In a brilliant meditation on dreams throughout history, trailblazing Kabbala scholar Elliot Wolfson examines the most mysterious 1/3 of our lives through the lenses of religion, philosophy, psychology, and literary criticism, touching upon such diverse figures as Poe, Borges, Rumi, and Heidegger, and calling into question conventional views of the primacy of wakefullness. Fantastic.
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For an author who won the National Book Award and a MacArthur fellowship and who's first novel inspired Thomas Pynchon to become a writer, William Gaddis is arguably the most woefully under-appreciated literary genius of the 20th century. While ostensibly about a 6th grader who builds a vast capitalist empire selling surplus undesirables from the payphone at his school, Gaddis's masterpiece is ultimately about overlooked genius, undeserved praise, and the cartoonish excesses of late stage capitalism. Written in 1974, Gaddis's novel prefigures the bailout and all of the financial debacles of the last decade, the sea of noise that are facebook, twitter, reality TV and many of the perversities of our present day immediacy culture. JR is a tragicomedy of the tallest order, one of the most hilarious and moving works of the 20th century.
With his universally acclaimed The Passion of the Western Mind, Richard Tarnas gave us a sweeping history of Western thought from the pre-Socratics to the present, outlining the major trends in human philosophy and development with deftness and subtlety. In this book, Tarnas admits that all his scholarship up to this point had been leading to this work, which is his astrological interpretation of history. Drawing from a stunningly diverse array of historical figures and events, Tarnas makes an impeccable case for the correspondence between planetary alignments and archetypal patterns of human history. I have given this book to many a skeptic and no one has come out the other side unchanged. This work is the best modern introduction to astrological thinking.