Description : How should we regard the contemporary proliferation of images? Today, visual information is available as projected, printed and on-screen imagery, in the forms of video games, scientific data, virtual environments and architectural renderings. Fearful and anti-visualist responses to this phenomenon abound. Spread by digital technologies, images are thought to threaten the word and privilege surface value over content. Yet as they multiply, images face unprecedented competition for attention. This book explores the opportunities that can arise from the ubiquity of visual stimuli. It reveals that 'technovisuality' - the fusion of digital technology with the visual - can work 'wonders'; not so much dazzling audiences with special effects as reviving our enchantment with popular culture. Introducing a new term for an entirely new field of academic study, this book reveals the centrality of 'technovisuality' in 21st century life.
Description : Since the publication of Ghostwritten (1999), David Mitchell has rapidly established himself as one of the most inventive and important British novelists of the 21st century. In this landmark study, Rose Harris-Birtill reveals the extent to which Mitchell has created an interconnected fictional world across the full run of his writing. Covering Mitchell's complete fictions, from bestselling novels such as Cloud Atlas (2004), The Bone Clocks (2014) and number9dream (2001), to his short stories and his libretti for the operas Sunken Garden and Wake, this book examines how Buddhist influences inform the ethical worldview that permeates his writing. Using a comparative theoretical model drawn from the Tibetan mandala to map Mitchell's fictional world, Harris-Birtill positions Mitchell as central to a new generation of post-secular writers who re-examine the vital role of belief in galvanizing action amidst contemporary ecological, political and humanitarian crises. David Mitchell's Post-Secular World features two substantial new interviews with the author, a chronology of his fictions and a selected bibliography of important critical writings on his work.
Description : In this wide-ranging exploration of the creation and use of Buddhist art in Andhra Pradesh, India, Catherine Becker examines how material remains and visual experiences shape and reveal essential human concerns. Shifting Stones, Shaping the Past addresses the fundamental Buddhist question of how humanity progresses centuries after the passing of its teacher, the Buddha Sakyamuni. How might the Buddha's distant teachings be made immediate and accessible? Beginning with an analysis of the spectacular relief sculptures that once adorned the stupas. Over a period of almost two millennia, many of these stupas have fallen into disrepair. While it is tempting to view these monuments as ruins, they are by no means "dead." Turning to the 20th and 21st centuries, Becker analyzes examples of new Buddhist imagery, recent state-sponsored tourism campaigns, and new devotional activities at the sites in order to demonstrate that the stupas of Andhra Pradesh and their sculptural adornments continue to engage the human imagination and are even ascribed innate power and agency. Shifting Stones, Shaping the Past reveals intriguing parallels between ancient uses of imagery and the new social, political, and religious functions of these objects and spaces.
Description : Werner Herzog is renowned for pushing the boundaries of conventional cinema, especially those between the fictional and the factual, the fantastic and the real. The Cinema of Werner Herzog: Aesthetic Ecstasy and Truth is the first study in twenty years devoted entirely to an analysis of Herzog's work. It explores the director's continuing search for what he has described as 'ecstatic truth,' drawing on over thirty-five films, from the epics Aguirre: Wrath of God (1972) and Fitzcarraldo (1982) to innovative documentaries like Fata Morgana (1971), Lessons of Darkness (1992), and Grizzly Man (2005). Special attention is paid to Herzog's signature style of cinematic composition, his "romantic" influences, and his fascination with madmen, colonialism, and war.
Description : The Kalacakra Tantra (Kalacakra means "wheel of time") is a tradition of Buddhist theory and practice whose root text treats a fantastic expanse of knowledge ranging from observations of the cosmos to investigations of meditative states and vital bodily energies. In the Tibetan-speaking world, a public Kalacakra initiation remains the most sought-after event in the life of a devout Buddhist. The Fourteenth Dalai Lama has long had a strong connection with the Kalacakra Tantra; he brought the initiation to the West in 1981, performing it in the United States, Switzerland, Spain, and Australia. This volume has been created to celebrate his long involvement with the Kalacakra teachings. The twenty-five contributors, scholars who have made tantric studies their specialty, have contributed translations of works by great Indian and Tibetan Kalacakra masters, analyses of historical figures, methods of practice, essays on medicine ritual expertise, and ethical discipline. The collection also includes practical advice for Western students and practitioners from contemporary Tibetan Kalacakra masters.
Description : A true story so uniquely entertaining and amazing that it reads like a psychospiritual fantasy. Features Tibetan Lamas, heavenly Hell's Angels, Native American wisemen, angelic witches, oxygen orgasms, benevolent addicts, magical birds, lesbian musicians in concert for the deaf, the boy raised by multiracial prostitutes, martial artists battling neo-Nazis, the modern-day Robin Hood, and many other strange, wonderful folks. Both a transfictional self-help book and a rollicking comic thrill-ride.
Description : Abstract: In recent decades, Buddhist maṇḍalas have become increasingly popular. The creation of the Kālacakra ('Wheel of Time') maṇḍala from coloured grains of sand by Tibetan monks can be seen in museums around the world. Maṇḍala colouring books, part of the recent adult colouring book trend, are on display in many bookstores. Maṇḍalas are now perceived as 'aids' or 'tools to meditation' and designated as 'meditation diagrams' and 'meditational art'. In this paper, I will discuss modern applications of (Buddhist) maṇḍalas in meditation practice. I will also highlight some aspects that set this modern usage apart from traditional functions of maṇḍalas in Buddhist tantric ritual.
Description : "The more we meditate on the Medicine Wheel and on the Cosmic Wheel above, relating these to the circles, spheres, and mandalas of other traditions, the deeper our realization grows of the oneness of the many paths leading to the Center." Although Evelyn Eaton walked principally the Native Indian path, this book reflects her belief in the strength and beauty of all religious traditions. This is the personal account of her triumph over cancer through Native American healing rituals. Of white and Native American ancestry, Eaton was a Metis Medicine Woman.
Description : Strange Good Fortune is a collection of fifteen essays on the state of American verse, written by a well-known American poet whose criticism has also attracted considerable attention. Passionate in his engagement with both the practice of poetry and in the observation of verse as it exists within an increasingly professionalized and sometimes perplexing scene, Wojahn follows in the tradition of poet-critics such as Randall Jarrell and Delmore Schwartz, offering provocative and insightful observations about such topics as the persistence of autobiographical poetry, poetry and politics, the creative writing industry, American poets and travel, recent literary hoaxes, and the poetry of depression and invective. The essays discuss not only familiar figures such as Elizabeth Bishop, James Wright, and Robert Lowell but also under-appreciated poets such as Weldon Kees, Frederick Seidel, and Armand Schwerner, as well as younger poets such as Mark Doty, Susan Mitchell, and Denis Johnson. Wojahn's is a humanistic and practical criticism, devoid of theoretical cant, and capable of both acute analysis of individual poems and larger generalizations about poetic method. Forceful, readable, and unflappable, Strange Good Fortune is the work of a poet writing about what he cares about; it is not hobbled by jargon or addled by theory.