Recovering Place: Reflections on Stone Hill (Religion, Culture, and Public Life)

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9780231164986: Recovering Place: Reflections on Stone Hill (Religion, Culture, and Public Life)

Mark C. Taylor recounts a poignant love affair not with a person but with a place that, paradoxically, cannot be easily localized. For many years, Taylor has lived in the Berkshire Mountains, where he writes and creates land art and sculpture. In a world of mobile screens and virtual realities, where speed is the measure of success and place is disappearing, his work slows down thought and brings life back to earth to give readers time to ponder the importance of place before it slips away.

Taylor extends reflection beyond the page and returns with new insights about what is hiding in plain sight all around us. Weaving together words and images, his artful work enacts what it describes. Things long familiar suddenly appear strange, and the strange, unexpected, and unprogrammed unsettle readers in surprising ways. This timely meditation gives pause in the midst of harried lives and turns attention toward what we usually overlook: night, silence, touch, grace, ghosts, water, earth, stones, bones, idleness, infinity, slowness, and contentment. Recovering Place is a unique work with reflections that linger long after the book is closed.

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About the Author:

Mark C. Taylor is professor of religion at Columbia University. His Columbia University Press books include Rewiring the Real: In Conversation with William Gaddis, Richard Powers, Mark Danielewski, and Don DeLillo (2013); Refiguring the Spiritual: Beuys, Barney, Turrell, Goldsworthy (2012); and Field Notes from Elsewhere: Reflections on Dying and Living (2009).

Review:

Taylor engages―by modeling it in language as well as in earth and water―his readers' desire for an earthen transcendence. (Jack Miles, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of God: A Biography)

Taylor is not limited by fields of research and study―he turns over ideas and regards objects and effects from all sides. His deep reading of philosophy, political theory, and sociology is combined with a unique understanding of art in its most elemental forms. He guides us in ways of seeing, experiencing, and receiving. In an increasingly fragmented and solipsistic world, Taylor encourages us to regard a sense of 'place' as a set of ethical and tangential contexts not limited by material potential for exploitation. (Liam Gillick, artist)

Taylor is a true renaissance thinker, a synthesizer of high order. His new book is a deep pleasure to read, his beloved New England landscape informs his thinking as he lands one by one on each enlightened stone. Take this book to the nearest garden, sit on a rock and let the language, Taylor's ideas in language, take you to where you had not planned on going. (Sophie Cabot Black, poet)

Mark C. Taylor is a brilliant thinker who continually explodes the conventions of scholarship to create works of philosophical art and artistic philosophy. In Recovering Place, he has turned his fine mind and extraordinary eye to the place he knows best: Stone Hill. This series of meditations and photographs is at once a hymn to particularity―to these snow-covered berries, this dead raccoon, these yellow apples near a moss-covered stone―and a profound rumination on the myriad, proliferating meanings of being alive and mortal and of the earth (Siri Hustvedt, writer)

One of our most important philosophers of culture, Taylor frames his poetic and passionate argument with a very personal reflection, not unlike Thoreau. Stone Hill, Taylor's Walden Pond, gives a visual identity to his important words. His poetic manifesto of place is a joy to read; its timely urgency is a gift to students in philosophy, art, architecture, and cultural criticism. (Steven Holl, architect)

Taylor has created a work that is simultaneously stunningly direct and sensually complex. Its natural, spatial, analytical and temporal dimensions combine to perhaps surpass even his most brilliant and well reasoned texts in its capacity to draw the viewer/reader into a visceral and theoretical discourse at the very same moment. Recovering Place is about time, the ceaseless contemplation of which is at the root of all of Taylor's work. The originality of both his art and his writing are drawn together in this beautifully elegant book, which will, without doubt, generate pilgrimages to 'the Place.' (Thomas Krens, director emeritus, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation New York)

[Taylor's] musings, when paired with the author's own color photos, read as poetic and verbal artifacts... The book will inspire readers to pause, look, and consider. (Publishers Weekly)

Beautiful images of the natural world paired with introspective musings on life's greatest mysteries fill this wondrous compendium... Recovering Place makes an excellent and unforgettable giftbook; nature lovers especially will enjoy browsing its insights. (Midwest Book Review)

Indescribable... it contains some of the finest prose and photography you'll find anywhere. A weird, wonderful, wallop-packing work of untethered spirituality. (Foreword Reviews)

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Book Description Columbia University Press, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Mark C. Taylor recounts a poignant love affair not with a person but with a place that, paradoxically, cannot be easily localized. For many years, Taylor has lived in the Berkshire Mountains, where he writes and creates land art and sculpture. In a world of mobile screens and virtual realities, where speed is the measure of success and place is disappearing, his work slows down thought and brings life back to earth to give readers time to ponder the importance of place before it slips away. Taylor extends reflection beyond the page and returns with new insights about what is hiding in plain sight all around us. Weaving together words and images, his artful work enacts what it describes. Things long familiar suddenly appear strange, and the strange, unexpected, and unprogrammed unsettle readers in surprising ways. This timely meditation gives pause in the midst of harried lives and turns attention toward what we usually overlook: night, silence, touch, grace, ghosts, water, earth, stones, bones, idleness, infinity, slowness, and contentment. Recovering Place is a unique work with reflections that linger long after the book is closed. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780231164986

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Book Description Columbia University Press, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Mark C. Taylor recounts a poignant love affair not with a person but with a place that, paradoxically, cannot be easily localized. For many years, Taylor has lived in the Berkshire Mountains, where he writes and creates land art and sculpture. In a world of mobile screens and virtual realities, where speed is the measure of success and place is disappearing, his work slows down thought and brings life back to earth to give readers time to ponder the importance of place before it slips away.Taylor extends reflection beyond the page and returns with new insights about what is hiding in plain sight all around us. Weaving together words and images, his artful work enacts what it describes. Things long familiar suddenly appear strange, and the strange, unexpected, and unprogrammed unsettle readers in surprising ways. This timely meditation gives pause in the midst of harried lives and turns attention toward what we usually overlook: night, silence, touch, grace, ghosts, water, earth, stones, bones, idleness, infinity, slowness, and contentment. Recovering Place is a unique work with reflections that linger long after the book is closed. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780231164986

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