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- ISBN: 9781524748135
- ISBN: 1524748137
- Physical Description: x, 578 pages ; 25 cm
- Edition: First edition.
- Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, 
- Copyright: ©2019
|Bibliography, etc. Note:||
Includes bibliographical references (pages -552) and index.
|Formatted Contents Note:||
Only the dreamer wakes -- To find dismooned among the stardust -- What is lost and what is gained -- Of the infinite in the finite -- To figure and transfigure -- The much that calls for more -- To brave the light of the world -- That which exhausts and exalts -- Merely the beautiful -- Divided, indivisible -- Between sinew and spirit -- Between art and life -- The banality of survival -- Shadowing the light of immortality -- To gaze and turn away -- From romance to reason -- From terror to transcendence -- Unmastering -- The heart's circumference -- Bound by neither mind nor matter -- In the darkness of being -- Searching for totality -- Into the unfathomed -- Where splendor dwells -- To live and to vanish -- Between the scale of atoms and the scale of worlds -- Between the time of monarchs and the time of stars -- Tracing the thread of being -- From shoreless seeds to stardust.
Figuring explores the complexities of love and the human search for truth and meaning through the interconnected lives of several historical figures across four centuries—beginning with the astronomer Johannes Kepler, who discovered the laws of planetary motion, and ending with the marine biologist and author Rachel Carson, who catalyzed the environmental movement. Stretching between these figures is a cast of artists, writers, and scientists—mostly women, mostly queer—whose public contribution have risen out of their unclassifiable and often heartbreaking private relationships to change the way we understand, experience, and appreciate the universe. Among them are the astronomer Maria Mitchell, who paved the way for women in science; the sculptor Harriet Hosmer, who did the same in art; the journalist and literary critic Margaret Fuller, who sparked the feminist movement; and the poet Emily Dickinson. Emanating from these lives are larger questions about the measure of a good life and what it means to leave a lasting mark of betterment on an imperfect world: Are achievement and acclaim enough for happiness? Is genius? Is love? Weaving through the narrative is a set of peripheral figures—Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Darwin, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Herman Melville, Frederick Douglass, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Walt Whitman—and a tapestry of themes spanning music, feminism, the history of science, the rise and decline of religion, and how the intersection of astronomy, poetry, and Transcendentalist philosophy fomented the environmental movement.
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|Subject:||Women in science > History.
Women and the arts > History.
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Women.
HISTORY / Women.
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / LGBT.