Empedocles was a student of Parmenides or of Xenophanes or of Anaxagoras or of Pythagoras or of Pythagoras' son, Telauges. He wore purple robes and a beaten gold headband or a purple cloth headband, bronze sandals, and a Delphic wreath. He had thick hair. He carried a staff.

The author, an expert on ancient Chinese and South American culture, translator of Borges, Paz and Chinese poetry into English, introduces us to a world of forgotten beliefs, little-known phenomena, fascinating analogies, and astonishing connections between cultures. The breadth of his interests is vast – from the beliefs of the Aztecs to the symbolism of medieval Benedictine monasticism, from the significance of the wind in Chinese culture to the poetry of Pound and Yeats. These precise essays are a uniquely original way of contemplating the beauty and diversity of the world.

The jacket features a photograph of a diorama from a natural history museum, depicting Devonian fauna and flora. I thought that since the readers have to construct the meaning of the book themselves from seemingly unrelated essays, the cover should also require some effort. The title spills out into individual numbered words. You have to find them yourself among the prehistoric creatures.
Year: 2020
Page size: 116×205 mm (4.6×8.1 in.)
Pages: 264
Paper: Alto Creme 1,5 90 g
Binding: Paperback with flaps, dust jacket
Cover material: Amber Graphic 240 g
Typefaces: BP Romain
Back to Top