The Farther Shore: A Natural History of Perception, 1798-1984

Don Gifford, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $19.95 (257p) ISBN 978-0-87113-335-9
Gifford's central theme is that our five senses act as a creative filter, selectively shaping our world even as external reality molds the senses. His time-frame extends from the publication in 1798 of Wordsworth and Coleridge's Lyrical Ballads to 1984 , the anti-utopia of George Orwell's novel. How the telephone creates the illusion of private, intimate conversation; how the spreading megalopolis negates a sense of place; the mass carnage of our century--these are some of the precepts with which he wrestles. Author of two books on James Joyce, Gifford, a professor at Williams College, takes an associative approach to his topic, touching on dozens of subjects--advertising, electronic eavesdropping, Thoreau, Swift, photography, celebrity, etc.--yet making worthwhile observations on each. Humane and highly perceptive, this delightful essay redefines the way we look at the world. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/1990
Release date: 02/01/1990
Paperback - 257 pages - 978-0-679-73332-4
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