Voltaire’s Vine and Other Philosophies: How Gardens Inspired Great Writers


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Voltaire’s Vine and Other Philosophies: How Gardens Inspired Great Writers Author: Format: Hardback First Published: Published By: Ebury Publishing
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Pages: 208 Language: English ISBN: 9781846044175 Categories: ,

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’? Philosopher Damon reveals 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 new life. With lively prose and great stories, Young shows how gardens are much more than pretty ornaments or hobbies to kill the hours. Gardens, plants and the great outdoors console or confront, calm or animate, tease or test – they can be an antidote to distraction and disorientation. This insightful guide reveals the profound thoughts and ideas for living discovered by eleven famous writers in parks, backyards and pot-plants, making it a colourful yet philosophical companion to the garden’s toils and joys.

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"A fascinating exploration...Erudite, yet witty and accessible" -- Oliver Burkeman, author of The Antidote: Happiness for people who can't stand positive thinking "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: a Handbook for Revolution "`a joy to read... a lively study...like a garden coming into spring...tremendous vistas of thought [and] a very pleasant place to be'" * Telegraph * "Sprightly and stimulating" * The Spectator *

Author Biography

Damon Young is a philosopher and writer who is affiliated with the School of Life. He has written for the BBC, The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian and ABC, and is an Honorary Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne. A frequent radio guest, Damon is part of an up-and-coming generation of philosophers. He regularly tweets (@damonayoung) and blogs www.damonyoung.com.au