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Time and the Art of Living -- Reviews  

This is a wonderful little book. You'll discover quotations from it sprinkled throughout Jayhoo! Here's what others think...
"Time and the Art of Living" is a philosophical essay about the relationship between two facts: that we each "strut and fret upon the stage" for a terrifyingly short slice of objective time, and that subjective time, our experience of temporality, is deeply informed by our chosen activities and our character.

Robert Grudin thinks that our subjective sense of time is largely determined by the degree and quality of attention we pay to our memories and our sense of the future. (It is a mark of the unhappy that they are trapped in the present without a larger sense of connection to the enduring self.) And he argues persuasively that the successful and the fulfilled become so because of the control they exercise over this subjective temporal embodiment. At its best, Time and the Art of Living is a profound book with lyrically beautiful prose. --Richard Farr

Drawing on philosophy, science, literature, history, personal experience, and his own marvelously playful and inventive imagination, Grudin examines the concept of time from a variety of angles. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

The publisher, Mariner Books / Houghton Mifflin Company , February 18, 1998 Cover copy:
"A book to savor, treasure, linger over: the rare and amazing spectacle of man thinking, of mind at work." -- Edward Abbey

A modern classic . . . I think of Montaigne when I read it. Bravo!" -- Richard Selzer

This is a book about time--about one's own journey through it and, more important, about enlarging the pleasure one takes in that journey. It's about memory of the past, hope and fear for the future, and how they color, for better and for worse, one's experience of the present. Ultimately, it's a book about freedom--freedom from despair of the clock, of the aging body, of the seeming waste of one's daily routine, the freedom that comes with acceptance and appreciation of the human dimensions of time and of the place of each passing moment on life's bounteous continuum.

For Robert Grudin, living is an art, and cultivating a creative partnership with time is one of the keys to mastering it. In a series of wise, witty, and playful meditations, he suggests that happiness lies not in the effort to conquer time but rather in learning "to bend to its curve," in hearing its music and learning to dance to it. Grudin offers practical advice and mental exercises designed to help the reader use time more effectively, but this is no ordinary self-help book. It is instead a kind of wisdom literature, a guide to life, a feast for the mind and for the spirit.

ROBERT GRUDIN is a professor of English at the University of Oregon. His unique, wide-ranging inquiry into human freedom is continued in "The Grace of Great Things: Creativity and Innovation" and "On Dialogue: An Essay in Free Thought," also available from Mariner Books --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Time Orientation

 People with great projects afoot habitually look further and more clearly into the future than people who are mired in day-to-day concerns.

 Time runs slower at the beginning, faster at the end of a period; for we tend to conceive of periods in terms of time remaining rather than time elapsed, and minutes near the end of a period constitute a greater percentage of remaining time than minutes near the beginnning. 

 Long unbroken periods contain more usable time than do short periods totaling the same length.

 Perspective operates in time as well as space. The year before us and the year just past seem immense and multileveled, like two deep vallys on either side of the ridge we occupy; the years beyond on either side, like farther valleys, seem progressively shallower and less detailed.

 We cannot come to terms with the present until we learn to think of it as part of the distant future (as it once was) and as part of the distant past (as it will someday be).

 We tend to see the present as something almost motionless--more a state of being than a process of becoming.

 Making the present time slow its pace by thinking of the present, not as a moving point or as a thin film through which one faces a parade of concerns, but rather as a kind of chamber, a voluminous dimension in which thoughts and actions and affections can devlop undisturbed. Seek the larger projects, the designs which extend our care and effort through weeks and months. Ans be constantly in touch with the past...  Grip time as though with two hands.

 We possess a number of psychological clocks. I can consult my watch three times in five mintues: once to see whether the mail has come (business time), once to find out how many hours of writing I have left (creative time) and once to ascertain the nearness of lunch (belly time). One sort of time may pass quickly for me which another passes quite slowly.

 Every time we postpone some necessary event, we do so with the implication that present time is more important than future time.





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