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5.0 von 5 Sternen Challenges our assumptions about writing and language, 22. Juli 2000
Von 
Gwyneth Calvetti (West Salem, WI United States) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (Vintage) (Taschenbuch)
Abram has undertaken a fascinating look at language and not only the changes it has undergone over time, but also how these changes have changed human perceptions. Another reviewer spoke of all the disparate topics that are woven together in this work, and that is an apt description.
As a storyteller, I found the accounts of the cultures with a largely oral tradition to be compelling. In one example, he tells of an aboriginal Australian man trying to tell the story of a dreamline at Jeep speed, and running out of breath. These tales are meant to follow the landscape at walking speed, and trying to tell them by car changes the entire texture of the tale.
For those who are looking for a challenging read about our connection with the natural world, how language interacts with that connection, and a history of the development of writing, this is the book you want. Whether you agree with his ideas and philosophy or not, you will have much food for thought.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A great fraction that's really 3 lessons in one., 8. April 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Fraction Fun (Taschenbuch)
In my third grade classroom, I used the first part of this colorful book to introduce fractions, both equivalent and adding fractions. They loved the hands-on Pizza Math! We also used the last half of the book to introduce a weighing activity and a discussion of money. The students gave it a definite thumbs up. As a teacher I found the colorful illustrations helpful to the students and appreciate the simple presentation of each concept.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen language and the walls it generates, 5. Oktober 1999
Von 
Frank Bierbrauer (Cardiff, Wales, UK) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (Vintage) (Taschenbuch)
A fascinating odyssey through the mind, first with the philosophical viewpoint of phenomenology which at last tries to describe reailty as it shows itself to us/itself and the perspective of the other both indigenous peoples and animals and plants. At times lyrical and deeply personal and at others academic it nevertheless doesn't let go of the connection it forms at the beginning with tales of Abrams life. One feels that the experience of the world so honestly told throughout the book at times, provide the true wonder evident in Abrams life. It is a pity more of these experiences were not forthcoming. It reminds me of the answer given by a Zen student in Japan when asked about his practice : "the world is so beautiful you almost can't stand it"
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A magical, soulful book, 27. Februar 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (Vintage) (Taschenbuch)
I read this book because I met the author at a magicians' conference and was fascinated by his study of shamanism. When I read it I connected with it totally. I felt that FINALLY someone is talking about the world as something that isn't just about people. I'm very tired of being so human-focused all the time. This book was very refreshing and wonderful.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen David Abram has written a scholarly and poetic book., 13. Januar 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Every time I looked up from the pages of this book, I saw the world in a new light. David Abram claims that the invention of the modern alphabet drastically altered the way we see and interact with our environment. He backs this up with evidence from his own experiences in Indonesia and Nepal, and with studies done by anthropolists around the world. Each idea is well supported by the one that comes before and flows naturally into the next. Despite the potential for this to be a 'heavy' work, it is written with a graceful and light touch. Even today, images that David Abram crafted shine in my memory like a happy dream.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Good Food for Thought, 3. September 1998
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (Vintage) (Taschenbuch)
This book was a pleasure to read. Skillfully written, reading it was a sensuous experience in and of itself. The content and the references are of high quality. On the down side, there are several repetitive passages throughout the book. Nonetheless, I recommend the book wholeheartedly. Also, as a companion piece, consider reading Kieran Egan's "The Educated Mind." Egan writes about the development of intellectual tools--somatic, mythic, romantic, philosophic, and ironic. Abram's covers the somatic and mythic tools quite well. Egan cover's the whole set at a higher level but with less focus. Together, the two books complement each other nicely.
D. Wesley
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5.0 von 5 Sternen tantilizing, 21. Juli 1998
Von 
sasha_ (New York, NY United States) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (Vintage) (Taschenbuch)
The Spell of the Sensuous has been referred to as interdisciplinary; certainly the voice of the book carries over some linear arguments, some narrative, and then leaves you in the world again, silent and wide-eyed and seeing things just a little more fully than before.
I cannot wait for Abrams to write more. Either pure (and brief) philosophy, or an account of his travels, or, should he be so moved, even a novel.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A surprising look at nature and the alphabet, 19. Juni 1998
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (Vintage) (Taschenbuch)
David Abram argues persuasively that the alphabet and written language have alienated us from the world in which we live. He compares our platonism, which imprisons intelligence and subjectivity within humans and denies them to other creatures, to the animism of oral cultures, which regards all beings as intelligent subjects. The alphabet, invented by Semites and perfected by the Greeks, was instrumental in this great change. The knowledge and wisdom that our ancestors learned from other creatures we now find in the printed word. Abram, an ecologist and philosopher now living in New Mexico, says we are intelligent, subjective beings because we are part of an intelligent, subjective universe. The unfinished task he leaves us with is to reconcile the beauty of the written language of books with the living language of our environment.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Get caught up in the Spell--read and reflect!!, 12. März 1998
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (Vintage) (Taschenbuch)
Our graduate Micro-Sociology Theory course used this as one of the texts, along with Mead's Mind, Self, and Society, and Reynold's Symbolic Interactionism. I really enjoyed Spell of the Sensuous, it was a refreshing, creative evalution. His writing style was a very appropriate fit with the content. His eloquent pleas are convincingly supported. I'll be rereading this book (although my copy is falling apart already!) with great enthusiasm. This truly is an interactive experience between the reader and the text! I did not rate this a 10, as his theory does not always withstand scrutiny. Abram is not a sociologist by profession, but his observations, explanations, and predictions seem very plausible and on-target. This is a great interdisciplinary application. Highly recommended.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A compelling, important book, despite its flaws, 3. Februar 1998
Von 
P. Lozar "plozar" (Santa Fe, NM USA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (Vintage) (Taschenbuch)
One day I spotted a bird at my feeder that I didn't recognize. I got out my field guide, identified the bird, mentally patted myself on the back, then looked out at him again. He was a perky handful of mottled brown fluff, with delicate feet and shiny black eyes -- and it suddenly struck me that whatever name I applied to him was utterly irrelevant to the living reality of the bird himself.
Another pertinent story: I live in high desert country, where a fragile ecosystem has evolved over millennia, perfectly adapted to the region's harsh soil and scarce water. In recent years, a number of people have bought plots of land near my house and put mobile homes on them. They've then scraped every hint of vegetation off the lot. The ambitious ones do things with gravel and railroad ties and bags of fertilizer. But most just leave the soil bare, as if possession is exemplified by their victory over "weeds."
So I read Abram's book with a shock of recognition. His concepts aren't particularly original (I kept being reminded of the English Romantic poet Wordsworth), and he often takes for granted that his readers accept his assumptions. I find it ironic, too, that such an eloquent and persuasive writer should devalue language. While I think he takes that argument too far, he's absolutely right that by defining "knowledge" and "civilization" as "distance from the non-human," we've lost a sense of our place in nature that is endangering our planet's health and our survival as a species. It's unfortunate that the book is being marketed through New Age and ecological sources; it deserves a much wider readership.
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