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Harmattan: A Philosophical Fiction (Hardback)

Michael Jackson

Edité par Columbia University Press, United States, 2015
ISBN 10: 0231172346 / ISBN 13: 9780231172349
Neuf(s) / Hardback / Quantité : 1
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Titre : Harmattan: A Philosophical Fiction (Hardback...

Éditeur : Columbia University Press, United States

Date d'édition : 2015

Reliure : Hardback

Etat du livre : New

Description :

Language: English . Brand New Book. We all experience qualms and anxieties when we move from the known to the unknown. Though our fulfillment in life may depend on testing limits, our faintheartedness is a reminder of our need for security and our awareness of the risks of venturing into alien worlds. Evoking the hot, dust-filled Harmattan winds that blow from the Sahara to the Gulf of Guinea, this book creatively explores what it means to be buffeted by the unforeseen and the unknown. Celebrating the life-giving potential of people, places, and powers that lie beyond our established worlds, Harmattan connects existential vitality to the act of resisting prescribed customs and questioning received notions of truth. At the book s heart is the fictional story of Tom Lannon, a graduate student from Cambridge University, who remains ambivalent about pursuing a conventional life. After traveling to Sierra Leone in the aftermath of its devastating civil war, Tom meets a writer who helps him explore the possibilities of renewal. Illustrating the fact that certain aspects of human existence are common to all people regardless of culture and history, Harmattan remakes the distinction between home and world and the relationship between knowledge and life. N° de réf. du libraire AAH9780231172349

A propos du livre :

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Synopsis : We all experience qualms and anxieties when we move from the known to the unknown. Though our fulfillment in life may depend on testing limits, our faintheartedness is a reminder of our need for security and our awareness of the risks of venturing into alien worlds. Evoking the hot, dust-filled Harmattan winds that blow from the Sahara to the Gulf of Guinea, this book creatively explores what it means to be buffeted by the unforeseen and the unknown. Celebrating the life-giving potential of people, places, and powers that lie beyond our established worlds, Harmattan connects existential vitality to the act of resisting prescribed customs and questioning received notions of truth. At the book's heart is the fictional story of Tom Lannon, a graduate student from Cambridge University, who remains ambivalent about pursuing a conventional life. After traveling to Sierra Leone in the aftermath of its devastating civil war, Tom meets a writer who helps him explore the possibilities of renewal. Illustrating the fact that certain aspects of human existence are common to all people regardless of culture and history, Harmattan remakes the distinction between home and world and the relationship between knowledge and life.

Critique: A powerfully poetic contribution not just to anthropological knowledge but also to our comprehension of the human condition. Harmattan is a work in which the author 'not only tells, but also shows,' a book which crosses the literary borders that have kept fiction, poetry, and non-fiction in hermetically sealed categories. -- Paul Stoller, West Chester University Slipping deftly across the borders of ethnography, fiction, and autobiography, Harmattan is a book that upturns and revolts against some of the deepest and most pernicious prejudices of academic writing. Jackson's prose shows how for anthropology thinking must take place in the most unlikely of circumstances:in the very midst of life's tumultuous course, through the very expression of its confounding vicissitudes. -- Anand Pandian, The Johns Hopkins University Harmattan is a remarkable inquiry into the intricate interweave between fact and fantasy, anthropological observation and imaginative fiction. In venturing ever further into the text, the reader is deliriously caught, like the book's narrators, in a multi-chambered realm of storytelling, where life, death, friendship, and the elusiveness of truth are the most critical terms of existence. With Michael Jackson's Harmattan anthropology finally has its Conrad, its Heart of Darkness. -- Robert Desjarlais, Sarah Lawrence College A philosophical and literary exploration of the limits of life and the norm, Michael Jackson's fascinating new book travels the geographical, psychological and political borderland of social life and 'the more' that lies beyond. It spans the boundary of historical event and mythical reality, war and peace, ethnography, fiction, and autobiography, to ponder the potential that, as he puts it, lies beyond the pale of our established life worlds. The search for the sources of life encounters and passes through death. In that passage the self dissolves and multiplies, and its characters exchange their places and are projected onto an imaginal space where West African, European and Oceanian worlds echo and reflect upon each other, and a society reveals to itself the enigma of its vital and destructive core. For, as we are told, at one time or the other, Europe has also been one of the dark places of the earth. Harmattan's characters are unforgettable: Ezechiel, surviving the civil war in Sierra Leone and migrating to the North and the halls of the British Library, Tom, an anthropologist's alter, making the reverse journey to the uncanny tranquility of Ezechiel's post civil war ravaged village, Cosmega, the woman who was not undone by the wreckage, a Kuranko shaman finding his power and overcoming his fear, and then dying, and an ethnographer encountering himself, or herself, as another, on the borderland where being is both lost and found. In the literary tradition of Calvino and Pessoa, Conrad and Tutuola, but also Victor Turner and L vi-Strauss, Harmattan is a much-needed contribution towards the regeneration of anthropological thinking and writing. -- Stefania Pandolfo, UC Berkeley A slim but thoughtful rendering of an exotic locale that recalls The Quiet American. Kirkus Reviews

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