Translations of Biogea and Variations

Thanks to Randolph Burks for pointing out these two new English translations of Biogea and Variations. Below are the publishers blurbs for both from Amazon so you have a sense of what ground they cover. There are some earlier posts as well on these projects. If anyone would like to offer brief reviews, reflections or interactions with either of these books, I'd be happy to publish them here or you can add them as comments.

Biogea is a mixture of poetry, philosophy, science, and biography exemplary of the style that has made Michel Serres one of the most extraordinary thinkers of his age. His philosophical and poetic inquiry sings in praise of earth and life, what he names singularly as Biogea. In these times when species are disappearing, when catastrophic events such as earthquakes and tsunamis impale the earth, Serres wonders if anyone “worries about the death pangs of the rivers.” And for Serres, one can ask the same question of philosophy as the humanities increasingly find themselves in need of defenders. Today, all living organisms discover themselves part of this Biogea. “Today we have other neighbors, constituents of the Biogea: the sea, my lover; our mother, the Earth, becomes our daughter; this beautiful breeze which inspires the spirit, a spiritual mistress; our light friends, the fresh and flowing waters.”

Variations - World-renowned philosopher, Michel Serres writes a text in praise of the body and movement, in praise of teachers of physical education, coaches, mountain guides, athletes, dancers, mimes, clowns, artisans, and artists. This work describes the variations, the admirable metamorphoses that the body can accomplish. While animals lack such a variety of gestures, postures, and movements, the fluidity of the human body mimics the leisure of living beings and things; what’s more, it creates signs. Already here, within its movements and metamorphoses, the mind is born. The five senses are not the only source of knowledge: it emerges, in large part, from the imitations the plasticity of the body allows. In it, with it, by it knowledge begins.

I've been reading Erich Jantsch Technological Planning and Social Futures (1972) and have found it most interesting on adaptive institutions and the way in which specialists can unwittingly clog the system. He also offers important reflections on how education needs to change in light of this. How much has really changed since he published this?

1 comment:

Ingenuity Arts said...

Here's a review of Biogea that may be of interest: http://www.continentcontinent.cc/index.php/continent/article/viewArticle/90