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De Umbris Idearum: On the Shadows of Ideas Paperback – 7 Sep 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (7 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1492329967
  • ISBN-13: 978-1492329961
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 267,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
De Umbris Idearum is the key to the thinking of Giordano Bruno. This is the first English translation, and it is an excellent clearly written work. The translator, Scott Gosnell has worked miracles in getting this book into intelligible modern English. This book is indispensable for anybody interested in the work of Bruno, or in Renaissance occult philosophy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Gem of a translation 7 Dec. 2013
By Erin Garlock - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
In the distant past Giordano Bruno penned in Latin "De Umbris Idearum & Ars Memoriae” (On The Shadows of Ideas & The Art of Memory), a complete dissertation on the philosophy of our memories and how to better memorize items. Translator, Scott Gosnell, has given us an excellent modern day translation of this 16th century text. The life of Bruno could be an entire volume, but Gosnell has provided an appropriately brief introduction to the lasting effects the life of Giordano Bruno, and the importance of this text, has had on the past 500 years of history without being overwhelming.

Bruno presented and formalized the idea of using a sequence of visualizations, such as mentally walking through a room, and using the mental visualizations to help in the recall of information. Bruno’s command of this ability ultimately led to his persecution and execution, but the implications of this practice are so far reaching that the reader is most likely already familiar with the basics of the ideas presented in the second half of the book, The Art of Memory. The ideas in this text are as valuable today as they were centuries before.

This modern day translation reads like old Latin at times and the thought process behind the text is from a dedicated academic. This is no tome of light reading – it is on the same level as higher level text books and pulls no punches when assuming the capabilities of the reader. It is not completely esoteric though and should be accessible to most capable readers. While this is a translation, it is obvious Scott Gosnell has kept true to the feel and rhythm of the original text without venturing into undue creative license.

This is must read for any intellectual, but it is likewise a must read for anyone interested in improving their memory and ability of informational recall.

Disclaimer: This book was a free copy from the author and reviewed in Kindle format.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Most Interesting 27 Oct. 2013
By Laughing Raccoon - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Let me begin by saying I received a free review copy of this work in exchange for an honest review. Wow. What a thought-provoking interesting book. The book itself is about a mnemonic memory system devised by Giordano Bruno. The book started with an overview of Bruno's life, and he must have been quite a man. I confess that I intend to do a little research about him. I would love to read a detailed bio of his life, instead of just the condensed version that prefaced this book. After the bio preface, the book then launched into a very esoteric philosophical treatise, about how this mnemonic system was devised. Finally, the book went into great detail about how to arrange things in ones' mind, in order to remember them. I confess that I would be lost with this method, unless I undertook to commit more mythology and astrology to memory. And in mentioning astrology, I mean the signs, meanings and images ascribed to the 12 houses of the Zodiac. While I don't intend to ever use this system, or even improvise it so it would be more familiar, I am very glad that I read it. Nice to read something stimulating to the intellect. Now this was literature. Very nice.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
At last! A book of great utility is presented to all and we are fortunate. 16 Nov. 2013
By Charline - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a book I have been longing to read, but until this clear, careful translation I never had the opportunity. It may appear to be an arcane topic but the useful qualities of the method for memory set out in this book are simply sublime and quite applicable. This book makes the technique available to everyone and I bow in hommage to the author.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Two Stars 21 Feb. 2015
By Evans L. Smith - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A wonderful idea but what a disappointment to find such a poorly formatted, badly edited, and awkwardly translated book.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
a tough read at best 16 Mar. 2015
By Hexagram of the Heavens - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a literal and word-for-word translation from the latin with no commentary whatsoever. If you can understand it you are doing better than I. The material demands some commentary for the modern reader. It is a description of Bruno's memorization method, but I get the feeling in reading it that it was not intended to stand alone without some explanation. Maybe Bruno provided the key separately.
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