The spell of the sensuous...

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D'Arzhur
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The spell of the sensuous...

Postby D'Arzhur » 15 Feb 2011, 07:45

I have ordered "the spell of the sensuous..."after reading a post on Philip's blog on David Abram's new book "becoming animal: an earthly cosmology"
Until it gets home I am reading the reviews on Amazon.com and I would love to hear from people who have read it :)
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Re: The spell of the sensuous...

Postby Heddwen » 15 Feb 2011, 20:07

Wow. Just googled it. It's right up my street, can't find the blog link though. And at that price its a bargain, £15 well spent IMHO. :)

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Re: The spell of the sensuous...

Postby Kima » 17 Feb 2011, 09:01

I read The Spell of the Sensuous las summer and Becoming Animal when it came out and they're both excellent work. The Spell is more theoretical (but never dry) whereas Becoming takes the form of observations or meditations on a theme (without being groundlessly romantic). Abram bases much of his thinking on Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology and insists on the importance of knowing through the senses. The Spell also examines language, and in particular how the adoption of the Greek alphabet was a definite turn away from a sensuous view of the world. I highly recommend them.

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Re: The spell of the sensuous...

Postby D'Arzhur » 17 Feb 2011, 20:04

Thanks Kima, the book should arrived very soon now :) and I am already looking for Becoming Animal :wink:
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Re: The spell of the sensuous...

Postby Aurora » 18 Feb 2011, 00:27

I've been interested in reading Becoming animal for a bit now but didn't know if it would be worth it, but will give it a try now thanks Kima.
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Re: The spell of the sensuous...

Postby Kima » 18 Feb 2011, 09:45

Having loved The Spell of the Sensuous it took me a while to adjust to Becoming Animal. It is less theoretical but, once you get attuned to its rythm, it is beautifully written and inspiring.

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Re: The spell of the sensuous...

Postby D'Arzhur » 21 Mar 2011, 15:05

Since I am reading a few books at a time I read only a few pages a day but I am really enjoying this book! So far Chapter 5 is my favorite with the language of the landscape.... Becoming animal has already arrived but I will first finish this one (although it is very tempting)
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Re: The spell of the sensuous...

Postby Susanne » 21 Mar 2011, 21:45

Because of the discussion here I decided to get The Spell of the Sensuous. It has arrived and I can't wait to read it! :D

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Re: The spell of the sensuous...

Postby D'Arzhur » 22 Mar 2011, 14:16

Oh Great! then I am happy I started this discussion :) Hope you like the book. It is sometimes a bit theoritical for me but indeed never boring and very informative. So far one of my favorite books !
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Re: The spell of the sensuous...

Postby Kima » 22 Mar 2011, 21:47

To me it really was a landmark book; it came to me right after I discovered druidry and led me to shift the focus of my PhD work towards spatial epistemology. Needless to say the theoretical aspect didn't throw me off as I'm definitely the bookish type! :-)

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Re: The spell of the sensuous...

Postby Explorer » 23 Mar 2011, 16:27

*ding dong*.... a package from Amazon.com, YESSSS!!! (together with 'becoming animal').
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Re: The spell of the sensuous...

Postby D'Arzhur » 23 Mar 2011, 18:48

*ding dong*.... a package from Amazon.com, YESSSS!!! (together with 'becoming animal').
Finally :applause: Let me know once you have reached and read chapter 5 :wink:

I am going away for 2 weeks to Breizh (Brittany) and I am taking both books and I am planning to :read: :read: :read: on the land :)
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Re: The spell of the sensuous...

Postby Explorer » 23 Mar 2011, 18:56

*ding dong*.... a package from Amazon.com, YESSSS!!! (together with 'becoming animal').
Finally :applause: Let me know once you have reached and read chapter 5 :wink:

I am going away for 2 weeks to Breizh (Brittany) and I am taking both books and I am planning to :read: :read: :read: on the land :)
It's going to take a while, I first have The Burning Land by Barnard Cornwell in the queue, I just started it.
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Re: The spell of the sensuous...

Postby Explorer » 29 Apr 2011, 13:20

I almost reached chapter 5...

Very interesting read, hardcore philosphy huh? High quality, I love it.
I agree with a lot of what he says, but he makes one big fault, so far at least.

It is more or less the same error that is made in OBOD-druidry, where christianity is blamed for our disconnection with nature, which is simplistic one-dimensional thinking.
Abram blames the greeks and their alphabet for it, reasoning that the alphabet is too abstract to connect its symbolism with nature. This is silly, for a number of reasons. Even if every letter was a picture of an animal, tree, natural object, or 'phenomenon' (as he calls it), then we wouldn't really notice that anymore after reading milions of characters as we do. Because reading/writing is not about the characters, but about the story.
The biggest fault in his thinking is that he doesn't involve human imagination as a factor. When I read, I don't see the scribblings and signs, I see, hear, feel, sense the mental image that the story creates. A story can be an experience, regardless of how the characters of the alphabet look.

Very interesting how he showed that new age folk and hardcore rationalists/scientists create the exact same division between the spiritual and physical world, both from the other side of that division, and both equally incomplete. I agree with that. (I do wonder why he didn't criticize religion in a simular fashion though, too touchy?).

I love his idea about the reciprocity between the sentient and the sensed. But it is also a rather risky way of saying things, because many people might interpretate that as reciprocity in consciousness, leading to silly believes about thinking trees and living stones. What he says makes sense, but I do wonder if everybody picks up exactly what he means by it.

to be continued...
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Re: The spell of the sensuous...

Postby Twig » 29 Apr 2011, 20:29

I've been out of town for a while, so I am late to this thread (as usual). Now my interest is piqued and I'm going to have to get these books. I hope I am smart enough to understand them. :blink: Anyone advice on which I should read first?

Love the new avatar, D'Arzhur...
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Re: The spell of the sensuous...

Postby D'Arzhur » 01 May 2011, 17:36

I've been out of town for a while, so I am late to this thread (as usual). Now my interest is piqued and I'm going to have to get these books. I hope I am smart enough to understand them. :blink: Anyone advice on which I should read first?

Love the new avatar, D'Arzhur...
Hello Twig :) I have not read the second book yet so I could only recommend to you to read the first one. Although I am quite sure that I will like the second book evenmore :grin:

The avatar is a pic taken in Breizh (Brittany)...a true Ovate avatar for me! Thanks for the comment :hug:
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Re: The spell of the sensuous...

Postby D'Arzhur » 01 May 2011, 17:38

I almost reached chapter 5...

Very interesting read, hardcore philosphy huh? High quality, I love it.
I agree with a lot of what he says, but he makes one big fault, so far at least.

to be continued...
...and then came chapter 5... :)
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Re: The spell of the sensuous...

Postby Kima » 04 May 2011, 17:49

@Twig
If you think that theory will put you off then perhaps the second one is a safer choice. Then again I have no idea how much you'll pick up without having read the first one. Why don't you read the first few pages of each to get a general feel for them? http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss? ... am&x=0&y=0

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Re: The spell of the sensuous...

Postby Twig » 06 May 2011, 09:14

Brilliant idea, Kima! :applause: Thanks for the link. I'm off to explore... :)
"...some part of me is tree." -- Stephanie Kaza (Buddhist author)

"It takes courage to live ordinary lives." -- Connie Schultz (newspaper columnist)

:awen: :terra: :seasons:

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Re: The spell of the sensuous...

Postby Explorer » 19 May 2011, 18:55

I almost reached chapter 5...

Very interesting read, hardcore philosphy huh? High quality, I love it.
I agree with a lot of what he says, but he makes one big fault, so far at least.

to be continued...
...and then came chapter 5... :)
Okay, I'm burrowing deep into chapter 5 now. And I must say... I'm loving this part.

Going very slowly, because I'm reading the whole book to the May Queen, usually when we go to bed. (and she has a way of really distracting me then, so often it is no more than a few pages at a time, but eventually we'll get there, to the end of the book I mean).
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