The Story of Time / Edition 1

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Overview

This monumental publication is one of the most important, high-profile books published to mark the millennium, examining the very subject that gives the millennium its meaning: time. Multidisciplinary and cross-cultural in its subject-matter and approach, and all-encompassing in its scope, the book is written by an outstanding international cast of authors, including Umberto Eco and Sir Ernst Gombrich, each one a renowned expert from the fields of science, art, history, philosophy or culture.

Lavishly illustrated with objects from all corners of the world, from ancient Egyptian and Babylonian calendars and Titian’s allegories to the distorted-clock paintings of Salvador Dalí and recent photographs of deep space taken by the Hubble telescope, The Story of Time questions people’s perceptions of time and reflects the many ways in which cultures around the world have responded to time, measured time and expressed their understanding of time.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Just in time for the new millennium comes this enormous, amply illustrated compilation of 23 essays on aspects of time from experts in various disciplines, among them history and historiography, music, geology, literary criticism, anthropology, religion and the history of engineering. The venerated art historian E.H. Gombrich contributes a compact "History of Anniversaries," from the so-called "jubilee" of the Hebrew Bible through a famous 1769 "Shakespeare Jubilee" and on to our present glut of commemorations. John MacDonald's intriguing "Inuit Time" explains how traditional cultures of the North American Arctic taught their children to wake up early in the morning, and how newly Christian tribal communities (who had to know which day was the Sabbath) grappled with the alien concept of weeks. Lorne Campbell describes some temporal problems of portraiture, as when a slow-working painter finds that her subject's appearance has changed over multiple sittings. Jonathan Betts outlines "The Growth of Modern Timekeeping: From Pendulums to Atoms." And Umberto Eco zips from St. Augustine to the modern philosophy of language to the Millennium Bug in a typically provocative foreword. Three hundred color pictures and photos, many with long explanatory blurbs, portray such time-related items as Renaissance sundials and klepsydras (water-clocks), the Hindu god Vishnu (creator and destroyer of world and time) and a bizarre French clock from 1795, which indicated not only 60-minute hours and 24-hour days, but also the short-lived revolutionary system of decimal time, whose 10 hours a day had 100 minutes each. The entire enjoyable and visually impressive volume is timed to coincide with an exhibit at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, where the year 2000 will officially begin. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Prepared in conjunction with an international exhibition sponsored by the Royal Observatory at Greenwich and the National Maritime Museum, this handsome and informative volume is filled with dozens of enticing perspectives on the subject of time--certainly an appropriate topic at a time of millennial madness. Essays by Eco, John MacDonald, Anthony Aveni, Ken Arnold, E.H. Gombrich, and others are organized into categories that focus on the creation, measurement, depiction, experience, and end of time. Within each section, there is much to learn about the impact of time on almost every aspect of existence--from calendars and timepieces, to major civilizations and their rituals, to art, music, science, and prophecy. In addition to many perspectives on our relationship to time, there is also a rich education in history, philosophy, and world culture here. The captions that accompany the many superb color photos and art reproductions are particularly informative. Essential for academic and humanities collections.--Carol J. Binkowski, Bloomfield, NJ Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781858940724
  • Publisher: Merrell Publishers, LTD
  • Publication date: 1/28/2003
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 10.11 (w) x 11.47 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface: Times
1 The Creation of Time
2 The Measurement of Time
From Observation to Record: Astronomy in Prehistory and the Early Civilizations
World Cultures and Time I: Time in India
The Principles and Uses of Calendars
World Cultures and Time II: Mesoamerican and Andean Timekeeping and Calendars
World Cultures and Time III: Time and Space in Islam
World Cultures and Time IV: Cyclical and Linear Concepts of Time in China
World Cultures and Time V: Cycles, Seasons and Stages of Life: Time in a Japanese Context
World Cultures and Time VI: Inuit Time
Of Spheres and Shadows
Mechanical Timekeeping in Europe: The Early Stages
The Growth of Modern Timekeeping
3 The Depiction of Time
The Image of Vanitas: Efflorescence and Evanescence
Time and the Portrait
Seasons and Moments: Time and Nineteenth-Century Art
"These Fragments I have Shored against my Ruins"
Art and Time in the Twentieth Century
4 The Experience of Time
Music and Time
Does Time Heal? Time in the History of Medicine
The History of Anniversaries: Time, Number and Sign
Time and History
Geologists' Time: A Brief History
World Cultures and Time VII: Australian Aboriginal Concepts of Time
World Cultures and Time VIII: Egyptian Time
5 The End of Time
Understanding the Beginning and the End
Lenders
Bibliography
Index
Photographic Credits
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