This slim volume is the briefest possible useful high-level overview of the entire history of Sufism from underpinnings to publication, and as such isThis slim volume is the briefest possible useful high-level overview of the entire history of Sufism from underpinnings to publication, and as such is just barely skims the surface of each relevant topic. Nevertheless, it does so with many quotes from the "saints" of the movement, mostly translated by the author, and the pace is kept rather lively. I can think of no better means of introducing the subject to a Westerner possessing little familiarity with Islam.
My only real gripe—hopefully fixed in later editions—is that the endnotes are so sparse as to be essentially useless for follow-up, and make use of notations such as "op. cit." that make them difficult to use even internally. Even the simple addition of a proper bibliography would have vastly improved that section....more
With errata slip: Page 20,line 8: at a fixed location should read at one of the poles Page 20,line 11: anticlockwise should read clockwise Page 30, figuWith errata slip: Page 20,line 8: at a fixed location should read at one of the poles Page 20,line 11: anticlockwise should read clockwise Page 30, figure caption: Paul's journey takes 11.56 seconds each way, not 10. Page 144, line 21: uranium has 92 protons, not 96....more
By this point in the series, Updike is well-established as more than a mere writer of scandalous pot-boilers, and having made is this far through theBy this point in the series, Updike is well-established as more than a mere writer of scandalous pot-boilers, and having made is this far through the series I think I can see why he got the Pulitzer. Between his increasing comfort in finding his voice, and my acclimating to his style over 600 pages, the prose style here is taut, and I felt like I could really see into Harry's mind, though that remains a fairly awful place to be looking, like under the bed of some teenage boy who has only just discovered new ways to make his gym socks even more disgusting.
It should be borne in mind, however, that despite its prize and arguable stature as literature of a sort, this volume in particular is in no way suitable for public high school curricula unless as an instructor you are looking for a fight, if not a lynching. This one gets basically pornographic: not for long, nor in excessively graphic detail—this is not the fapping material of Penthouse Letters—but (view spoiler)[sufficiently "kinky" in one particular scene to set most school administrators' heads on fire (hide spoiler)].["br"]>["br"]>...more
It was only as I got halfway in or further that I realized how to read this book. The detail, the soaring yet muddled prose pouring forth from muddy mIt was only as I got halfway in or further that I realized how to read this book. The detail, the soaring yet muddled prose pouring forth from muddy minds in a present passed; these are why Updike was hailed, not because we love his characters. I, for one, cannot. And won't. Rabbit is reprehensible. A self-obsessed, myopic shit-stain of a human being. And every bit as common as shit in every sense. People of the era were scandalized by the sexual language of the book, but I think mostly because of their own refusal to get that this was the walking priapism of much of male America already at that time, if not of the mass of men of all time. Who would want to believe that this is really the sewer that serves as sense for so many? The passage of 50 years makes it far more plausible, more obviously the case. Interesting to be digging in this murk at a time when social media is focusing on rape culture and institutionalized racism. ...more
Collects several of Freud's works, including the case study popularly known as "Little Hans," dealing with issues of sexuality among very young childrCollects several of Freud's works, including the case study popularly known as "Little Hans," dealing with issues of sexuality among very young children. This is not, however, a study of pedophilia nor of "perversion" in the colloquial sense: the "enlightenment" of the title refers not to corruption or co-optation, but rather to the process of giving children more of the factual knowledge which they seem so desperately to seek despite adult discomfort with the topic. That is to say, replacing the stories of the stork or the cabbage patch with some degree of truth about human reproduction.
At the time of its writing, it was apparently common for parents erroneously to believe their older children were oblivious to the physiological changes in their own mothers immediately prior to the appearance of a new sibling. The dissonance resulting from the conflict between their own experiential evidence and the "information" provided by the trusted authority of the parents, Freud suggests, may lead to neuroses sooner or later, and explain much otherwise inexplicable childhood behavior. All of Freud's analysis is, of course, rooted in his own libido theory of instincts and the psychoanalytic id/ego construction of consciousness, and all of his analytic experience is with Victorian Europeans; thus, some of the conclusions can seem of limited applicability today, and may yet be a good reminder of the potential repercussions of outright lying to one's offspring rather than simply limiting their access to information to that which they are capable of comprehending....more