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Fragments: The Wisdom of Heraclitus Hardcover – 30 Nov 2000

2 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 99 pages
  • Publisher: Viking/Allen Lane (30 Nov. 2000)
  • Language: English, Greek
  • ISBN-10: 0670891959
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670891955
  • Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 2 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,439,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Collects the wisdom poetry of the ancient Greek poet Heraclitus, covering everything from the nature of matter to human psychology.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I did not like the baroque translation used in this book. It tends to obstruct the understanding of the fragments. I cannot recommend it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9654ea14) out of 5 stars 15 reviews
49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b8a48f4) out of 5 stars "Nobody plunges into the same river twice" 23 Feb. 2001
By Guillermo Maynez - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is what's left of the work of Heraclitus, the most interesting and enigmatic of the pre-Socratic philosophers. Diversity and constant mutation; the contraries which are reconciled in the final and total unity of Logos. Heraclitus tells us that the Universe is in permanent, constant transformation, that this perennial movement is embedded in the One, the summing up of all things which constitutes only one concept (Logos). The opposite of Parmenides, who emphasized Unity over Diversity and transformation, Heraclitus is proof that, by his time (6th century BC), educated Greeks took mythology basically as literature and folklore, but not as serious reilgion: their minds had expanded well beyond the fantastic adventures of the many antropomorphic Gods, to devise and understand that the Divinity has to be the final Unity, whatever its form. Heraclitus is, surprisingly, extremely "modern" in his approach to Nature and Divinity. The fragments reveal a powerful intellect, a real and relevant precursor of Western culture and civilization. Recommendable both to professional philosophers (whatever that means) and to the public interested in reflecting about the Universe and what it is.
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x974c7e88) out of 5 stars Poets Make the Best Translators 25 Feb. 2002
By Bay Gibbons - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I know enough Greek to question the faithfulness of most of these poetic transliterations of the original. But that is beside the point. If you want a literal translation pick up a Harvard LCL edition and scan the dry as dust academic parallel rendering. I sometimes wonder if poets don't make the best translators. Here is a text vivid and gripping and sounding in modern ears with a booming resonance.
Additional thoughts:
1. This a beautifully produced edition with the Greek on the left and Haxton's fine poetry on the right. As usual, I skipped the foreward and notes preferring to commune directly with the Master rather than through the medium of a posturing chorus of academic factotums.
2. The information age was supposed to witness the twilight of the great age of printing. How wrong. It is a miracle that in this age Viking is publishing a side by side Greek and English version of a book two and half millennia old! Perhaps the great age of the Printed Book is only now dawning.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9892f300) out of 5 stars Beautiful Translation 28 Jun. 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a marvellous translation of Heraclitus' fragments into verse which captures the fiery quality of Heraclitus' original voice. With the Greek text opposite the translation, those with knowledge of Greek have the added pleasure of comparing the English with the original.
I would have given the book five stars if only the foreword had not been written by a pop psychologist. This fellow, obviously a Jungian analyst, manages to write the most meaningless, fallacious, and ridiculous short essay I've ever read on any topic. While American psychoanalysts are obviously eager to vulgarize their own schools of thought into irrelevance, it's sad to see Heraclitus given this kind of treatment. One can only hope that this kind of thing will not be repeated, since the idea of one day finding myself reading John Bradshaw's thoughts on Parmenides or Dr. Laura's ruminations on Anaximander scares me. A lot.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98e94ea0) out of 5 stars Scholastically Incorrect But Philosophically Satisfying 30 Dec. 2007
By J. Barr - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hillman's Fragments is not the most scholarly study of Heraclitus. Here Charles Kahn's dry as dust, ponderous tome, The Art and Thought of Heraclitus is better. It's also incredibly dull and a chore to read. If you are more interested in memorable meaning than scholarly explanation buy this edition but remember what you are getting. I own both and the Kahn source is a great depth book. Buy both and double the value of your experience of Heraclitus.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9892f108) out of 5 stars Heraclitus, Fragments 10 May 2003
By S. Redwine III - Published on
Format: Hardcover
These fragments don't always fit together, but because of the unusual nature of a collection like this it is more than tolerable. The fragments are in Greek or Latin on the left side of the page with a translation on the right. The translations are vivid, almost poetic, although some of the terms that are explained in the introduction can throw off the flow of the words. Heraclitus is insightful, intriguing, and startlingly contemporary. The price may be a bit high, but is worth it for those who seek wisdom.
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