Philosophy in the Garden


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Philosophy in the Garden Author: Format: Hardback First Published: Published By: Scribe Publications
string(3) "208"
Pages: 208 Language: English ISBN: 9781912854332 Category:

Why did Marcel Proust have bonsai beside his bed? What was Jane Austen doing, coveting an apricot? How was Friedrich Nietzsche inspired by his `thought tree’? In Philosophy in the Garden, Damon Young explores one of literature’s most intimate relationships: authors and their gardens. For some, the garden provided a retreat from workaday labour; for others, solitude’s quiet counsel. For all, it played a philosophical role: giving their ideas a new life. Philosophy in the Garden reveals the profound thoughts discovered in parks, backyards, and pot-plants. It does not provide tips for mowing overgrown cooch grass, or mulching a dry Japanese maple. It is a philosophical companion to the garden’s labours and joys.

Weight0.280962 kg




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'This is a gardening book that takes readers not on a walk around great estates but on a tour of great minds ... It's a lovely extension on the notion that gardens make you contemplative and in working with the soil you see life's big picture.' * The Daily Telegraph * 'Erudite, yet witty and accessible, [Philosophy in the Garden] is intellectual history at its most completely pleasurable.' * Oliver Burkeman, author of The Antidote * '[S]prightly and stimulating.' * The Spectator * 'Like a garden coming into spring ... tremendous vistas of thought.' * The Daily Telegraph * 'A gentle dig for ideas about how to live - this book will grow your mind and put a glow in your cheeks.' * Deborah Levy, author of Swimming Home * 'A brilliant philosophical and literary meditation that helps us rethink our relationship with the natural world - and with ourselves.' * Roman Krznaric, author of Empathy * 'Young writes with a delightful combination of humour and insight.' * The Literary Review * '[T]hought-provoking ... fine book.' * Gardens Illustrated * '[T]hought provoking indeed.' * The Good Book Guide * 'I've been looking forward to Damon Young's [Philosophy in the Garden] ... all year. Part philosophy lesson, part literary companion, it's a contemplative stroll through writers' relationships with their gardens.' * Charlotte Wood, author of Animal People * 'I found it utterly engaging and most illuminating. His style is very readable and full of wit and personality.' * Kate Forsyth, author of The Wild Girl * 'This beautiful looking book is a wonderfully refreshing mix of literary gossip, historical exposition and philosophical reflection, and I never wanted it to end.' -- Walter Mason, author of Destination Saigon 'Young is an engaging writer. His technique is fluent and stylish and never marred by cliches or cliched thinking. He is sincere, a great relief from the ocean of irony in which we live, and intellectually questing, a relief from that other ocean of schmaltzy platitude.' * The Australian * 'Reading this book is like strolling in a luxuriant garden with an erudite friend, although one of a literary rather than horticultural bent ... Think of this engaging little book ... as a philosophical primer, an approachable introduction to ideas about gardens and the natural world.' * The Age * '[Philosophy in the Garden] is a stimulating read where individual truths may well bloom ... [T]his volume is packed with brilliant literary info.' * The West Australian * '[M]ore my kind of 'gardening' than the digging type ... Particularly interesting is his account of Jane Austen's creative relationship with her Hampshire gardens.' * The Lady * 'Young helps readers reflect on the value of the garden beyond a place to hold a backyard barbecue ... [He] writes engagingly, showing off his skills as a storyteller ... [A]n intriguing little book.' * Weekly Times * '[T]ake the plunge: the writing is fresh, the observations discursive, and the garden ... placed front and centre.' * Australian Garden History * '[T]houghtful and highly entertaining.' * Limelight * 'Young has managed the difficult task of creating an academically rigorous work while maintaining a light and engaging tone throughout the book, which is actually a highly intellectual look at the complex relationship between humanity and nature.' * Voice * '[W]ith his vivid, critical, and, sometimes loving, attention to detail, he brings to new life writers and philosophers that anyone with a liberal arts education thought they already knew ... Young's enthusiasm, compassion, and moments of personal insight are infectious.' * Island * 'An absolute joy of a book - I couldn't put it down. Its prose is as careful and lovely as a beautifully tended garden.' -- Nikki Gemmell, columnist for The Australian and author of Honestly '[A] fascinating journey through the lives and creativity of writers ... It is an intimate, charming book.' * Sensibilities: The Journal of the Jane Austen Society of Australia * '[L]ucid and entertaining ... an enjoyable and erudite addition to a burgeoning literature.' -- David E. Cooper * Los Angeles Review of Books * '[F]or readers drawn to learning about the millennia-old tradition of teaching, writing, and thinking in the outdoors, this pithy offering will more than satisfy.' * Publishers Weekly *

Author Biography

Damon Young is a prize-winning philosopher and writer. He is the author or editor of thirteen books, including The Art of Reading, How to Think About Exercise, Philosophy in the Garden, and Distraction. His works have been translated into eleven languages, and he has also written poetry, short fiction, and children's fiction. Young is an Associate in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne.