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AND NOW, I THINK, WE CAN SAY: A conversation about Wittgenstein and the comforts of our life in language

Description The warmest, funniest, most erudite and ambitious philosophical dialogue of the twenty-first century? A lonely professor in a bookstore café overhears someone trying to explain Wittgenstein to a good friend–the two of them once having come close to an adulterous affair? The professor surreptitiously records their conversation, and then adds on top of it all his own ideas about Wittgenstein’s philosophy, biography and psychology. A post-modern, Platonic exploration of how and why we human beings still try to speak and be heard. All our life in language (our most sophisticated philosophies included) keeps revolving around the fixed point of our real if unmeetable need: to find love and understanding? About the Author Award-winning journalist, essayist, novelist, artist and writer of intellectual dialogues. William Eaton’s “The Professor of Ignorance Condemns the Airplane” was staged in New York in 2014. Serving House published his Surviving the Twenty-First Century (personal essays) and Art, Sex, Politics (intellectual essays). His trilingual Montaigbakhtinian blog is followed by 5,000 readers worldwide. Praise As is clear from the start, William Eaton has not so much studied Wittgenstein as interiorized him, and with all the intimacy that implies. As language games were anything but games for Wittgenstein, so the witty, at times even chatty, progress of And now, I think, we can say is full-on serious. The genuine questions are raised and reflected upon and the life of a mental traveller all but surrounds us as we read. — Sven Birkerts, author of Art and Attention in the Internet Age A remarkably creative, contrapuntal text. Interweaving personal experience, imagined dialogue, passages from Wittgenstein, and passages from Wittgenstein’s biographers, with (on occasion provocatively idiosyncratic and psychoanalytically speculative) interpretations of Wittgenstein’s writings, remarks, letters and diaries, and with engagingly wide-ranging references and asides, William Eaton uncovers a good deal about the subtleties that determine the meaning of what we say and write. Creative writing, intricate biographical assemblies, and scholarly reflections intertwine here to show that words—anything but abstract blunt instruments—are always the words of a person, always the voice of a sensibility. — Garry L. Read more…

Made Priceless: Some Things Money Can’t Buy

Made Priceless presents snapshots of objects that their holders treasure: a 1950s swivel rocker, a fortune-cookie fortune that reads “The rubber bands are heading in the right direction” a marble with a world map painted on it, a bread-baking pan, a bar of soap, crocheted doilies, a masonry trowel… Each object has its own story, each its own meaning. The book’s contributors include artists, a banker, a retired career military officer, secretaries, a pilot, stay-at-home mothers, students, professors, and others, each with a testament in praise of something priceless. The result is a remarkable collection that honors what money can’t buy, and celebrates the extraordinary significance in an ordinary things. Read more…