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    • October 2014
    • 9780231147811
  • 288 Pages
  • 113 illus

  • Paperback
  • $20.00
  • / £14.00

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    • October 2009
    • 9780231147804
  • 288 Pages
  • 113 illus

  • Hardcover
  • $26.95
  • / £18.95

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    • October 2009
    • 9780231520034
  • 288 Pages
  • 113 illus

  • E-book
  • $19.99
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Field Notes from Elsewhere

Reflections on Dying and Living

Mark C. Taylor

In the fall of 2005, Mark C. Taylor, the controversial public intellectual and widely respected scholar, suddenly fell critically ill. For two days a team of forty doctors, many of whom thought he would not live, fought to save him. Taylor would eventually recover, but only to face a new threat: surgery for cancer. "These experiences have changed me in ways I am still struggling to understand," Taylor writes in this absorbing memoir. "After the past year, I am persuaded that I have done enough fieldwork to write a book that combines philosophical and theological reflection with autobiographical narrative. Writing is not only possible but actually seems necessary."

Field Notes from Elsewhere is Taylor's unforgettable, inverted journey from death to life. Each of his memoir's fifty-two chapters and accompanying photographs recounts a morning-to-evening experience with sickness and convalescence, mingling humor and hope with a deep exploration of human frailty and, conversely, resilience. When we confront the end of life, Taylor explains, the axis of the lived world shifts, and everything must be reevaluated. As Taylor sorts through his remembrances, much that once seemed familiar becomes strange, paradoxical, and contradictory. He reads his experience with and against ghosts from his past, recasting the meaning of mortality, sacrifice, solitude, and abandonment, along with a host of other issues, in light of modern ways of dying. "You never come back from elsewhere," Taylor concludes, "because elsewhere always comes back with you."

About the Author

Mark C. Taylor is professor of religion and chair of the Department of Religion at Columbia University. His most recent books are Recovering Place: Reflections on Stone Hill; Refiguring the Spiritual: Beuys, Barney, Turrell, Goldsworthy; Rewiring the Real: In Conversation with William Gaddis, Richard Powers, Mark Danielewski, and Don DeLillo; After God; Mystic Bones; and Confidence Games: Money and Markets in a World Without Redemption.

About the Author

Mark C. Taylor is professor of religion and chair of the Department of Religion at Columbia University. His most recent books are Recovering Place: Reflections on Stone Hill; Refiguring the Spiritual: Beuys, Barney, Turrell, Goldsworthy; Rewiring the Real: In Conversation with William Gaddis, Richard Powers, Mark Danielewski, and Don DeLillo; After God; Mystic Bones; and Confidence Games: Money and Markets in a World Without Redemption.

Day / Night
Beginning / Origin
Elsewhere / Silence
Reflections / Reticence
Premonitions / Postcards
Home / Afterlife
Stealth / Sacrifice
Killing / Elemental
Abandonment / Mortality
Displacement / Place
Creativity / Thinking
E/Mergence / Emptiness
Walls / Garden
Painting / Play
Perhaps / Numbers
Pleasure / Money
Vocation / Teaching
Last / Burial
Solitude / Loneliness
Things / Ghosts
Levity / Grief
Humor / Monsters
Faction / Dishonesty
Inheritance / Withholding
Letting Go / Dinnertime
Compassion / Suffering
Clouds / Waiting
Freedom / Terror
Forgiveness / Cruelty
Daughters / Obsession
Failure / Success
Balance / Simplicity
Face / Aging
Stigma / Autoimmunity
Patience / Chronicity
Technology / Addiction
Pain / Intimacy
Blindness / Aura
Cancer / Surviving
Trust / Bitterness
Hands / Will
Secrets / Tripping
Strangers / Tips
Sharing / Fatigue
Idleness / Guilt
Driving / Accident
Imperfection / Vulnerability
Friendship / Doubt
Love / Fidelity
Hope / Despair
Happiness / Melancholy
Ordinary / Extraordinary
Notes
Acknowledgments

About the Author

Mark C. Taylor is professor of religion and chair of the Department of Religion at Columbia University. His most recent books are Recovering Place: Reflections on Stone Hill; Refiguring the Spiritual: Beuys, Barney, Turrell, Goldsworthy; Rewiring the Real: In Conversation with William Gaddis, Richard Powers, Mark Danielewski, and Don DeLillo; After God; Mystic Bones; and Confidence Games: Money and Markets in a World Without Redemption.

About the Author

Mark C. Taylor is professor of religion and chair of the Department of Religion at Columbia University. His most recent books are Recovering Place: Reflections on Stone Hill; Refiguring the Spiritual: Beuys, Barney, Turrell, Goldsworthy; Rewiring the Real: In Conversation with William Gaddis, Richard Powers, Mark Danielewski, and Don DeLillo; After God; Mystic Bones; and Confidence Games: Money and Markets in a World Without Redemption.

About the Author

Mark C. Taylor is professor of religion and chair of the Department of Religion at Columbia University. His most recent books are Recovering Place: Reflections on Stone Hill; Refiguring the Spiritual: Beuys, Barney, Turrell, Goldsworthy; Rewiring the Real: In Conversation with William Gaddis, Richard Powers, Mark Danielewski, and Don DeLillo; After God; Mystic Bones; and Confidence Games: Money and Markets in a World Without Redemption.

About the Author

Mark C. Taylor is professor of religion and chair of the Department of Religion at Columbia University. His most recent books are Recovering Place: Reflections on Stone Hill; Refiguring the Spiritual: Beuys, Barney, Turrell, Goldsworthy; Rewiring the Real: In Conversation with William Gaddis, Richard Powers, Mark Danielewski, and Don DeLillo; After God; Mystic Bones; and Confidence Games: Money and Markets in a World Without Redemption.