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Tempest, Flute and Oz: Essays on the Future Hardcover – October, 1991

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

A disappointing glimpse of things to come, from a poet and essayist (Spirit of Place; Of Chiles, Cacti, and Fighting Cocks- -both 1990, etc.) who ought to know better. The six essays collected here (from Harper's, Chronicles of Culture, etc.) all address the ``new order'' that Turner sees at hand, and attempt to provide an outline of how its philosophy, culture, economy, etc., will differ from anything to be found today--or, for that matter, ever before. ``Globalism'' is the watchword throughout: Simplified methods of communication and travel, Turner observes, have brought disparate changes into easy proximity, thus demanding new concepts of ``nation'' and ``race'' and undermining ancient hierarchies of thought and behavior: ``This book is an attempt...to articulate the spirit of the new epoch which will succeed modernism, and towards which postmodernism is an uneasy phase of transition.'' Unfortunately, Turner's articulation is meandering and self-absorbed to a fault. His first piece (``The Universal Solvent'') begins as a meditation on interculturalism, stumbles into an examination of the broadcasting medium, and tries to tie its themes together by an invocation of the earth's ecology (since ``we are Nature, and Nature is ourselves''). The essay ``Tempest, Flute, and Oz'' is an exegesis of Shakespeare, Mozart, and L. Frank Baum, and purports to show how modern science will provide us with a new myth of God as a sort of aging patriarch who has turned the business over to his children. The rest of the book deals with Martian colonization as a means of ``self-discovery'' (a not-very-original reworking of the old ``frontier theory''), artificial intelligence as a key to epistemology, and the ``big bang'' theory of creation. Turner seems unable to find a theme, playing with ideas rather developing them. As a collection of aphorisms, this has some merit, but there is insufficient focus for the sort of exposition that the author clearly intends. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 161 pages
  • Publisher: Persea Books; 1 edition (October 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892551593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892551590
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,989,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Frederick Turner is an American poet, polymath and academic. He was born in Northamptonshire, England, in 1943. After spending several years in central Africa, where his parents, the anthropologists Victor W. and Edith L. B. Turner, were conducting field research, Frederick Turner was educated at the University of Oxford (1962-67), where he obtained the degrees of B.A., M.A., and B.Litt. (a terminal degree equivalent to the Ph.D.) in English Language and Literature. He was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 1977. His brother is Robert Turner.

Turner is presently Founders Professor of Arts and Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas, having held academic positions at the University of California at Santa Barbara (assistant professor 1967-72), Kenyon College (associate professor 1972-85), and the University of Exeter in England (visiting professor 1984-85). From 1978-82 he was editor of The Kenyon Review. He has been married since 1966 to Mei Lin Turner (née Chang, a social science periodical editor), and has two sons.

Turner is the author of ten books of poetry, a novel, and numerous books on literature, philosophy, and classicism, including the controversial The Culture of Hope: A New Birth of the Classical Spirit. He has authored a number of scholarly works on topics ranging from beauty and the biological basis of artistic production and appreciation to complexity and Julius Thomas Fraser's umwelt theory of time. Mr. Turner is also the author of two science fiction epic poems, The New World and Genesis.

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Format: Hardcover
I like Turner's explanation of complex Physics problems especially in Angels From a Time To Come, he has a great explanation of polarize effect. Also another note is that Turner is not bound by the constraints of a physicist. Coming from a literary background he uses terms like "the wave changes its mind."
If you are seriously into physics (college level) I'd get this book, I've quoted it in term papers and have scored big points with my professors, it gives a good outsiders prospective on complex issues such as quantum physics. If you are into quantum physics it is a good book to have.
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