The spell of the sensuous: perception and language in a more-than-human world

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Vintage Books, 1996 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 326 pages
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David Abram draws on sources as diverse as the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty, Balinese shamanism, Apache storytelling, and his own experience as an accomplished sleight-of-hand magician to reveal the subtle dependence of human cognition on the natural environment. He explores the character of perception and excavates the sensual foundations of language, which--even at its most abstract--echoes the calls and cries of the earth. On every page of this lyrical work, Abram weaves his arguments with passion and intellectual daring.

"Long awaited, revolutionary...This book ponders the violent disconnection of the body from the natural world and what this means about how we live and die in it."--Los Angeles Times

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The spell of the sensuous: perception and language in a more-than-human world

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This is an interesting, if impossible to classify, book; Abram is a philosopher, magician, and essayist (of the Utne Reader type); this book grew out of his explorations of magic and sorcery in ... Read full review

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User Review  - anne_fitzgerald - LibraryThing

Three essays written in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 that serve as reflections on the unfolding crisis. Read full review


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