- Used Books
- Staff Picks
- Gifts & Gift Cards
- Sell Books
- Stores & Events
- Let's Talk Books
Special Offers see all
More at Powell's
Recently Viewed clear list
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Maps of Paradiseby Alessandro Scafi
Synopses & Reviews
Every flu season, sneezing, coughing, and graphic throat-clearing become the day-to-day background noise in every workplace. And coworkers tend to move as farandmdash;and as quicklyandmdash;away from the source of these bodily eruptions as possible. Instinctively, humans recoil from objects that they view as dirty and even struggle to overcome feelings of discomfort once the offending item has been cleaned. These reactions are universal, and although there are cultural and individual variations, by and large we are all disgusted by the same things.
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; In Donandrsquo;t Look, Donandrsquo;t Touch, Donandrsquo;t Eat, Valerie Curtis builds a strong case for disgust as a andldquo;shadow emotionandrdquo;andmdash;less familiar than love or sadness, it nevertheless affects our day-to-day lives. In disgust, biological and sociocultural factors meet in dynamic ways to shape human and animal behavior. Curtis traces the evolutionary role of disgust in disease prevention and hygiene, but also shows that it is much more than a biological mechanism. Human social norms, from good manners to moral behavior, are deeply rooted in our sense of disgust. The disgust reaction informs both our political opinions and our darkest tendencies, such as misogyny and racism. Through a deeper understanding of disgust, Curtis argues, we can take this ubiquitous human emotion and direct it towards useful ends, from combating prejudice to reducing disease in the poorest parts of the world by raising standards of hygiene.and#160; and#160; and#160; and#160; and#160; and#160;and#160;Donandrsquo;t Look, Donandrsquo;t Touch, Donandrsquo;t Eat reveals disgust to be a vital part of what it means to be human and explores how this deep-seated response can be harnessed to improve the world.and#160;and#160;
Where is paradise? It always seems to be elsewhere, inaccessible, outside of time. Either it existed yesterday or it will return tomorrow; it may be just around the corner, on a remote island, beyond the sea. Across a wide range of cultures, paradise is located in the distant past, in a longed-for future, in remote places or within each of us. In particular, people everywhere in the world share some kind of nostalgia for an innocence experienced at the beginning of history. For two millennia, learned Christians have wondered where on earth the primal paradise could have been located. Where was the idyllic Garden of Eden that is described in the Bible? In the Far East? In equatorial Africa? In Mesopotamia? Under the sea? Where were Adam and Eve created in their unspoiled perfection?
Maps of Paradise charts the diverse ways in which scholars and mapmakers from the eighth to the twenty-first century rose to the challenge of identifying the location of paradise on a map, despite the certain knowledge that it was beyond human reach. Over one hundred illustrations celebrate this history of a paradox: the mapping of the unmappable. It is also a mirror to the universal dream of perfection and happiness, and the yearning to discover heaven on earth.
For millennia humans have been inspired and motivated by visions of paradise. In the Hindu tradition, Mount Meru is topped by the paradise of Brahma. For the Inuit of the Arctic lands, paradise is a world in which seal meat is plenty and the sky is rich with berries. For others, paradise may be crystalline Caribbean waters and white sands as far as the eye can see. The notion of paradise is ubiquitous, and the worlds literature provides a bounty of lore about a heaven on Earth, where the weather is mild, wine and sex are readily available, and everyone enjoys eternal youth.
In Maps of Paradise, cultural historian Alessandro Scafi takes readers on a lush visual tour of these blissful places, charting how mapmakers have drawn from these tales to depict paradise in maps. Scafi guides readers from late antiquity to the present, describing each societys vision of paradise and revealing how each struggled to translate these visions into map form. He pays particular attention to maps from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, a period that witnessed a remarkable evolution of paradise from a remote place impossible to detect with any precision, to a locale that could be depicted in recognizable maps. In addition, Scafi traces the changing perception of paradise over time, drawing heavily on historical debates about faith versus reason and theology versus philosophy, and demonstrates how these impacted the choices mapmakers made when constructing their maps.
With this gorgeously illustrated book, Scafi offers readers a rare glimpse of paradise as envisioned throughout our past—and perhaps, if were lucky, as a window into the future.
About the Author
Alessandro Scafi is a lecturer in medieval and Renaissance cultural history at the Warburg Institute, University of London. He is the author of Mapping Paradise: A History of Heaven on Earth, also published by the University of Chicago Press.
What Our Readers Are Saying
History and Social Science » Geography » General