An extraordinary and surreal art book, this edition has been redesigned by the author and includes new illustrations. Deluxe numbered, limited edition of 600 w/signed card. Ever since the Codex Seraphinianus was first published in 1981, the book has been recognized as one of the strangest and most beautiful art books ever made. This visual encyclopedia of an unknown world written in an unknown language has fueled much debate over its meaning. Written for the information age and addressing the import of coding and decoding in genetics, literary criticism, and computer science, the Codex confused, fascinated, and enchanted a generation. While its message may be unclear, its appeal is obvious: it is a most exquisite artifact. Blurring the distinction between art book and art object, this anniversary edition-redesigned by the author and featuring new illustrations-presents this unique work in a new, unparalleled light. With the advent of new media and forms of communication and continuous streams of information, the Codex is now more relevant and timely than ever.
From the intriguing mind behind Codex Seraphinianus comes this beautifully illustrated tribute to the famed Neapolitan character Pulcinella (or "Punch" as he is referred to in English). Pulcinellopaedia Seraphiniana contains over one hundred extraordinary graphite illustrations with scarlet accents, some of which are depicted in comic-strip style. Conceived as a musical Suite, it is divided into nine scenes with an intermission. It features the oddly surreal and globally recognized character, whose origins have been lost in the mists of the time. An ancestor of Pulcinella was certainly Maccus, the protagonist of the Atellanae Fabulae, very popular farces in ancient Rome, but it was in the early seventeenth-century that the character assumed the name and costume that we all know. Distinguished by a long nose and typically dressed in white with a black mask, Pulcinella is often depicted in various kinds of misadventures and singing about love, hunger, and money. As he famously did in the Codex, Luigi Serafini, has created Pulcinellopaedia Seraphiniana in a unique language all its own, and has filled it with fascinating and mysterious illustrations that will no doubt prompt devotees to obsessively try to decipher the artist's intention. Written by Serafini's imaginative coauthor and alter ego "P. Cetrulo," who represents Pulcinella himself, the book artfully presents the struggles of a rebellious antihero who must come to grips with the challenges of everyday life. Originally, a book about Pulcinella and his world appeared in 1984, after Serafini's involvement with the 1982 Carnival of Venice, the first revival of the famous festivity after two centuries of silence. Now more than three decades later, this new edition has been extensively revised and includes a new afterword by the author. Like its predecessor, the original edition became immensely sought after and highly valuable, fetching more than one thousand dollars if book collectors were lucky enough to get their hands on a copy. All fans of Serafini's work will treasure this volume. Rizzoli will also publish a deluxe limited edition with a signed and numbered print.
The natural world in all its richness, glimpsed variously in the house, the barnyard, and the garden, in ponds and streams, and at large in the woods and the fields, including old friends like the dog, the cat, the cow, and the pig, along with more unusual and sometimes alarming characters such as the weasel, the dragonfly, snakes of several sorts, and even a whale, not to mention ants in their seeming infinitude and a single humble potato—all these and more are the subjects of what may well be the most deft and delightful book of literary miniatures ever written. In Jules Renard’s world, plants and animals not only feel but speak (one species, the swallow, appears to write Hebrew), and yet, for all the anthropomorphic wit and whimsy the author indulges in, they guard their mystery too. Sly, funny, and touching, Nature Stories, here beautifully rendered into English by Douglas Parmée and accompanied by the wonderful ink-brush images of Pierre Bonnard with which the book was originally published, is a literary classic of inexhaustible freshness.
Explores how the emotional experience of gratitude has been enlisted in neoliberal governance through the language of debt. In The Art of Gratitude, Jeremy David Engels sketches a genealogy of gratitude from the ancient Greeks to the contemporary self-help movement. One of the most striking things about gratitude, Engels finds, is how consistently it is described using the language of indebtedness. A chief purpose of this, he contends, is to make us more comfortable living lives in debt, with the nefarious effect of pacifying the citizenry so we are less likely to speak out about social and economic injustice. To counteract this, he proposes an alternative art of gratitude-as-thanksgiving that is inspired by Indian philosophy, particularly the yoga philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita and Patanjalis Yoga-Sutras. He argues that this art of gratitude can challenge neoliberalism by reorienting our politics away from resentment, anger, and guilt and toward a democratic ethic of thanksgiving and the common good. In the contemporary moment, when gratitude is widely touted as the panacea to many of our ills, Jeremy Engels provides a timely critical genealogy of this emotion, showing how it has been used for social control, and how it affirms the state of indebtedness at the heart of neoliberalism. But Engels also makes a compelling case for the art of gratitude, a gratefulness with capacities for cultivating the self and strengthening democracies. William Edelglass, coeditor of Facing Nature: Levinas and Environmental Thought This book accomplishes two important goals: it provides a very detailed and interesting history of gratitude in the West, and it brings Eastern philosophyespecially yogainto our accounts of gratitude and flourishing. A unique project with an eminently readable style, it will appeal to a number of audiences, including those interested in the theory and practice of yoga. Scott R. Stroud, author of John Dewey and the Artful Life: Pragmatism, Aesthetics, and Morality
From the winner of the National Book Award and the National Books Critics’ Circle Award—and one of the most original thinkers of our time—“Andrew Solomon’s magisterial Far and Away collects a quarter-century of soul-shaking essays” (Vanity Fair). Far and Away chronicles Andrew Solomon’s writings about places undergoing seismic shifts—political, cultural, and spiritual. From his stint on the barricades in Moscow in 1991, when he joined artists in resisting the coup whose failure ended the Soviet Union, his 2002 account of the rebirth of culture in Afghanistan following the fall of the Taliban, his insightful appraisal of a Myanmar seeped in contradictions as it slowly, fitfully pushes toward freedom, and many other stories of profound upheaval, this book provides a unique window onto the very idea of social change. With his signature brilliance and compassion, Solomon demonstrates both how history is altered by individuals, and how personal identities are altered when governments alter. A journalist and essayist of remarkable perception and prescience, Solomon captures the essence of these cultures. Ranging across seven continents and twenty-five years, these “meaty dispatches…are brilliant geopolitical travelogues that also comprise a very personal and reflective resume of the National Book Award winner’s globe-trotting adventures” (Elle). Far and Away takes a magnificent journey into the heart of extraordinarily diverse experiences: “You will not only know the world better after having seen it through Solomon’s eyes, you will also care about it more” (Elizabeth Gilbert).
We surround ourselves with material things that are invested with memories but can only stand for what we have lost. Physical objects—such as one’s own body—situate and define us; yet at the same time they are fundamentally indifferent to us. The melancholy of this rift is a rich source of inspiration for artists. Peter Schwenger deftly weaves together philosophical and psychoanalytical theory with artistic practice. Concerned in part with the act of collecting, The Tears of Things is itself a collection of exemplary art objects—literary and cultural attempts to control and possess things—including paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and René Magritte; sculpture by Louise Bourgeois and Marcel Duchamp; Joseph Cornell’s boxes; Edward Gorey’s graphic art; fiction by Virginia Woolf, Georges Perec, and Louise Erdrich; the hallucinatory encyclopedias of Jorge Luis Borges and Luigi Serafini; and the corpse photographs of Joel Peter Witkin. However, these representations of objects perpetually fall short of our aspirations. Schwenger examines what is left over—debris and waste—and asks what art can make of these. What emerges is not an art that reassembles but one that questions what it means to assemble in the first place. Contained in this catalog of waste is that ultimate still life, the cadaver, where the subject-object dichotomy receives its final ironic reconciliation. Peter Schwenger is professor of English at Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is the author of Fantasm and Fiction: On Textual Envisioning, Letter Bomb: Nuclear Holocaust and the Exploding Word, and Phallic Critiques: Masculinity and Twentieth-Century Literature.