пятница, 27 июня 2008 г.

Эрнст Гомбрих История искусства


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Эрнст Гомбрих История искусства

Эта книга обращена ко всем, кто хотел бы получить первоначальные ориентиры в заманчивой, но пока не знакомой им области искусства. Новичок сможет ознакомиться здесь с общим планом этой местности, не путаясь в обилии деталей, то есть уяснить себе порядок и соотношение периодов, стилей, имен, которыми наполнены более объемистые и сложные книги, и таким образом обзавестись багажом, необходимым для чтения более специальной литературы. При работе над книгой я думал в первую очередь о читателях подросткового и юношеского возраста, которые только что открыли для себя мир искусства. Но, на мой взгляд, книги для юношества должны писаться так же, как и для взрослых, с учетом, правда, особой критичности тинейджеров, нетерпимых к фальши и претенциозному жаргону. По своему опыту знаю, что именно эти грехи иногда на всю жизнь отвращают людей от литературы по искусству. Поэтому, чтобы обойти западню, я старался писать обычным, общепонятным языком, не стесняясь непрофессиональных выражений. С другой стороны, я стремился не упрощать ход мысли и надеюсь, что читатели не припишут сокращение до минимума искусствоведческих терминов высокомерной снисходительности. Разве высокомерен не тот, кто вещает с заоблачных высот, красуясь перед читателем ученым языком и забыв о целях его просвещения?

The Cambridge Companion to the Stoics


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The Cambridge Companion to the Stoics by Brad Inwood (Editor)

Editorial Reviews
Review
"I thoroughly recommend this book to anybody with an interest in Stoicism, its history, and its legacy. [An] unqualified success. The Companion leaves us not only with a good impression of, and furthered interests in, the Stoics themselves, but also with the systematic question of whether Stoic ethics and moral psychology can be separated from their theoretical and cosmological commitments. If they can, they have a good deal to teach us moderns about the role of reason, emotion and virtue in human life." Dominique Kuenzle, University of Sheffield, Metapsychology

"...another fine volume in the Cambridge Companion series, a series which always delivers on it promise to give 'specialists' a solid conspectus of the latest scholarship..." -Ancient Philosophy, Jeffrey S. Purinton

Product Description
This volume offers an odyssey through the ideas of the Stoics in three ways: through the historical trajectory of the school itself and its influence; the recovery of the history of Stoic thought; and finally, the ongoing confrontation with Stoicism. The study demonstrates how Stoicism refines philosophical traditions, challenges the imagination, and ultimately defines the kind of life one chooses to lead. Advanced students and specialists will discover a conspectus of developments in this interpretation of the Stoics and new readers will be drawn to its accessibility.

Book Description
This volume offers an odyssey through the ideas of the Stoics in three ways: through the historical trajectory of the school itself and its influence; through the recovery of the history of Stoic thought; through the ongoing confrontation with Stoicism, showing how it refines philosophical traditions, challenges the imagination, and ultimately defines the kind of life one chooses to lead.New readers will find this the most accessible guide to the Stoics currently available. Advanced students and specialists will find a conspectus of developments in the interpretation of the Stoics.

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This unique volume offers an odyssey through the ideas of the Stoics in three particular ways: first, through the historical trajectory of the school itself and its influence; second, through the recovery of the history of Stoic thought; third, through the ongoing confrontation with Stoicism, showing how it refines philosophical traditions, challenges the imagination, and ultimately defines the kind of life one chooses to lead. A distinguished roster of specialists have written an authoritative guide to the entire philosophical tradition. The first two chapters chart the history of the school in the ancient world, and are followed by chapters on the core themes of the Stoic system: epistemology, logic, natural philosophy, theology, determinism, and metaphysics. There are two chapters on what might be thought of as the heart and soul of the Stoics system: ethics.

среда, 25 июня 2008 г.

Barack Obama - The Audacity of Hope


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The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream
by Barack Obama

Editorial Reviews
Amazon.com
Barack Obama's first book, Dreams from My Father, was a compelling and moving memoir focusing on personal issues of race, identity, and community. With his second book The Audacity of Hope, Obama engages themes raised in his keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, shares personal views on faith and values and offers a vision of the future that involves repairing a "political process that is broken" and restoring a government that has fallen out of touch with the people. We had the opportunity to ask Senator Obama a few questions about writing, reading, and politics--see his responses below. --Daphne Durham
20 Second Interview: A Few Words with Barack Obama

Q: How did writing a book that you knew would be read so closely by so many compare to writing your first book, when few people knew who you were?
A: In many ways, Dreams from My Father was harder to write. At that point, I wasn't even sure that I could write a book. And writing the first book really was a process of self-discovery, since it touched on my family and my childhood in a much more intimate way. On the other hand, writing The Audacity of Hope paralleled the work that I do every day--trying to give shape to all the issues that we face as a country, and providing my own personal stamp on them.

Q: What is your writing process like? You have such a busy schedule, how did you find time to write?
A: I'm a night owl, so I usually wrote at night after my Senate day was over, and after my family was asleep--from 9:30 p.m. or so until 1 a.m. I would work off an outline--certain themes or stories that I wanted to tell--and get them down in longhand on a yellow pad. Then I'd edit while typing in what I'd written.

Q: If readers are to come away from The Audacity of Hope with one action item (a New Year's Resolution for 2007, perhaps?), what should it be?
A: Get involved in an issue that you're passionate about. It almost doesn’t matter what it is--improving the school system, developing strategies to wean ourselves off foreign oil, expanding health care for kids. We give too much of our power away, to the professional politicians, to the lobbyists, to cynicism. And our democracy suffers as a result.

Q: You're known for being able to work with people across ideological lines. Is that possible in today's polarized Washington?
A: It is possible. There are a lot of well-meaning people in both political parties. Unfortunately, the political culture tends to emphasize conflict, the media emphasizes conflict, and the structure of our campaigns rewards the negative. I write about these obstacles in chapter 4 of my book, "Politics." When you focus on solving problems instead of scoring political points, and emphasize common sense over ideology, you'd be surprised what can be accomplished. It also helps if you're willing to give other people credit--something politicians have a hard time doing sometimes.


Q: How do you make people passionate about moderate and complex ideas?
A: I think the country recognizes that the challenges we face aren't amenable to sound-bite solutions. People are looking for serious solutions to complex problems. I don't think we need more moderation per se--I think we should be bolder in promoting universal health care, or dealing with global warming. We just need to understand that actually solving these problems won't be easy, and that whatever solutions we come up with will require consensus among groups with divergent interests. That means everybody has to listen, and everybody has to give a little. That's not easy to do.

Q: What has surprised you most about the way Washington works?
A: How little serious debate and deliberation takes place on the floor of the House or the Senate.

Q: You talk about how we have a personal responsibility to educate our children. What small thing can the average parent (or person) do to help improve the educational system in America? What small thing can make a big impact?
A: Nothing has a bigger impact than reading to children early in life. Obviously we all have a personal obligation to turn off the TV and read to our own children; but beyond that, participating in a literacy program, working with parents who themselves may have difficulty reading, helping their children with their literacy skills, can make a huge difference in a child's life.

Q: Do you ever find time to read? What kinds of books do you try to make time for? What is on your nightstand now?
A: Unfortunately, I had very little time to read while I was writing. I'm trying to make up for lost time now. My tastes are pretty eclectic. I just finished Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead, a wonderful book. The language just shimmers. I've started Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin, which is a great study of Lincoln as a political strategist. I read just about anything by Toni Morrison, E.L. Doctorow, or Philip Roth. And I've got a soft spot for John le Carre.

Q: What inspires you? How do you stay motivated?
A: I'm inspired by the people I meet in my travels--hearing their stories, seeing the hardships they overcome, their fundamental optimism and decency. I'm inspired by the love people have for their children. And I'm inspired by my own children, how full they make my heart. They make me want to work to make the world a little bit better. And they make me want to be a better man.


--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly
Ilinois's Democratic senator illuminates the constraints of mainstream politics all too well in this sonorous manifesto. Obama (Dreams from My Father) castigates divisive partisanship (especially the Republican brand) and calls for a centrist politics based on broad American values. His own cautious liberalism is a model: he's skeptical of big government and of Republican tax cuts for the rich and Social Security privatization; he's prochoice, but respectful of prolifers; supportive of religion, but not of imposing it. The policy result is a tepid Clintonism, featuring tax credits for the poor, a host of small-bore programs to address everything from worker retraining to teen pregnancy, and a health-care program that resembles Clinton's Hillary-care proposals. On Iraq, he floats a phased but open-ended troop withdrawal. His triangulated positions can seem conflicted: he supports free trade, while deploring its effects on American workers (he opposed the Central American Free Trade Agreement), in the end hoping halfheartedly that more support for education, science and renewable energy will see the economy through the dilemmas of globalization. Obama writes insightfully, with vivid firsthand observations, about politics and the compromises forced on politicians by fund-raising, interest groups, the media and legislative horse-trading. Alas, his muddled, uninspiring proposals bear the stamp of those compromises. (Oct. 17)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Dictionary of Borges


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Dictionary of Borges by Evelyn Fishburn, Psiche Hughes

воскресенье, 22 июня 2008 г.

Contemporary Novelists

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Contemporary Novelists Edition 7. by Josh Lauer (Editor), Neil Schlager (Editor)

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This 7th edition of Contemporary Novelists includes biographies, bibliographies and critical essays on approximately 650 contemporary writers, 100 new to this edition. Includes nationality and title indexes.

Nineteenth-Century Religion and Literature


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Nineteenth-Century Religion and Literature: An Introduction
by Mark Knight, Emma Mason

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"This thoughtful, informative book will be especially valuable to scholars and students for whom religion is no longer a primary fact of experience."--Margaret Russett, Studies in English Literature


Product Description
Recent scholarship in nineteenth-century literary studies consistently recognizes the profound importance of religion, even as it marginalizes the topic. There are few, if any, challenging yet manageable introductions to religion and literature in the long-nineteenth century, a factor that serves to fuel scholars' neglect of theological issues. This book aims to show how religion, specifically Christianity, is integral to the literature and culture of this period. It provides close readings of popular texts and integrates these with accessible explanations of complex religious ideas. Written by two scholars who have published widely on religion and literature, the book offers a detailed grounding in the main religious movements of the period 1750-1914. The dominant traditions of High Anglicanism, Tractarianism, Evangelicalism, and Roman Catholicism are contextualized by preceding chapters addressing dissenting culture (primarily Presbyterianism, Methodism, Unitarianism and Quakerism), and the question of secularization is considered in the light of the diversity and capacity for renewal within the Christian faith. Throughout the book the authors untangle theological and church debates in a manner that highlights the privileged relationship between religion and literature in the period. The book also gives readers a language to approach and articulate their own "religious" readings of texts, texts that are often concerned with slippery subjects, such as the divine, the non-material and the nature of religious experience. Refusing to shut down religious debate by offering only narrow or fixed definitions of Christian traditions, the book also questions the demarcation of sacred material from secular, as well as connecting the vitality of religion in the period to a broader literary culture.

About the Author

Mark Knight is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Roehampton University. Emma Mason is a Lecturer in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick.

пятница, 20 июня 2008 г.

The Cambridge Mozart Encyclopedia

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The Cambridge Mozart Encyclopedia
by Cliff Eisen

With the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth in 2006, there are a number of new books on the ever-popular composer, including this comprehensive encyclopedia. The editors are well-known British musicologists. Eisen has written many articles on the composer, and Keefe also edited the Cambridge Companion to Mozart (2003), a collection of essays on Mozart's music.

The encyclopedia has about 500 alphabetically arranged entries on everything from five pages on Travel to a paragraph on ^ Traeg, Johann, a publisher of Mozart's music, and from four pages on Genius to one paragraph on Goethe, Johann Wolfgang. There are about 50 contributors, the majority from English or U.S. universities. The entries have a consistent style, scholarly but readable. Most entries end with a short bibliography. See references often direct readers from individual works such as 'Coronation' Concerto to entries such as Concertos, but actual mention of the work can be hard to find within the six-page Concertos, which is loosely arranged chronologically by Kochel Number. An index entry with a page reference would have helped, and such problems could be eliminated altogether by an online version.

Although much of the volume discusses the historical aspects of Mozart, there are current references. For example, the entry Mozart in literature mentions current novels based on the composer. There are no musical notations or photographs, but a number of tables are provided; an interesting one lists the date, duration, place, and symptoms of Mozart's illnesses. The appendixes include a complete list of works, a list of Mozart films, a list of operas on DVD and video, and Mozart organizations and Web sites. This encyclopedia is the definitive source for Mozart information and should be a required purchase for music and large public and academic libraries. Christine Bulson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review
"Like all good single volume encyclopedias, this one is also a delight for the casual browser who is not looking for anything in particular. Opening the book to read in an idle moment invariably provides both pleasure and instruction." --Opera News

"...contains some of the finest writing on Mozart I have read." New York Review of Books

"Entries are beautifully and entertainingly written by some of the best Mozart scholars in the world. [...] If all such gifts come as beautifully packaged as this one, it will indeed give Mozart lovers something to sing about." -- American Reference Books Annual

"...the ultimate contribution to Mozart this year. The paper exudes quality and the entries are deft and well-organised."
The Independent

"...a handsome, lavishly produced volume, offers easy access to all the information most music lovers will need about a favourite composer."
Sunday Times

"...for those who must know absolutely every fact about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart...the Cambridge Mozart Encyclopedia leaves no Kochel number unturned." -- The Times

"With this lovingly fashioned book, volume can sometimes come in the form of minutiae, the details which, ironically enough, give what's essentially a learned tome a narrative thrust. Mozart is lifted from these pages, especially so for those who've long thrilled to his music; no matter how well-versed one is in the biographical chronology: the opera plots, the innuendoes of rivals, the scholarly points of contention, the paper trails of commissions--I'd argue that with this work Mozart the man--at least in the print record--reads as real as we're going to get him, outside of his own letters." --Fanfare

"This encyclopedia is the definitive source for Mozart information and should be a required purchase for music and large public and academic libraries." -- Booklist

"Cambridge University Press has issued a lavish new Mozart Encyclopedia." Tara Pepper, Newsweek International

“Thematic studies, such as “Sources for Mozart's Life and Works” and the biographical article on Mozart, are quite long and packed with useful information. The appendixes offer hard-to-find information about videos of operas and Mozart films, as well as addresses for organizations and Web sites devoted to Mozart and his work. The pool of contributors is a distinguished one of recognized Mozart authorities.”
Choice

"Aims to serve as a starting point for research as well as a summary of the latest in Mozart scholarship." Library Journal

"...this first resource to cover both Mozart's life and oeuvre is a browser's delight. The nearly four dozen contributors are international musicologists noted for their Mozart scholarship, and the editors have done a good job maintaining a consistent style and tone to their entries...An indispensable addition to all collections." - Library Journal, Larry Lipkis, Moravian College

"An essential referencework that provides comprehensive coverage of Mozart's life and works." -- Nineteenth Century Music

"Extensively cross-checked and indexed, this tome takes advantage of all the latest academic research to provide detailed and comprehensive entries on every person, place or thing involved with the composer's life." Gavriel Fiske

"This was a book waitingto happen, a handy reference for all things Mozartean: biography, repertoire, cultural milieux." - James M. Keller High Fidelity

The Sacred and The Profane by Mircea Eliade

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The Sacred and The Profane: The Nature of Religion by Mircea Eliade

In the "Sacred and the Profane", Mircea Eliade describes two fundamentally different modes of experience: the traditional and the modern. Traditional man or "homo religious" is open to experiencing the world as sacred. Modern man however, is closed to these kinds of experiences. For him the world is experienced only as profane. It is the burden of the book to show in what these fundamentally opposed experiences consist. Traditional man often expresses this opposition as real vs. unreal or pseudoreal and he seeks as much as possible to live his life within the sacred, to saturate himself in reality.According to Eliade the sacred becomes known to man because it manifests itself as different from the profane world. This manifestation of the sacred Eliade calls "hierophany". For Eliade this is a fundamental concept in the study of the sacred and his book returns to it again and again.

The Future of Religion by Gianni Vattimo, Richard Rorty


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The Future of Religion by Gianni Vattimo, Richard Rorty

Editorial Reviews
Review

"Recommended for large academic Libraries" -- Library Journal

"We're lucky then, to have The Future of Religion...unlike so many voices we've heard in the last week, Rorty and Vattimo think big about Catholicism." -- Carlin Romano, Philadelphia Inquirer

" The Future of Religion is the perfect primer in post-metaphysical historicism." -- Paul J. Griffiths, First Things

"This brief book opens a vista onto the thought of two... helpful thinkers." -- Jeffrey Dudiak, Philosophy in Review

"Intellectually stimulating." -- James J. DiCenso, Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Review

"It is a truism that modernity understood itself as a liberation from religion: the Age of Faith was to be superseded by the Age of Reason. It is this self-assurance that postmodernism calls into question by heralding, for its part, the Age of Interpretation. Should modernity's verdict about the demise of religion also be revisited? In this book, two of the most preeminent figures of postmodernism engage in a conversation on the issue. The pragmatist Richard Rorty, who calls himself 'religiously unmusical,' grants -- somewhat grudgingly, given his anticlericalism -- that religion will probably not disappear, but contends that it should remain private and kept out of the public sphere, while Gianni Vattimo, returning to the belief of his roots, argues that Christianity, with its ethics of humility and pardon, represents the very presupposition of our public life. A delightful dialogue that challenges the beliefs of theists and atheists alike. It also confirms that postmodernists practice what they say when they hold that philosophy is a conversation." -- Jean Grondin, University of Montreal.

Product Description

Though coming from different and distinct intellectual traditions, Richard Rorty and Gianni Vattimo are united in their criticism of the metaphysical tradition. The challenges they put forward extend beyond philosophy and entail a reconsideration of the foundations of belief in God and the religious life. They urge that the rejection of metaphysical truth does not necessitate the death of religion; instead it opens new ways of imagining what it is to be religious -- ways that emphasize charity, solidarity, and irony. This unique collaboration, which includes a dialogue between the two philosophers, is notable not only for its fusion of pragmatism (Rorty) and hermeneutics (Vattimo) but also for its recognition of the limits of both traditional religious belief and modern secularism.

In "Anticlericalism and Atheism" Rorty discusses Vattimo's work Belief and argues that the end of metaphysics paves the way for an anti-essentialist religion. Rorty's conception of religion, determined by private motives, is designed to produce the gospel's promise that henceforth God will not consider humanity as a servant but as a friend. In "The Age of Interpretation," Vattimo, who is both a devout Catholic and a frequent critic of the church, explores the surprising congruence between Christianity and hermeneutics in light of the dissolution of metaphysical truth. As in hermeneutics, interpretation is central to Christianity, which introduced the world to the principle of interiority, dissolving the experience of objective reality into "listening to and interpreting messages."

The lively dialogue that concludes this volume, moderated and edited by Santiago Zabala, analyzes the future of religion together with the political, social, and historical aspects that characterize our contemporary postmodern, postmetaphysical, and post-Christian world.

About the Author

Richard Rorty is professor of comparative literature and philosophy at Stanford University. He is the author of numerous works, including Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature; Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity; and What's the Use of Truth?

Gianni Vattimo teaches hermeneutic philosophy at the University of Turin. Among his books are After Christianity; Nihilism and Emancipation: Ethics, Politics, and Law; Dialogue with Nietzsche; and After the Death of God.

Santiago Zabala is the editor of Weakening Philosophy: Essays in Honor of Gianni Vattimo and author of The Hermeneutic Nature of Analytic Philosophy and the forthcoming The Remains of Being.

среда, 18 июня 2008 г.

The Kingdom of the Hittites


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The Kingdom of the Hittites
by Trevor Bryce

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In the fourteenth century BC the Hittites became the supreme political and military power in the Near East. How did they achieve their supremacy? How successful were they in maintaining it? What brought about their collapse and disappearance? This comprehensive history of the Hittite kingdom examines recent archaeological discoveries and original texts, giving the ancient Hittites the opportunity to speak to the modern reader for themselves

Jean Baudrillard - The Consumer Society


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The Consumer Society: Myths and Structures
by Jean Baudrillard

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This is the first English-language translation of Jean BaudrillardÆs contemporary classic on the sociology of consumption. Originally published in 1970, the book was one of the first to focus on the processes and meaning of consumption in contemporary culture. At a time when others were fixated with the production process, Baudrillard could be found making the case that consumption is now the axis of culture. He demonstrates how consumption is related to the goal of economic growth and he maps out a social theory of consumption. Many of the themes that would later make Baudrillard famous are sketched out here for the first time. In particular, his concepts of simulation and the simulacrum receive their earliest systematic treatment. Written at a time when Baudrillard was moving away from both Marxism and institutional sociology, the book is more systematic than his later works. He is still pursuing the task of locating consumption in culture and society. So the reader will find here his most organized discussion of mass media culture, the meaning of leisure, and anomie in affluent society. There is also a fascinating chapter on the body that shows yet again Baudrillard's extraordinary prescience in flagging the importance of vital subjects in contemporary culture long before his colleagues. Baudrillard is widely acclaimed as a key thinker in sociology, communication, and cultural studies. This book makes available to English-speaking readers one of his most important works. It will be devoured by the steadily expanding circle of Baudrillard scholars, and it will also be required reading for students of the sociology of culture, communication, and cultural studies.

вторник, 17 июня 2008 г.

The Cambridge Companion to Bertrand Russell


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The Cambridge Companion to Bertrand Russell

Editorial Reviews
Review
"...the editor and authors have done a tremendous job selectively choosing topics and themes within Russell's philosophical work to focus on. ...there is nothing to compare to it in providing an accessible but comprehensive introduction to Russell's philosophy..." The Bertrand Russell Society Quarterly

"Unequalled by any other collection of essays on Russell." Journal of Bertrand Russell studies

"Despite the editor's modest claims for the book, The Cambridge Companion to Bertrand Russell succeeds in giving an accurate, multi-dimensional account of Russell's early and late epistemological, metaphysical and moral theories, one that shows the continuity in the development of his philosophy." u De Philosophia, Iva Apostolova

"There is no work currently available that would provide a better overall guide to Russell's philosophy and views of logic. It is certainly worth a read for studetns and scholars in philosophy and logic alike." Kevin C. Klement, University of Massachusetts

Product Description
Bertrand Russell ranks as one of the giants of 20th century philosophy. This Companion focuses on Russell's contributions to modern philosophy and, therefore, concentrates on the early part of his career. Through his books, journalism, correspondence and political activity he exerted a profound influence on modern thought. New readers will find this the most convenient and accessible guide to Russell available. Advanced students and specialists will find a conspectus of recent developments in the interpretation of Russell.

Book Description
Bertrand Russell ranks as one of the giants of 20th century philosophy. Through his books, journalism, correspondence and political activity he exerted a profound influence on modern thought. This companion centers on Russell's contributions to modern philosophy and, therefore, concentrates on the early part of his career. New readers will find this the most convenient and accessible guide to Russell available. Advanced students and specialists will find a conspectus of recent developments in the interpretation of Russell.

Download Description
Bertrand Russell ranks as one of the giants of twentieth-century philosophy. Through his books, journalism, correspondence and political activity he exerted a profound influence on modern thought. This companion centers on Russell's contributions to modern philosophy and, therefore, concentrates on the early part of his career. There are chapters on Russell's contributions to the foundations of mathematics, and on his development of new logical methods in philosophy and their application to such fields as epistemology, metaphysics and the philosophy of language. The intellectual background to his work is covered, as is his engagement with such contemporaries as Frege and G. E. Moore. The final chapter considers Russell as a moral philosopher. New readers will find this the most convenient and accessible guide to Russell available. Advanced students and specialists will find a conspectus of recent developments in the interpretation of Russell.

The Art of Love


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The Art of Love: Bimillennial Essays on Ovid's Ars Amatoria and Remedia Amoris

by Roy Gibson

воскресенье, 1 июня 2008 г.

J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia


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J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment
by Michael D. C. Drout (Editor)

Editorial Reviews
From Booklist
The J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopedia is a substantial volume incorporating both Tolkien's works and critical, scholarly analysis. For example, the entry on Aragorn begins with the character's first appearance in The Fellowship of the Ring, chronicles his further activities throughout the trilogy, explains his history as it appears in Tolkien's works, and explores his role as the hero of the Lord of the Rings saga. In terms of scholarship, his sword, Narsil, is discussed in relationship to both Arthuriana and Old Norse sagas. This is just one example of the more than 500 thoughtful, well-written, and just plain interesting entries. Covering all aspects of Tolkien studies from Old Norse influences to his colleagues, the Inklings, in addition to information about all aspects of Middlearth, this is a truly comprehensive source. The inclusion of scholarly studies will make it valuable as an academic resource. And it is refreshingly easy to use. Every entry has a further reading list, and most have references to related entries. There are alphabetical thematic lists of entries at the front of the volume in addition to the numerous cross-references throughout the text and the exhaustive 50-plus page index at the end of the volume. Even better, this work is not limited to the books. The recent movies are referenced throughout, and the entry on Peter Jackson is one of the longest ones in the encyclopedia. Useful to anyone at any level studying Tolkien and any iterations of his works and of equal interest to fans. Highly recommended for academic and large public libraries. Moyer, Jessica

The Origins of Beowulf


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The Origins of Beowulf: From Vergil to Wiglaf by Richard North

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This book suggests that the Old English epic Beowulf was composed in the winter of 826-7 as a requiem for King Beornwulf of Mercia on behalf of Wiglaf, the ealdorman who succeeded him. The place of composition is given as the minster of Breedon on the Hill in Leicestershire and the poet is
named as the abbot, Eanmund. As well as pinpointing the poem's place and date of composition, Richard North raises some old questions relating to the poet's influences from Vergil and from living Danes. Norse analogues are discussed in order to identify how the poet changed his heroic sources while
three episodes from Beowulf are shown to be reworked from passages in Vergil's Aeneid. One chapter assesses how the poem's Latin sources might correspond with what is known of Breedon's now-lost library while another seeks to explain Danish mythology in Beowulf by arguing that Breedon hosted a
meeting with Danish Vikings in 809. This fascinating and challenging new study combines careful detective work with meticulous literary analysis to form a case that no future investigation will be able to ignore.

About the Author

Richard North was born and brought up in Oxford, and read Old English and Old Norse literature at Oxford University. He completed his PhD in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at Cambridge University, where he compared Old English and Old Norse poetry, building up interests which led to
two books on the literary remains of Anglo-Saxon paganism. He has also written on Old Icelandic literature, mainly poetry, and since 1989 has been teaching these subjects at University College London.