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Time and the Art of Living Paperback – September 15, 1997


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Time and the Art of Living" is a philosophical essay about the relationship between two facts: that we each "strut and fret upon the stage" for a terrifyingly short slice of objective time, and that subjective time, our experience of temporality, is deeply informed by our chosen activities and our character.

Robert Grudin thinks that our subjective sense of time is largely determined by the degree and quality of attention we pay to our memories and our sense of the future. (It is a mark of the unhappy that they are trapped in the present without a larger sense of connection to the enduring self.) And he argues persuasively that the successful and the fulfilled become so because of the control they exercise over this subjective temporal embodiment. At its best, Time and the Art of Living is a profound book with lyrically beautiful prose. --Richard Farr

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"A book to savor, treasure, linger over: the rare and amazing spectacle of man thinking, of mind at work." -- Edward Abbey
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; 1st edition (September 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395898315
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395898314
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #336,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By John Parman on December 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
Robert Grudin's "Time and the Art of Living" is about how we exist in time, and the role time plays in our lives, for better if we make productive use of it, or for worse if we ignore it. Not a self-help book, it is nonetheless a book that I come back to every several years, both for its accessible erudition and for its suggestions for giving shape to your life in time. Highly recommended.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 28, 1995
Format: Paperback
360 very brief interconnected observations about aspects of how humans experience, distort, learn from, and ignore the flow of time. Rich in science, philosophy, and ideas that can be helpful in your life and your thinking. Deft and accessible, to be meditated upon or dipped into at random
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36 of 44 people found the following review helpful By "arlodriver" on April 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
I would like to take a slightly different tact in reviewing this title, and that is to describe the pertinent circumstances in which I re-read it. I came back to Grudin's beautiful little volume after finally making my way through Heidegger's "Being and Time". I struggled through the weightier tome, and believe that I mined several nuggets of wisdom from it, although I think for the most part the battle was not always worth the rewards. I may be an immature reader of Heidegger, but it's hard to justify the complete murder of prose and order even in the attempt to establish new (or perhaps just unpopular) views. Heidegger's ideas on space and time however whetted my appetite for further explorations (especially since he seemed to leave so many paths untread). "Time and the Art of Living" is not a dense philosophical treatise, but it manages to be profound for both it's poetic style, and refreshing observations. Where Being and Time remains unsatisfying in clarity for the philosopher, and partial and vague for the existential thinker, Time and Art is direct and compelling enough to change a life. It's mission is not the same, but it is all the more succesful for realizing what needs to be said about the time in our lives. Grudin celebrates clear goals and vision as our anchor in the time of the present. Such clarity and humanism when contrasted with many other explorations shines forth brightly.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Wyote VINE VOICE on August 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book reminds me of ancient moral philosophy. It's intelligent thinking about life, with a practical emphasis: how to enjoy your life and live well. It's quite thoughtful and original, yet not systematic at all, usually overconfident (kind of forcedly profound), and occasionally even ridiculous. But always relevant and stimulating.

It's more thinking about time, or our experience of time, than you'd think is possible, unless you'd bothered to fight through Heidegger.

The value of the book is its creative thought about life. This book will make you think about your life. If you're thoughtful, you'll disagree with some of the author's opinions, but there's some gold in here. I give it five stars for stimulating valuable thoughts, five stars for content (despite some flaws), and five stars for the genre: we need more intelligent, thoughtful books about living well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The Global Wanderer on June 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Time and the Art of Living" is a marvelous book. Grudin's book contains hundreds of little paragraphs full of musings and thoughts on time; what time means for us and what is should mean for us. He analyzes time from various angles: how time relates to love, politics, age, morality and everything else important in our lives. He shows us how we are deceived by our subjective perception of time and held hostage by it. This book is so rich and thought provoking, you have to read it slowly. You need to take breaks to contemplate its meaning. Take a pen and mark the important messages for you, of which there will be many.

In my recently published career guide for people facing job loss, "The Gift of Job Loss", I recommend Grudin's book as an absolute must-read. Time is our most precious asset in life. We don't know how much we will have of it before we pass on. Grudin helps you and me optimize our time.
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