Mark Taylor's Field Notes from Elsewhere is an intoxicating whirl of a book, an engine of thought and feeling that touches on everything that counts most to us: living and dying, families, faith, friendship, and the quest to ground oneself in the real. To the best of my knowledge, it is a work without precedent.(Paul Auster, author of The New York Trilogy, among other novels)
Mark Taylor is without peer as the most important postmodern secular theologian working today. This new work is beautiful and brilliant, moving and powerful in the extreme, always smart, and often deeply insightful. I found that I could not put it down.(David Miller, Syracuse University)
In olden days it was not all that rare for a person to die and miraculously return to tell what they experienced in that journey to the Other world. Unlike Dante's Divine Comedy, which represents a journey predictably and orderly, Mark Taylor's personal version of the space of death is anything but. Shocked witless but playing it cool with family and Kierkegaard as his spirit-allies, the past and all that makes life is treasured, measured, realigned, demolished, and above all seen anew, thanks to the terrible closeness of the grim reaper from whom Taylor broke free so as to liberate philosophy and divinity itself.(Michael Taussig, Columbia University)
Mark Taylor has been a magisterial but impersonal presence in his pathbreaking work on art, religion, and the ebbing of modernity. In Field Notes from Elsewhere, he takes us out of the library and into his life in a series of death-haunted meditations. Neither a summation nor a memoir, Field Notes from Elsewhere is an epilogue offered, provocatively, as the prologue to a sequel that someone other than Taylor must write.(Jack Miles, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for God: A Biography)
"If you cannot dance with death, you cannot embrace life."--This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.