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TLS BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2016 'Gray must be one of the best read of contemporary philosophers, trawling insouciantly through high-, middle- and low-brow literature with the sharp-eyed eclecticism of a magpie of genius' John Banville, Guardian 'Like Isaiah Berlin with a thing for sci-fi' Tibor Fischer, Spectator Everyone thinks they want to be free - or do they? John Gray's thought-stirring new book on freedom draws together insights from Gnosticism, science fiction, ancient sacrifice and the occult to show that freedom is an illusion and that, like fairground puppets, humans dream of escaping the burden of choice altogether.
Volume three of A Cultural History of the Modern Age finishes a journey that begins with Descartes in the first volume and ends with Freud and the psychoanalytical movement in the third volume. Friedell describes the contents of these books as a series of performances, starting with the birth of the man of the Modern Age, followed by flowering of this epoch, and concludes with the death of the Modern Age. This huge landscape provides an intertwining of the material and the cultural, the civil and the military, from the high points of creative flowering in Europe to death and emptiness. The themes convey multiple messages: romanticism and liberalism opens the cultural scene, encased in a movement from The Congress of Vienna and its claims of peaceful co-existence to the Franco-German War. The final segment covers the period from Bismarck's generation to World War I. In each instance, the quotidian life of struggle, racial, religious, and social class is seen through the lens of the mighty figures of the period. The works of the period's great figures are shown in the new light of the human search for symbolism, the search for superman, the rise of individualism and decline of history as a source for knowledge. This third volume is painted in dark colors, a foreboding of the world that was to come, of political extremes, and intellectual exaggerations. The author looks forward to a postmodern Europe in which there is a faint glean of light from the other side. What actually appeared was the glare of Nazism and Communism, each claiming the future.
Ecstatic spiritual poetry in the tradition of Rumi and Hafiz. Passionate, deep, contemplative, joyous, and playful.
A Daughter of the Samurai tells the true story of a samurai's daughter, brought up in the strict traditions of feudal Japan, who was sent to America to meet her future husband. An engrossing, haunting tale that gives us insight into an almost forgotten age. Madam Sugimoto was born in Japan, not in the sunny southern part of the country which has given it the name of "The Land of Flowers," but in the northern province of Echigo which is bleak and cold and so cut off from the rest of the country by mountains that in times past it had been considered fit only for political prisoners or exiles. Her father was a Samurai, with high ideals of what was expected of a Samurai's family. His hopes were concentrated in his son until the son refused to marry the girl for whom he was destined and ran off to America. After that all that was meant for him fell to the lot of the little wavy-haired Etsu who writes here so delightfully of the things that happened in their childhood days in far-away Japan.
This study analyzes the folkloric genres that comprise the repertoire of the marionette theater in Sicily. Here, epic, farce, saints’ lives, bandits’ lives, fairytales, Christian myth, and city legend offer the vehicles by which puppeteers comment upon, critique—perhaps even negotiate—the relationships among the major classes of Sicilian society: the aristocracy, the people, the clergy and the Mafia. The lynchpin of the repertoire is the Carolingian Cycle and, in particular, a contemporary version of The Song of Roland known in Sicily as The Death of the Paladins, a text which illustrates the means by which the Carolingian heroes—Charlemagne, Roland, Renaud, Ganelon, and Angelica—augment saints, bandits, Biblical figures and Sicilian folk heroes to provide the marionette theater its rhetorical function: the articulation and dissemination of the tools of Sicilian identity.
This book is an international anthology about dance seen as a world of dreams, ideals or paradises lost - a place where identity and reality are at stake. Through essays, interviews, and analytical reflections, such diverse subjects are treated as Bournonville's ideal of a critic, Nijinsky's faun versus the romantic dream of elusive women, the broken marriage between music and dance, dancing as an erotic motif in the paintings of the Danish Golden Age, and the beast in dance from Swan Lake to butoh.
The 1882 three-volume English translation of the 1867 second edition of a landmark biography of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91).

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