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Essays on the Art of Living



304 Pages, 5.25 x 8.5

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $26.99 (CA $35.99) (US $26.99)

Publication Date: September 2022

ISBN 9781800172050

Rights: US, CA, NZ, CAM, SAM, CAR, PH, KR & FM

Carcanet Press, Ltd. (Sep 2022)
Lives and Letters

Not Yet Published. Estimated release date: September 2022


Following on the explorations of culture and politics in his previous collection The Good European, the writings in Zest delve into less obvious but important aspects of social life—into manual work and 'dolce far niente,' into ancient vernacular craft traditions, and the data stockpiles of modernity. Early in the book we visit the Garden of Eden with Hieronymus Bosch, where we share with him the first fruit. It takes us by way of writers, artists, philosophers, travellers, photographers, musicians, and flavours into the world of Zest—how we can find it and what its discovery does to us. Bamforth's sensuous, richly nuanced essays affect us as stories do, each one creating a world in which its arguments live and breathe, laugh and explore. His diverse interests, from Bible studies to communication theory, from photography to the impact of globalisation, and his shifts from botanising in the Garden of Eden to 'botanising on the asphalt' (Walter Benjamin) always keep in sight the philosophical issue that provides Zest's subtitle—'the art of living.'

Author Biography

Iain Bamforth was born in 1959 and grew up in Glasgow. He has worked as a hospital doctor in the American Hospital of Paris and the Australian outback, as urban and rural general practitioner, and more recently on community health projects in south-east Asia. He has also been a scientific translator and editor, literary journalist, and lecturer in comparative literature. He has published five collections of poetry, a history of modern medicine as told through literature (The Body in the Library, Verso), and a collection of essays on European intellectual history (The Good European, Carcanet).