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Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought?
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Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought? The Traditional View of Art: Revised Edition with Previously Unpublished Author's Notes
Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought? The Traditional View of Art: Revised Edition with Previously Unpublished Author's Notes
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Author(s): 
Subjects(s): 
Comparative Religion
Metaphysics

Price:  $24.95

ISBN:  978-1-933316-34-5
Book Size:  6 × 9
# of Pages:  280
Language:  English



Description
Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought? The Traditional View of Art is perhaps Ananda K. Coomaraswamy’s most important work on the philosophy of art. Here he is concerned primarily with traditional works of art and the intimate relationship between style, technique, and meaning. These essays move easily between the boundaries of religions, cultures, historical periods and artistic thought in demonstrating that this rich diversity stills shares an underlying unity: the relationship of the arts to the life of the spirit.

This new revised edition of a classic work includes additional notes made by Coomaraswamy to his earlier additions, a foreword by editor William Wroth, and an introduction by noted Coomaraswamy scholar Roger Lipsey. Another aid to readers is that here, for the first time, all passages in foreign languages in the original edition have been translated in this new edition.
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Detailed Description of Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought?

Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought? The Traditional View of Art is perhaps Ananda K. Coomaraswamy’s most important work on the philosophy of art. Here he is concerned primarily with traditional works of art and the intimate relationship between style, technique, and meaning. These essays move easily between the boundaries of religions, cultures, historical periods and artistic thought in demonstrating that this rich diversity stills shares an underlying unity: the sacred.

This new revised edition of a classic work includes additional notes made by Coomaraswamy to his earlier additions, a foreword by editor William Wroth, and an introduction by noted Coomaraswamy scholar Roger Lipsey. Another aid to readers is that here, for the first time, all passages in foreign languages in the original edition have been translated in this new edition.


About the Author(s)

Ananda K. Coomaraswamy

Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy was a multi-talented researcher, scientist, linguist, expert on culture and art, philosopher, museum curator, and author. He was the first well-known author of the modern era to expound the importance of traditional arts, culture, and thought as more than simply relics of a bygone past. Dr. Coomaraswamy is often credited with reintroducing the concept of the "Perennial Philosophy" to a West dazed by the endless multiplicity of the modern world.

A. K. Coomaraswamy's writings available through World Wisdom include:


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William Wroth

William Wroth is a researcher, editor, writer, and curator who specializes in the Hispanic and Native American traditional arts and cultures of the Southwest and Mexico.

Dr. Wroth is senior editor for a new series of editions by World Wisdom of the works of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy. The first in this series is a new edition of one of Coomaraswamy's most far-ranging books, Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought?. Wroth's careful attention to details has resulted in a new edition that is more accessible than ever to readers, with some new notes from the author himself, all of the passages in foreign languages now translated, a new editor's preface, and a new introduction by Roger Lipsey.


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Roger Lipsey

Roger Lipsey is an art historian, editor and author. Dr. Lipsey has written on a wide range of topics and intellectual figures, but his greatest contributions to the body of perennialist literature are undoubtedly the three volumes he edited of the works of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy (Coomaraswamy, Bollingen series, Princeton University Press, c1977). Lipsey has been called the "leading authority on the life and work of Coomaraswamy" as a result of this monumental task. As an author, his most recent books have been Angelic Mistakes: The Art of Thomas Merton, and Have You Been to Delphi?: Tales of the Ancient Oracle for Modern Minds.

As a leading authority on A. K. Coomaraswamy, Dr. Lipsey has contributed the "Introduction" to Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought? The Traditional View of Art: Revised Edition with Previously Unpublished Author's Notes by Coomaraswamy, edited by William Wroth.

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Reviews of Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought?



“This new edition of Coomaraswamy's classic work is a top pick for new age-oriented art and religious libraries: it holds all the definitive revisions he later intended to add to the book and offers, for the first time, translations of the Greek, Latin, French, German and Italian terms he used. Extensive footnoted references provide solid documentation and bibliographic reference in a fine revised edition certain to prove a winning acquisition for any in-depth, detailed library covering Eastern spirituality and thinking.”
Midwest Book Review



“Coomaraswamy’s essays [give] us a view of his scholarship and brilliant insight.”
Joseph Campbell, author and scholar



“There are many who consider Coomaraswamy as one of the great seminal minds of this century. . . .”
Kathleen Raine, founder of the Temenos Academy and author



“There is a growing consensus among intellectuals worldwide that Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy is the finest contribution Sri Lanka has made to this planet’s intellectual culture in the last 100 years.”
Manik Sandrasagra, Executive Director of Cultural Survival of Sri Lanka Trust





Table of Contents for Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought?

Preface by the editor of the revised edition, Will Wroth

Introduction by Roger Lipsey

Preface to the original edition, by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy

•  “A Figure of Speech, or Figures of Thought?”

•  The Mediaeval Theory of Art

•  Ornament

•  Ars Sine Scientia Nihil

•  The Meeting of the Eyes

•  Shaker Furniture

•  Literary Symbolism

•   Intention

•  Imitation, Expression, and Participation

•  The Intellectual Operation in Indian Art

•  The Nature of Buddhist Art

•  Saṃ vega, Aesthetic Shock

•  An Early Passage on Indian Painting

•  Some References to Pictorial Relief

•  Primitive Mentality

•  Notes on Savage Art

•  Symptom, Diagnosis, and Regimen

•  Walter Andrae: On the Life of Symbols

List of Abbreviations and Short Titles

List of Works by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy Cited in this Book

Biographical Notes

Index


Selection from our Library about Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought?
 TitleSourceAuthor 1Author 2Subject WW HTMLWW PDFExternal Link
In this two-part essay, A.K. Coomaraswamy sets out to prove "that our use of the term 'aesthetic' forbids us also to speak of art as pertaining to the 'higher things of life' or the immortal part of us; that the distinction of 'fine' from 'applied' art, and corresponding manufacture of art in studios and artless industry in factories, takes it for granted that neither the artist nor the artisan shall be a whole man.…" Using primarily Platonic and Hindu sources, he shows quite convincingly that modern arts education and production may result in an endless variety of arts for leisure, but that this situation encourages neither the understanding of traditional art, nor the production of arts that are "effective" in ennobling people with those "higher things of life."
“A Figure of Speech, or a Figure of Thought?” (Part 2)Studies in Comparative Religion, Vol. 6, No. 2. (Spring, 1972)Coomaraswamy, Ananda Art, Modernism, Perennial Philosophy, Platonism, Tradition
In this two-part essay, A.K. Coomaraswamy sets out to prove "that our use of the term 'aesthetic' forbids us also to speak of art as pertaining to the 'higher things of life' or the immortal part of us; that the distinction of 'fine' from 'applied' art, and corresponding manufacture of art in studios and artless industry in factories, takes it for granted that neither the artist nor the artisan shall be a whole man.…" Using primarily Platonic and Hindu sources, he shows quite convincingly that modern arts education and production may result in an endless variety of arts for leisure, but that this situation encourages neither the understanding of traditional art, nor the production of arts that are "effective" in ennobling people with those "higher things of life."
“A Figure of Speech, or a Figure of Thought?” (Part 1)Studies in Comparative Religion, Vol. 6, No. 1. (Winter, 1972)Coomaraswamy, Ananda Art, Modernism, Perennial Philosophy, Platonism, Tradition
Introduction to "For God's Greater Glory"For God’s Greater Glory: Gems of Jesuit Spirituality from Louis Lallemant, Jean-Pierre de Caussade, and Claude de la ColombièreLafouge, Jean-Pierre Christianity
Introduction to Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought?Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought: The Traditional View of ArtLipsey, Roger Art
Editor's Preface to Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought?Figures of Speech or Figures of Thought: The Traditional View of ArtWroth, William Biography
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