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Download Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition (Unabridged), by Robert Pogue Harrison
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (66 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert Pogue Harrison Narrator: Drew Birdseye Publisher: Caravan Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Humans have long turned to gardens - both real and imaginary - for sanctuary from the frenzy and tumult that surrounds them. Those gardens may be as far away from everyday reality as Gilgamesh's garden of the gods or as near as our own backyard, but in their very conception and the marks they bear of human care and cultivation, gardens stand as restorative, nourishing, necessary havens.

With Gardens, Robert Pogue Harrison graces readers with a thoughtful, wide-ranging examination of the many ways gardens evoke the human condition. Moving from from the gardens of ancient philosophers to the gardens of homeless people in contemporary New York, he shows how, again and again, the garden has served as a check against the destruction and losses of history.

The ancients, explains Harrison, viewed gardens as both a model and a location for the laborious self-cultivation and self-improvement that are essential to serenity and enlightenment, an association that has continued throughout the ages.

The Bible and Qur'an; Plato's Academy and Epicurus's Garden School; Zen rock and Islamic carpet gardens; Boccaccio, Rihaku, Capek, Cao Xueqin, Italo Calvino, Ariosto, Michel Tournier, and Hannah Arendt - all come into play as this work explores the ways in which the concept and reality of the garden has informed human thinking about mortality, order, and power.

Alive with the echoes and arguments of Western thought, Gardens is a fitting continuation of the intellectual journeys of Harrison's earlier classics, Forests and The Dominion of the Dead. Voltaire famously urged us to cultivate our gardens; with this compelling volume, Robert Pogue Harrison reminds us of the nature of that responsibility - and its enduring importance to humanity.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Maggie | 9/2/2013

    " ohmygosh. i LOVE this book. it gives me a grounding and a context for my uber-(post)modern-anxiety. thank goodness i read this book! now i shall study it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Erica | 12/4/2012

    " True work of philosophy. Held my attention through the first half. Covers many garden stories from antiquity. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Win Dunwell | 8/30/2012

    " As a horticulturist I thought it was about gardens and it is but it is more about the literature of gardens. An excellent book by a true lover of language and literature. Check out his Entitled Opinions radio show. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Scott | 1/7/2012

    " Started 3/7/09 "

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