25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
An Antidote to Modern Isolation, But With Some Lovely Flaws,
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This review is from: All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age (Hardcover)
I found the rhetoric in this book beyond compare, and its message is clear - we need to turn our culturally-incited navel-gazing outward and appreciate the wonder of the physical world. We need to achieve transcendence through the mundane. While the authors focus on philosophy (as is their wont), where self-reflection has been the meme for many a year, they completely ignore what's going on with social media which is -all- about the "whooshing up" of group ecstasy they seem to hold out as a relief for isolation in the modern age.
This book is one that I'll use as a touchstone for the rest of my personal, professional and scholarly life. I feel delighted to have ha the chance to devour it. It is, in itself, one of the shining things that the authors describe. But like all shining (and shiny) things, it has a few flaws, but really they make it all the more beautiful. Because, as the authors refer to Melville's manuscript, a document is a living thing and flaws are the best reason to make additions and edits.
At the end of book, many lay readers will be scratching their heads. Should they achieve the New Polytheism through watching Roger Federer play tennis or by making a cup of coffee the best way day after day? The authors leave you there on purpose, I think, because its your job to create, discover, and nourish your own gods. That's a remarkable philosophy!