The Horizon: A History of Our Infinite Longing / Edition 1

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What is a horizon? A line where land meets sky? The end of the world or the beginning of perception?
In this brilliant, engaging, and stimulating history, Didier Maleuvre journeys to the outer reaches of human experience and explores philosophy, religion, and art to understand our struggle and fascination with limits—of life, knowledge, existence, and death. Maleuvre sweeps us through a vast cultural landscape, enabling us to experience each stopping place as the cusp of a limitless journey, whether he is discussing the works of Picasso, Gothic architecture, Beethoven, or General Relativity. If, as Aristotle said, philosophy begins in wonder, then this remarkable book shows us how wonder—the urge to know beyond the conceivable—is itself the engine of culture.

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Editorial Reviews


“Subtle, well-researched, and philosophically generous.”
“Subtle, well-researched, and philosophically generous.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520267435
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 2/15/2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Didier Maleuvre is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of The Religion of Reality:
Inquiry into the Self, Art, and Transcendence
and Museum Memories: History, Technology, Art.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations


Part One The Archaic Age

1. Permanence: Egypt, 2500 B.C.E.
2. Astonishment: Mesopotamia, circa 1900 B.C.E.
3. Enterprise: Aegean Sea, circa 725 B.C.E.
4. Tremor: Northern Kingdom of Israel, 500 B.C.E.

Part Two The Philosophical Age

5. Exile: The Desert of Moab, 450 B.C.E.
6. Synthesis: The Hellenic Archipelago, 500 B.C.E.
7. Closure: Athens, circa 400 B.C.E.

Part Three The Theological Age

8. Distance: Nicaea, 325 C.E.
9. Trembling: Hippo, 410
10. Space: The Northern Forest, 1100
11. Perspective: Mount Ventoux, April 1336
12. Ambivalence: Florence, 1503

Part Four The Scientific Age

13. Mortuus sum: Bordeaux, 1574
14. Nothing: Regensburg, May 8, 1654
15. Night: Neuberg, November 10, 1619

Part Five The Subjective Age

16. Formless: Königsberg, 1780
17. Severance: Wetzlar, November 1772
18. Blue Yonder: Tübingen, 1810
19. Eden: Upstate New York, September 22, 1827

Part Six The Mathematical Age

20. Flatness: Murnau, Bavaria, 1908
21. No Exit: Buenos Aires, April 1941
22. Here: Woodstock, NY, August 29, 1952
23. Nowhere: The Moon, July 21, 1969, 3:58 A.M. BST



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