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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-01-06 09:21
A Mapmaker’s Dream by James Cowan
A Mapmaker's Dream: The Meditations of Fra Mauro, Cartographer to the Court of Venice - James Cowan

TITLE:  A Mapmaker’s Dream: The Meditations of Fra Mauro, Cartographer to the Court of Venice

 

AUTHOR:  James Cowan

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DESCRIPTION:

"In sixteenth-century Venice, in an island monastery, a cloistered monk experiences the adventure of a lifetime—all within the confines of his cell.

Part historical fiction, part philosophical mystery, A Mapmaker’s Dream tells the story of Fra Mauro and his struggle to realize his life’s work: to make a perfect map—one that represents the full breadth of Creation.

News of Mauro’s projects attracts explorers, pilgrims, travelers, and merchants, all eager to contribute their accounts of faraway people and places. As he listens to the tales of the strange and fantastic things they’ve seen, Mauro comes to regard the world as much more than continents and kingdoms: that it is also made up of a vast and equally real interior landscape of beliefs, aspirations, and dreams. Mauro’s map grows and takes shape, becoming both more complete and incomprehensible. In the process, the boundaries of Mauro’s world are pushed to the extreme, raising questions about the relationship between representation, imagination, and the nature of reality itself.
"

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REVIEW:

 

Interesting but a bit bland.

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DATE FINISHED:  5 January 2020

 

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-09-07 10:08
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Meditations (Hardcover Classics) - Coralie Bickford-Smith,Marcus Aurelius,Diskin Clay,Martin Hammond,Martin Hammond

TITLE:  Meditations

 

AUTHOR:  Marcus Aurelius

 

DATE PUBLISHED:  2014  [First published 180]

 

PUBLICATION/IMPRINT:  Penguin Classics

 

FORMAT:  Hardcover [Penguin Pocket Hardbacks]

 

ISBN-13:  9780141395869

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DESCRIPTION:

"Originally written only for his personal consumption, Marcus Aurelius's Meditations has become a key text in the understanding of Roman Stoic philosophy. This Penguin Classics edition is translated with notes by Martin Hammond and an introduction by Diskin Clay.

Written in Greek by an intellectual Roman emperor without any intention of publication, the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius offer a wide range of fascinating spiritual reflections and exercises developed as the leader struggled to understand himself and make sense of the universe. Spanning from doubt and despair to conviction and exaltation, they cover such diverse topics as the question of virtue, human rationality, the nature of the gods and Aurelius's own emotions. But while the Meditations were composed to provide personal consolation, in developing his beliefs Marcus also created one of the greatest of all works of philosophy: a series of wise and practical aphorisms that have been consulted and admired by statesmen, thinkers and ordinary readers for almost two thousand years.

Martin Hammond's new translation fully expresses the intimacy and eloquence of the original work, with detailed notes elucidating the text. This edition also includes an introduction by Diskin Clay, exploring the nature and development of the Meditations, a chronology, further reading and full indexes.

Marcus Aelius Aurelius Antoninus (121-80) was adopted by the emperor Antoninus Pius and succeeded him in 161, (as joint emperor with adoptive brother Lucius Verus). He ruled alone from 169, and spent much of his reign in putting down various rebellions, and was a persecutor of Christians. His fame rest, above all, on his Meditations, a series of reflections, strongly influenced by Epictetus, which represent a Stoic outlook on life. He was succeeded by his natural son, thus ending the period of the adoptive emperors.
"

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REVIEW:

 

This is a complilation of the private musings of a Roman emperor.  A great deal of these musings and pithy observations are still relevant today.  Some observations are profound and others provide inspiration.  The writing is direct with none of the obscurity of The Art of War by Sun Tzu.  Interesting and something to chew on, over a lenth of time.

 

QUOTES:

 

"Do not waste the remaining part of your life in thoughts about other people, when you are not htinking with reference to some aspect of the common good.  Why deprive yourself of the time for some other task?  I mean, thinking about what so-and-so is doing, and why, what he is saying or contemplating or plotting, and all that line of thought, makes you stray from the close watch on your own directing mind."

- Marcus Aurelius:  Meditations [Book 3, Section 4]

 

"Think always of the universe as one living creature, comprising one substance and one soul:  how all is absorbed into this one consciousness; how a single impulse governs all its actions; how all things collaborate in all that happens; the very web and mesh of it all."

- Marcus Aurelius:  Meditations [Book 4, Section 40]

 

"Think constantly how many doctors have died, after knitting their brows oer their own patients; how many astrologers, after predicting the deaths of others, as if death were something important; how many philosophers, after endless deliberation on death or immortality; how many heroes, after the many others they killed; how many tyrants, after using their power over men's lives with monstrous insolence, as if they themselves were immortal.  Think too how many whole cities have 'died' - Helice, Pompeii, Herculaneium, innumerable others.  Go over now all those you have known yourself, one after the other:  one man follows a friend's funteral and is then laid out himself, then another follows him - and all in a brief space of time.  The conclusion of this?  You should always look on human life as short and cheap.  Yesterday sperm:  tomorrow a mummy or ashes.

      So one should pass through this tiny gragment of time in tune with nature, and leave it gladly, as an olive might fall when ripe, blessing the earth which bore it and grateful to the tree which gave ti growth."

- Marcus Aurelius:  Meditations [Book 4, Section 48]

 

"The best revenge is not to be like your enemy."

- Marcus Aurelius:  Meditations [Book 6, Section 6]

 

"Dig inside yourself.  Inside there is a spring of goodness ready to gush at any moment, if you keep digging."

- Marcus Aurelius:  Meditations [Book 7, Section 59]

 

 "Constantly reflect that ll the things which happen now have happened before:  reflect too that they will happen again in the future.  Have in your mind's eye whole dramas with similar settings, all that you know of from your own experience or earlier history - for example, the whole court of Hadrian, the whole court of Antoninus, the whole court of Philip, Alexander, Croesus.  All the same as now:  just a different cast."

- Marcus Aurelius:  Meditations [Book 10, Section 27]

 

"Practise even what you have despaired of mastering.  For lack of practice the left hand is awkward for most tasks, but has a stronger grip on the bridle than the right - it is practised in this."

- Marcus Aurelius:  Meditations [Book 12, Section 6]

 

 

 

 

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review 2018-06-02 11:42
Wearing Mismatched Socks at Work is Empowering: "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius, Gregory Hays (trans.)
Meditations - Marcus Aurelius


“Concentrate every minute like a Roman— like a man— on doing what’s in front of you with precise and genuine seriousness, tenderly, willingly, with justice. And on freeing yourself from all other distractions. Yes, you can— if you do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life, and stop being aimless, stop letting your emotions override what your mind tells you, stop being hypocritical, self-centered , irritable. You see how few things you have to do to live a satisfying and reverent life? If you can manage this, that’s all even the gods can ask of you.”

In “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius


“Para ser grande, sê inteiro: nada
Teu exagera ou exclui.
Sê todo em cada coisa. Põe quanto és
No mínimo que fazes.
Assim em cada lago a lua toda
Brilha, porque alta vive.”


In “Odes de Ricardo Reis” by Fernando Pessoa


Word of caution: this "review" is going to be all over the place.


I translated this into German a long time ago. I’m not sure I’m up to the task of translating this into English this time around…

Let’s give it a go:

“To be great, be whole: nothing
Of yours exaggerate or exclude.
Be all in everything. Put all you are
In everything you do.
Be like the moon that
Shines whole in every lake
Because it lives up high.”

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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text 2017-11-29 15:22
2018 TBR Continues to Grow
The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World - Randall E. Stross,Grover Gardner
Meditations - Duncan Steen,Marcus Aurelius
Tuesday the Rabbi Saw Red: A Rabbi Small Mystery, Book 5 - Harry Kemelman,George Guidall
The Lighthouse Keeper - Cynthia Ellingsen,Kate Rudd
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Jeff Woodman,Mark Haddon
Mrs. Pollifax, Innocent Tourist - Dorothy Gilman,Barbara Rosenblat
Monday the Rabbi Took Off: A Rabbi Small Mystery, Book 4 - Harry Kemelman,George Guidall
Amadeus - Peter Shaffer,L.A. Theatre Works
Cosmos - Carl Sagan,Seth MacFarlane,LeVar Burton,Neil deGrasse Tyson,Ann Druyan

WOW! I am going to have a lot of fun reading in January and February! Nine books here and a few more that I have already mentioned. Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! -- Well, except on the days we are traveling. 

 

 

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text 2017-09-27 10:13
Divergent Thinking: Excerpt from Conscious Creativity Book by Nataša Pantović Nuit
Conscious Creativity: Mindfulness Meditations - Nataša Pantović Nuit

Divergent Thinking as an Essence of Creativity

 

Divergent thinking is essential for creativity and for what is creativity. It is the ability to see lots of possible ways to interpret a question and lots of possible answers to it.

It is a thought process used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possibilities. Instead of taking obvious steps and walking along a straight line, one looks at different aspects of the situation, creating different results...

 

Read more on the Publisher Blog: Divergent Thinking

Source: artof4elements.com/entry/35/divergent-thinking
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