Recovering Place

Reflections on Stone Hill

Mark C. Taylor

Columbia University Press

Recovering Place

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Pub Date: August 2016

ISBN: 9780231164993

176 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $25.00£19.95

Pub Date: February 2014

ISBN: 9780231164986

176 Pages

Format: Hardcover

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Pub Date: February 2014

ISBN: 9780231537940

176 Pages

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Pub Date: February 2014

ISBN: 9780231536448

176 Pages

Format: E-book

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Recovering Place

Reflections on Stone Hill

Mark C. Taylor

Columbia University Press

Mark C. Taylor recounts a poignant love affair not with a person but with a place that, paradoxically, cannot be easily localized. For many years, Taylor has lived in the Berkshire Mountains, where he writes and creates land art and sculpture. In a world of mobile screens and virtual realities, where speed is the measure of success and place is disappearing, his work slows down thought and brings life back to earth to give readers time to ponder the importance of place before it slips away.

Taylor extends reflection beyond the page and returns with new insights about what is hiding in plain sight all around us. Weaving together words and images, his artful work enacts what it describes. Things long familiar suddenly appear strange, and the strange, unexpected, and unprogrammed unsettle readers in surprising ways. This timely meditation gives pause in the midst of harried lives and turns attention toward what we usually overlook: night, silence, touch, grace, ghosts, water, earth, stones, bones, idleness, infinity, slowness, and contentment. Recovering Place is a unique work with reflections that linger long after the book is closed.
Taylor engages—by modeling it in language as well as in earth and water—his readers' desire for an earthen transcendence. Jack Miles, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of God: A Biography
Taylor is not limited by fields of research and study—he turns over ideas and regards objects and effects from all sides. His deep reading of philosophy, political theory, and sociology is combined with a unique understanding of art in its most elemental forms. He guides us in ways of seeing, experiencing, and receiving. In an increasingly fragmented and solipsistic world, Taylor encourages us to regard a sense of 'place' as a set of ethical and tangential contexts not limited by material potential for exploitation. Liam Gillick, artist
Taylor is a true renaissance thinker, a synthesizer of high order. His new book is a deep pleasure to read, his beloved New England landscape informs his thinking as he lands one by one on each enlightened stone. Take this book to the nearest garden, sit on a rock and let the language, Taylor's ideas in language, take you to where you had not planned on going. Sophie Cabot Black, poet
Mark C. Taylor is a brilliant thinker who continually explodes the conventions of scholarship to create works of philosophical art and artistic philosophy. In Recovering Place, he has turned his fine mind and extraordinary eye to the place he knows best: Stone Hill. This series of meditations and photographs is at once a hymn to particularity—to these snow-covered berries, this dead raccoon, these yellow apples near a moss-covered stone—and a profound rumination on the myriad, proliferating meanings of being alive and mortal and of the earth Siri Hustvedt, writer
One of our most important philosophers of culture, Taylor frames his poetic and passionate argument with a very personal reflection, not unlike Thoreau. Stone Hill, Taylor's Walden Pond, gives a visual identity to his important words. His poetic manifesto of place is a joy to read; its timely urgency is a gift to students in philosophy, art, architecture, and cultural criticism. Steven Holl, architect
Taylor has created a work that is simultaneously stunningly direct and sensually complex. Its natural, spatial, analytical and temporal dimensions combine to perhaps surpass even his most brilliant and well reasoned texts in its capacity to draw the viewer/reader into a visceral and theoretical discourse at the very same moment. Recovering Place is about time, the ceaseless contemplation of which is at the root of all of Taylor's work. The originality of both his art and his writing are drawn together in this beautifully elegant book, which will, without doubt, generate pilgrimages to 'the Place.' Thomas Krens, director emeritus, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation New York
[Taylor's] musings, when paired with the author's own color photos, read as poetic and verbal artifacts... The book will inspire readers to pause, look, and consider. Publishers Weekly
Beautiful images of the natural world paired with introspective musings on life's greatest mysteries fill this wondrous compendium... Recovering Place makes an excellent and unforgettable giftbook; nature lovers especially will enjoy browsing its insights. Midwest Book Review
Indescribable... it contains some of the finest prose and photography you'll find anywhere. A weird, wonderful, wallop-packing work of untethered spirituality. Foreword Reviews
Introduction
Stone Hill
Capital
Globalization
Modern
Mobility
Displacement
Place
Non-Place
Orientation
Posthuman
Nihilism
Project
Philosophy
neχus
χ
God
Art
Craft
Imagination
Disfiguring
Faults
Dawn
Night
Night Vision
Gardens
Placement
Folly
Abstraction
Body
Flesh
Parasite
Sense
Color
Touch
Smell
Apprehension
Thinking
Surface
Seaming
Appearing
Human
Real
Grace
Bliss
Point
Particularity
Photographing
Wildflowers
Infinity
Invisibility
Holes
Shadows
Near
Tracks
Ghosts
Not
Distraction
Boredom
Slowness
Revelation
Fuzzy
Compliance
Time
Complacency
Snow
Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall
Excess
Indifference
Inhuman
Abandonment
Cultivation
Practice
Raking
Walking
Stones
Granite
Marble
Moraines
River Stone
Walling
Elemental
Earth
Air
Wind
Fire
Water
Rain
Ice
Wood
Forest
Flows
HardSoft
Silence
Solitude
Waste
Pyramid
Pit
Sign
Sacrifice
Burial
Bones
Relics
Death
Prayer
Creativity
Economies
Waiting
Idleness
Dwelling
Contentment
Notes
Acknowledgments

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About the Author

Mark C. Taylor is professor of religion at Columbia University. His Columbia University Press books include Rewiring the Real: In Conversation with William Gaddis, Richard Powers, Mark Danielewski, and Don DeLillo (2013); Refiguring the Spiritual: Beuys, Barney, Turrell, Goldsworthy (2012); and Field Notes from Elsewhere: Reflections on Dying and Living (2009).