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World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down

World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down [Kindle Edition]

Christian McEwen
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

World Enough and Time focuses on the positive effect of deliberately simple living on creativity. McEwen juxtaposes religious traditions of both the East and West, and intertwines words of wisdom from writers ranging from Montaigne to Ralph Waldo Emerson and from Virginia Woolf to Jack Kerouac to Adrienne Rich, artists and musicians from John Ruskin to Meredith Monk, and myriad psychologists, linguists, philosophers, and scholars. In so doing, she creates a unique combination of history, spirituality, and practical advice about how to incorporate slowness and its benefits into everyday living. In short, it s what she calls inspiration for the literate reader. According to McEwen, the nonstop emphasis on productivity that is so prevalent in our society is counterproductive for anyone wanting to be creative. She describes a typical response to the question, How are you?regardless of age, race, class, and gender: I'm just so busy. Really, I'm crazy-busy, branding it as a mark of honor. Yet, she continues, When people are asked where they get their best ideas, again and again they answer, In the bathroom, On vacation, Doing nothing. They begin, in other words, by simply being. If we slow down, McEwen asserts, we can appreciate Henry David Thoreau's comment that, A broad margin of leisure is as beautiful in a man's life as in a book. She adds, Thoreau knew too, what contemporary thinkers are just beginning to understand, that the human mind is not some isolated little manikin inside our heads; rather it is fed and nourished by every sight and smell and sound that we encounter, from the movement of the clouds to the shrill of the birds outside our morning window. World Enough and Time extols the benefits of observation, conversation, walking, pausing and dreaming within a literary and artistic framework spanning centuries. World Enough and Time is the result of thirty years of thinking, teaching and writing in the midst of a busy world. Turning to stories of the writers and artists she has studied all these years, McEwen finds that each anecdote is its own parable of truth.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 904 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bauhan Publishing (6 Sep 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005R4NNLC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #250,885 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars relaxes and flows 8 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Amazed at how this book reminds me of Robertson Davies, yet without the snobbery - if there was any intended in Davies. The quotes and facts illustrated make a very good point and are there for us to reflect upon. I cannot put it down, strangely enough. It's not a novel or a thriller yet I'm charmed by a voice I can almost hear, lulling my thoughts.
Maybe I was already in 'tune' with this book. In fact I waited to buy it until I had 'time' to read it. But even a few minutes of it are like medicine to my tired mind.
Powerful, intelligent, never excessive or too didactic. This writer has got it down to a very fine art indeed. Magic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book! 3 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
One to savour and come back to again and again. An oasis in the desert of our frantic world - a place of rest.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking 21 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this in a couple of sittings (which probably goes against the whole ethos of the book!). Too many of us use constant distractions to stop us having to think about the important things in life. This book gives many excellent examples of writers and artists who owe their creativity to taking time out from daily life to contemplate nature and give their minds time to think creative thoughts.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Find another Rosie 15 Sep 2011
By Toke Hoppenbrouwers - Published on
This book arrived two days ago. I started to read it and I'm already at page 210. I know I'll continue reading it until deep in the night, once I have had a chance to do my evening hike with my dogs. I want to gobble it up. I realize this is high paced! I love it. I find I can savor it, even if I go fast. I feel very familiar with what CM writes, yet at the same time, so much of what she has to say is new. Delicious!

CM reminds me of the many ways I can be connected with my soul. She blends the personal and the scholarly in a way that the reader feels cared for. I highly recommend her wisdom. World Enough and Time is a great springboard for discussion as well.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly glorious read 29 Sep 2011
By Toinette Lippe - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Christian McEwen leads us gently but inexorably toward what we all yearn for--the time and space to simply be. We all have a deep hunger for slowfulness and tranquillity but rarely manage to experience it. She has been enjoying "herself" in this way since childhood and now encourages us to do the same by appreciating our lives in each and every moment. She turns on its head the adage that "it is better to travel hopefully than arrive." Let us share this exquisitely written book with as many people as possible before they all die of exhaustion!
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book I've been needing for 18 years 24 Oct 2011
By Joy Holland - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is a familiar observation that our lives flash by with too little time to savor the gifts of the present moment. Even having read a few books on Buddhism and mindfulness, I was constantly surprised and delighted by "World Enough and Time." It is, if you like, a glowing embroidery stitched around the notion that daydreaming, taking your time, doing things slowly, detaching yourself from the screen, the telephone--taking time for face to face meetings, writing real letters, looking at a painting or a landscape--are essential not only to our creativity but to our very wholeness. Finding inspiration in literature and a wide range of other disciplines, Christian McEwen wears her erudition lightly. Her writing voice is supple and strong as she follows her truths to their innermost parts. She has given me a whole list of other authors I now want to read; and a book that will stay by my bed for a long time to come. This book is a classic of its kind and everyone should read it.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fall Back: The Best Gift for Yourself & Those You Love 6 Nov 2011
By Susan Davis - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fall Back. Today we moved the clocks back by an hour and received the gift of an extra hour. And didn't it feel good? I love that stolen hour. Well, that's what you will feel when you read Christian McEwen's beautifully written new book - like you've been given a very special gift of time - enough time to do, enough time to be. I have read it several times (first in a big gulp and then quite slowly, savoring each chapter)and have talked about it so much that I end up giving my copy away. So I keep buying more copies to give to friends and family. In fact, I have discovered the perfect birthday, Christmas and graduation gift. People love it! This special book is packed with wisdom and intelligence as well as powerful prose that will make your heart sing. I feel like she wrote this book just for me: a New Yorker trying to recover from 'hurry sickness' who hides in doing and busyness. This book is delicious read. It is a healing journey and a recipe for creativity. If you've read Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, you will love this book. It will resonate with you if you like the creative side of yourself, the one who takes photographs or writes poems or bakes pies from scratch. If you read Matthieu Ricard's Happiness, you will love the practical ideas that McEwen includes at the end of each chapter. Or if you were attracted to Gretchen Ruben's The Happiness Project, you will really adore McEwen's elegant prose that packs in several university classes worth of insight in gentle ways that feels like poetry. Guess you can tell, I love this book. More importantly, I think we need this book.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get this book 26 Oct 2011
By Laura - Published on
I love this book. It is filled with good sense and rich with the musings of a very wonderful mind. I read pieces of it every morning as a way to get centered in what matters, beyond what passes for connection in today's noisy world. I was prepared to like the book but I was not prepared to have it become a part of my life. A beautiful accomplishment. Time very well spent.
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