The Book of Barely Imagined Beings

A 21st Century Bestiary

Author: Caspar Henderson

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022604470X

Category: Nature

Page: 448

View: 8738

From medieval bestiaries to Borges’s Book of Imaginary Beings, we’ve long been enchanted by extraordinary animals, be they terrifying three-headed dogs or asps impervious to a snake charmer’s song. But bestiaries are more than just zany zoology—they are artful attempts to convey broader beliefs about human beings and the natural order. Today, we no longer fear sea monsters or banshees. But from the infamous honey badger to the giant squid, animals continue to captivate us with the things they can do and the things they cannot, what we know about them and what we don’t. With The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, Caspar Henderson offers readers a fascinating, beautifully produced modern-day menagerie. But whereas medieval bestiaries were often based on folklore and myth, the creatures that abound in Henderson’s book—from the axolotl to the zebrafish—are, with one exception, very much with us, albeit sometimes in depleted numbers. The Book of Barely Imagined Beings transports readers to a world of real creatures that seem as if they should be made up—that are somehow more astonishing than anything we might have imagined. The yeti crab, for example, uses its furry claws to farm the bacteria on which it feeds. The waterbear, meanwhile, is among nature’s “extreme survivors,” able to withstand a week unprotected in outer space. These and other strange and surprising species invite readers to reflect on what we value—or fail to value—and what we might change. A powerful combination of wit, cutting-edge natural history, and philosophical meditation, The Book of Barely Imagined Beings is an infectious and inspiring celebration of the sheer ingenuity and variety of life in a time of crisis and change.

The Book of Barely Imagined Beings

A 21st Century Bestiary

Author: Caspar Henderson

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022604484X

Category: Nature

Page: 448

View: 4050

From medieval bestiaries to Borges’s Book of Imaginary Beings, we’ve long been enchanted by extraordinary animals, be they terrifying three-headed dogs or asps impervious to a snake charmer’s song. But bestiaries are more than just zany zoology—they are artful attempts to convey broader beliefs about human beings and the natural order. Today, we no longer fear sea monsters or banshees. But from the infamous honey badger to the giant squid, animals continue to captivate us with the things they can do and the things they cannot, what we know about them and what we don’t. With The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, Caspar Henderson offers readers a fascinating, beautifully produced modern-day menagerie. But whereas medieval bestiaries were often based on folklore and myth, the creatures that abound in Henderson’s book—from the axolotl to the zebrafish—are, with one exception, very much with us, albeit sometimes in depleted numbers. The Book of Barely Imagined Beings transports readers to a world of real creatures that seem as if they should be made up—that are somehow more astonishing than anything we might have imagined. The yeti crab, for example, uses its furry claws to farm the bacteria on which it feeds. The waterbear, meanwhile, is among nature’s “extreme survivors,” able to withstand a week unprotected in outer space. These and other strange and surprising species invite readers to reflect on what we value—or fail to value—and what we might change. A powerful combination of wit, cutting-edge natural history, and philosophical meditation, The Book of Barely Imagined Beings is an infectious and inspiring celebration of the sheer ingenuity and variety of life in a time of crisis and change.

The Book of Barely Imagined Beings

A 21st Century Bestiary

Author: Caspar Henderson

Publisher: Granta Books

ISBN: 1847085911

Category: Nature

Page: 336

View: 5423

A bestiary for the 21st Century, comprising of 26 chapters, each one focusing on an animal or being from A - Z, from 'Axolotl' to 'Zebrafish'. It is a wonderful, eclectic array of 'barely imagined beings', creatures that exist but are often so strange or unknown that they could have sprung from the pages of a medieval bestiary or Pliny's Natural History. In each chapter the author digresses with great dexterity, humour and intelligence, using each 'being' as way in to exploring our precarious relationship with the natural world, to better imagine ourselves and the world around us. The book is also a passionate celebration of wonder and beauty, and a recognition of the world's 'ghost species', the walking dead threatened by extinction.

A New Map of Wonders

A Journey in Search of Modern Marvels

Author: Caspar Henderson

Publisher: Granta Books

ISBN: 178378136X

Category: Science

Page: N.A

View: 1710

A New Map of Wonders charts a course through the realm of the fascinating and awe-inspiring. With the curiosity and enthusiasm of a great explorer, the award-winning Caspar Henderson celebrates and explains the wonder of light and the origins of the universe, the myriad marvels of the human body and the natural world -- and reveals the wonders to come: the technologies that will transform human experience and change what we will find wonderful. Drawing on philosophy and natural history, art and religion, neuroscience and nanotechnology, A New Map of Wonders is a celebration of life -- a rich and inspiring guide, encouraging us to see the world anew.

The Art of Losing Control

A Philosopher's Search for Ecstatic Experience

Author: Jules Evans

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781782118787

Category: Control (Psychology)

Page: 304

View: 5445

Since the Enlightenment, western culture has written off ecstatic experience as a form of mental illness. But why should rationality be considered the highest part of human nature when we are capable of so many more states of experience? Piecing together interviews, analysis of ancient and modern philosophy, and his own eclectic encounters with the sublime, philosopher Jules Evans mounts an investigation into what we can gain from mastering the art of losing control. From Aristotle and Plato to the Bishop of London and Sister Bliss, radical jihadis to Silicon Valley transhumanists, The Art of Losing Control is a funny, life-enhancing journey that will change the way you think about how you feel.

Breverton's Phantasmagoria

Author: Terry Breverton

Publisher: Quercus

ISBN: 1623652359

Category: Reference

Page: 384

View: 4562

From dragons and wyverns to vampires, werewolves and mischievous gremlins, pixies and fairies, Breverton's Phantasmagoria is a unique compendium of over 250 mythical animals. Prepare to revisit familiar myths, such as vampires, werewolves and the Loch Ness Monster, the Minotaur and Medusa from Greek legend, and Biblical beasts such as Behemoth and Leviathan. Discover new mysterious animals like the giant serpents of Central America, the lethal Mongolian death worm, and the Ennedi tiger in Africa, and investigate the evidence for sightings of Bigfoot and the reclusive Yeti. Packed with quirky line illustrations and a wealth of weird and wonderful information, Breverton's Phantasmagoria surveys the globe to uncover over 250 imaginary creatures passed down from generation to generation.

Breverton's Nautical Curiosities

Author: Terry Breverton

Publisher: Quercus

ISBN: 1623653207

Category: Reference

Page: 384

View: 6721

Breverton's Nautical Curiosities is about ships, people and the sea. However, unlike many other nautical compendiums, the focus of this book is on the unusual, the overlooked or the downright extraordinary. Thus, someone most of us do not know, Admiral William Brown, is given equal coverage to Admiral Nelson. Without Admiral Brown releasing Garibaldi, modern Italy might not exist. And without the barely known genius John Ericsson designing the Monitor, the Confederacy might have won the American Civil War. Readers will be stimulated to read more about the remarkable men--explorers, admirals and trawlermen--who have shaped our world. The sea has had a remarkable effect upon our language. We hear the terms "steer clear," "hit the deck," "don't rock the boat," "to harbor a grudge" and the like, and give little thought to them. In the pages of this book, the reader will find the origin of "bumpkin," a "brace of shakes," "born with a silver spoon," "booby prize," "to take on board," "above board," "bombed" (in the sense of being drunk), the "blues," "blind-side," "blind drunk," "the pot calling the kettle black," "reach the bitter end," "wasters," "ahoy," "all at sea," "to keep aloof," "piss-artist," "taken aback," "barbecue" and "bamboozle." Other colourful terms, which have passed out of common usage, such as "bring one's arse to anchor" (sit down), "belly timber" (food) and "bog orange" (potato) are also included, as well as important pirate haunts, technical terms, famous battles, maritime inventors and ship speed records.

The Book of Imaginary Beings

Author: Jorge Luis Borges,Margarita Guerrero,Andrew Hurley,Peter Sís

Publisher: Penguin Classics

ISBN: 9780143039938

Category: Fiction

Page: 236

View: 7848

A whimsical compendium of mythological creature profiles considers the inventions of such literary masters as Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, and Kafka, in a humorously commentated volume that explores the qualities of a range of dragons, unicorns, and othercurious beasts.

The Wonderbox

Curious histories of how to live

Author: Roman Krznaric

Publisher: Profile Books

ISBN: 1847654452

Category: History

Page: 527

View: 9861

There are many ways to try to improve our lives - we can turn to the wisdom of philosophers, the teachings of religions or the latest experiments of psychologists. But we rarely to look to history for inspiration - and when we do it can be surprisingly powerful. Showing the lessons that can be learned from the past, cultural historian Roman Krznaric explores twelve universal topics, from work and love to money and creativity, and reveals the wisdom that we've been missing. There is much to be learned from Ancient Greece on relationships, from the industrial revolution on job satisfaction, and from Ming-dynasty China on bringing up our children. Just as a Renaissance 'Wunderkammer' was a curiosity cabinet full of fascinating objects, each with a story behind it, The Wonderbox is full of stories and ideas from history, each of which sheds invaluable light on the decisions we make every day, whether we think about the different uses of the senses or changing attitudes to time. History is usually read for pleasure or for insight into current affairs, but The Wonderbox, stepping into the territory of Alain de Botton and Theodore Zeldin, is 'practical history' - using the past to think about our day to day lives.

The Bestiary

Author: Ann VanderMeer

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781613471333

Category: Fiction

Page: 400

View: 5769

A modern bestiary of made-up fantastical creatures organized from A to Z, along with an ampersand and an invisible letter, featuring some of the best and most respected fantasists from around the world, including Karen Lord, Dexter Palmer, Brian Evenson, China Mieville, Felix Gilman, Catherynne M. Valente, Rikki Ducornet, and Karin Lowachee.

Animal, Mineral, Radical

Essays on Wildlife, Family, and Food

Author: BK Loren

Publisher: Catapult

ISBN: 161902201X

Category: Nature

Page: 204

View: 2732

“Radical, before it meant a person who advocates strong political reform, meant getting to the root of things, the origin. It comes from the Latin radix, radicis, meaning radish, a root vegetable.—BK Loren These meditative essays range in subjects from a transcendental encounter with a pack of coyotes ironically juxtaposed with her neighbors claim that nature “has gone out of vogue, to Lorens mothers slow yet all-encompassing deterioration from Parkinsons, and the unexpected way the Loma Prieta earthquake eroded her depression by offering the author a sense of her small place in a wild and worthwhile world. Loren has an empathetic and gentle approach to the world. In detailing the intricacies of human relationships and consciousness—fear of death and time, cooperation born of clashing viewpoints, traditions beauty even when destructive, a love of language, a sense of loss amid the fast-paced materialistic world—she peels back the film of popular thinking in order to expose herself to the secrets so few of us ever see.

A Million Years in a Day

A History of Everyday Life

Author: Greg Jenner

Publisher: Phoenix

ISBN: 9781780225654

Category:

Page: 320

View: 9779

'A wonderful idea, gloriously put into practice. Greg Jenner as is witty as he is knowledgeable' - Tom Holland Who invented beds? When did we start cleaning our teeth? How old are wine and beer? Which came first: the toilet seat or toilet paper? What was the first clock? Every day, from the moment our alarm clock wakes us in the morning until our head hits our pillow at night, we all take part in rituals that are millennia old. Structured around one ordinary day, A MILLION YEARS IN A DAY reveals the astonishing origins and development of the daily practices we take for granted. In this gloriously entertaining romp through human history Greg Jenner explores the gradual and often unexpected evolution of our daily routines. This is not a story of politics, wars or great events, instead Greg Jenner has scoured Roman rubbish bins, Egyptian tombs and Victorian sewers to bring us the most intriguing, surprising and sometimes downright silly nuggets from our past. Drawn from across the world, spanning a million years of humanity, this book is a smorgasbord of historical delights. It is a history of all those things you always wondered - and many you have never considered. It is the story of your life, one million years in the making.

Unusual Creatures

A Mostly Accurate Account of Some of Earth's Strangest Animals

Author: Michael Hearst

Publisher: Chronicle Books

ISBN: 1452104670

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 112

View: 2063

Introduces some of the world's most unusual creatures, including an animal that can be found at the top of Mount Everest, under the sea, and in everyday yards; a creature with cube-shaped scat; and an animal that disguises itself as a crab.

Imaginary Animals

The Monstrous, the Wondrous and the Human

Author: Boria Sax

Publisher: Reaktion Books

ISBN: 1780232136

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 272

View: 2897

Fire-breathing dragons, beautiful mermaids, majestic unicorns, terrifying three-headed dogs—these fantastic creatures have long excited our imagination. Medieval authors placed them in the borders of manuscripts as markers of the boundaries of our understanding. Tales from around the world place these beasts in deserts, deep woods, remote islands, ocean depths, and alternate universes—just out of our reach. And in the sections on the apocalypse in the Bible, they proliferate as the end of time approaches, with horses with heads like lions, dragons, and serpents signaling the destruction of the world. Legends tell us that imaginary animals belong to a primordial time, before everything in the world had names, categories, and conceptual frameworks. In this book, Boria Sax digs into the stories of these fabulous beasts. He shows how, despite their liminal role, imaginary animals like griffins, dog-men, yetis, and more are socially constructed creatures, created through the same complex play of sensuality and imagination as real ones. Tracing the history of imaginary animals from Paleolithic art to their roles in stories such as Harry Potter and even the advent of robotic pets, he reveals that these extraordinary figures help us psychologically—as monsters, they give form to our amorphous fears, while as creatures of wonder, they embody our hopes. Their greatest service, Sax concludes, is to continually challenge our imaginations, directing us beyond the limitations of conventional beliefs and expectations. Featuring over 230 illustrations of a veritable menagerie of fantastical and unreal beasts, Imaginary Animals is a feast for the eyes and the imagination.

The Book of Beasts

Being a Translation from a Latin Bestiary of the Twelfth Century

Author: Terence Hanbury White

Publisher: UW-Madison Libraries Parallel Press

ISBN: 9781893311299

Category: Animals

Page: 296

View: 9371

White's The Bestiary: A Book of Beasts was the first and, for a time, the only English translation of a medieval bestiary. White provides an excellent appendix that explains how the creatures of the bestiary influenced the development of allegory and symbolism in art and literature.

Vanished Kingdoms

The Rise and Fall of States and Nations

Author: Norman Davies

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101545348

Category: History

Page: 848

View: 6376

An evocative account of fourteen European kingdoms-their rise, maturity, and eventual disappearance. There is something profoundly romantic about lost civilizations. Europe's past is littered with states and kingdoms, large and small, that are scarcely remembered today, and while their names may be unfamiliar-Aragon, Etruria, the Kingdom of the Two Burgundies-their stories should change our mental map of the past. We come across forgotten characters and famous ones-King Arthur and Macbeth, Napoleon and Queen Victoria, right up to Stalin and Gorbachev-and discover how faulty memory can be, and how much we can glean from these lost empires. Davies peers through the cracks in the mainstream accounts of modern-day states to dazzle us with extraordinary stories of barely remembered pasts, and of the traces they left behind. This is Norman Davies at his best: sweeping narrative history packed with unexpected insights. Vanished Kingdoms will appeal to all fans of unconventional and thought-provoking history, from readers of Niall Ferguson to Jared Diamond.

Monsters

A Bestiary of the Bizarre

Author: Christopher Dell

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780500292556

Category:

Page: 216

View: 8968

Monsters have preoccupied mankind from the earliest times: even cave art includes animal-human monsters. Certainly monsters were present in the ancient religions of Egypt and Mesopotamia; the Old Testament describes the giant land and sea monsters Behemoth and Leviathan, while in the world of Classical mythology, monsters embody the fantasies of the gods and the cruellest punishments of human beings. While we may no longer worry about being eaten by trolls on the way home, there remains a fascination with these creatures who have shadowed us throughout history. This book explores monsters down the ages and throughout the world. It provides a dark yet engrossing visual history of the human mind, lit up by flashes of wild and unearthly inspiration.

Phantasmagoria

A Compendium of Monsters, Myths and Legends

Author: Terry Breverton

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780762770236

Category: Reference

Page: 384

View: 5164

A superbly illustrated guide to the mysteries of myth, legend, and—gulp!—real life.

Sea Journal

Author: Lisa Woollett

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780957490215

Category:

Page: 100

View: 1092

Debating Globalization

Author: David Held

Publisher: Polity

ISBN: 9780745635255

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 205

View: 9312

Washington-led neoliberalism and unilateralism has failed the world. It is urgent that we find a way beyond its legacy. This calls for a new model of globalization, one that works for humans everywhere. In a brilliant, extended analysis, David Held provides a unified critique of the present order and sets out his alternative vision. He calls for a new 'global covenant' informed by social democratic political values. His analysis has been criticized by many prominent figures, and their responses follow in this book. There are chapters by Martin Wolf, David Mepham, Roger Scruton, Maria Livanos Cattaui, John Elkington, Grahame Thompson, Patrick Bond, among others. The volume ends with David Held's reply to his critics where he clarifies his vision and looks ahead. The book will be of interest to all those interested in the debate over globalization today.