludes, "a sense of self, of time passing, knowledge of death and birth, and the limitations of ideals--are in place by age three."
Here is an adult book about the infant's world--philosophic, yet grounded in the acute observation of his daughter's development. His affectionate commentary illustrating those vague developmental terms ("object relations", "object permanence") only proves that growing up is "our most urgent and emotional quest" in the human experience.
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Book Description VINTAGE, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 99268353