Are These the Twenty Most Important Questions in Human History-- Or, Is This A Game of Twenty Questions?

Book - 2011
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What is What? Could it be that noted author Mark Kurlansky has written a very short, terrifically witty, deeply thought-provoking book entirely in the form of questions? A book that draws on philosophy, religion, literature, policy-indeed, all of civilization-to ask what may well be the twenty most important questions in human history? Or has he given us a really smart, impossibly amusing game of twenty questions? Kurlansky considers the work of Confucius, Plato, Gertrude Stein, Shakespeare,Descartes, Nietzsche, Freud, Hemingway, Emily Dickinson, the Talmud, Charles de Gaulle, Virginia Woolf, and others, distilling the deep questions of life to their sparkling essence. What? supplies endless fodder for thoughtful conversation but also endless opportunity to ponder and be challenged by-and entertained by-these questions in refreshingly original ways. As Kurlansky says, In a world that seems devoid of absolute certainties, how can we make declarative statements? Without asking the questions, how will we ever get to the answers? "Why are we here? Why is all of this here? Why do we die? What is death? What does it mean that outer space is infinite and what is after infinity? What is the significance of birdflight, why does matter decay, and how is our life different from that of a mosquito? Is there an end to these questions or is questioning as infinite as space?" With his striking black-and-white woodcut illustrations throughout, this handsome volume is a tour de force thatpacks a tremendous wallop in a deliciously compact package.

Publisher: New York : Walker, 2011.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
ISBN: 9780802779069
Characteristics: x, 83 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm


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Nov 19, 2016

A well organized little book; playful tone; on the whole more on the serious side; less enjoyable than "The Interrogative Mood".

Mar 02, 2015

Is this a challenging, thought-provoking book? Or an exercise in indulging an author, by the publisher and editor? Maybe I need to think about this a bit more?

ser_library Jan 30, 2014

thought provoking and discussible with wonderful illustrations; a beautiful book and quick to read

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