Turn and Jump
How Time & Place Fell Apart
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|Format:||Hardback, 272 pages|
|Published In: ||United States, 16 August 2010|
Before Thomas Edison, light and fire were thought to be one and the same. Turns out, they were separate things altogether. This book takes a similar relationship, that of time and place, and shows how they, too, were once inseparable. Time keeping was once a local affair, when small towns set their own pace according to the rising and setting of the sun. Then, in 1883, the expanding railroads necessitated the creation of Standard Time zones, and communities became linked by a universal time. Here Howard Mansfield explores how our sudden interconnectedness, both physically, as through the railroad, and through inventions like the telegraph, changed our concept of time and place forever.
Mansfield's writing is lyrical and figurative, but clear and simple. On describing the town of Turners Falls, MA, where British colonists massacred Native Americans in 1676, and where the falls where salmon once spawned were dammed, Mansfield writes, Turners Falls is divorced from deep time, from the true history of the land. For thousands of years this place kept time by the salmon leaping the falls and the Indians fathering to fish. He tells readers he realizes why he was uncomfortable there: What I had felt on my first visit was the pain of divorce. This synthesis of history, sociology, and personal reflection makes Turn & Jump both contemplative (like wabi, which Koren tells us refers to the inward, the subjective) and informative (like sabi, which refers to the outward, the objective). Ranging from vaudeville (where the title comes from) to outlet damn on a small lake in New Hampshire to a family store in a small town, covering everything from the standardization of time to suit railroad schedules to the nonlinear view of time held by native peoples, Mansfield guides readers along routes of inquiry well researched but never dry. Mansfield is a great writer, and a great thinker. Read his book and you'll feel as if you're talking with your smartest friend.--Deb Baker's Book Blog
|Publisher: ||Down East Books,U.S.|
|Dimensions: ||21.0 x 14.0 x 2.0 centimeters (0.39 kg)|