Luminous Debris: Reflecting on Vestige in Provence and Languedoc

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9780520217751: Luminous Debris: Reflecting on Vestige in Provence and Languedoc
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Interpreting vestige with the eloquence of a poet and the knowledge of a field archaeologist, Gustaf Sobin explores his elected terrain: the landscapes of Provence and Languedoc. Drawing on prehistory, protohistory, and Gallo-Roman antiquity, the twenty-six essays in this book focus on a particular place or artifact for the relevance inherent in each. A Bronze Age earring or the rippling wave pattern in Massiolite ceramic are more than archival curiosities for Sobin. Instead they invite inquiry and speculation on existence itself: Artifacts are read as realia, and history as an uninterrupted sequence of object lessons.

As much travel writing as meditative discourse, Luminous Debris is enhanced by a prose that tracks, questions, and reflects on the materials invoked. Sobin engages the reader with precise descriptions of those very materials and the messages to be gleaned from their examination, be they existential, ethical, or political.

An American expatriate living in Provence for the past thirty-five years, Gustaf Sobin shares his enthusiasm for his adopted landscape and for a vertical interpretation of its strata. In Luminous Debris he creates meaning out of matter and celebrates instances of reality, past and present.

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From the Inside Flap:

"A wonderful, addictive book. Gustaf Sobin's prose combines descriptive precision with evocative power, calling to mind the poetic-scholarly writing of Barthes or Bachelard. As he records and links the scattered fragments, some infinitesimal, of a regional past, Sobin offers wonder, regret, and often a sharp critique of contemporary society."--James Clifford, author of Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late 20th Century

About the Author:

Gustaf Sobin's books include Voyaging Portraits (1988), Venus Blue: A Novel (1991), Breaths' Burials (1995), By the Bias of Sound (1996), and Towards the Blanched Alphabets (1998). A novel, The Fly-Truffler, set in Provence, is forthcoming this year.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780520222458: Luminous Debris

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0520222458 ISBN 13:  9780520222458
Publisher: University of California Press, 2000

9780756765095: Luminous Debris: Reflecting on Vestige in Provence and Languedoc

Diane ..., 1999