This book constructs a theory of ruins that celebrates their vitality and unity in aesthetic experience. Its argument draws upon over 100 illustrations prepared in 40 countries. Ruins flourish as matter, form, function, incongruity, site, and symbol. Ruin underlies cultural values in cinema, literature and philosophy. Finally, ruin guides meditations upon our mortality and endangered world.
Number of pages: 554
Weight: 1007 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 55 mm
"elegantly written, closely argued, richly documented, impressively illustrated, and exceedingly readable ... Ginsberg's book allows us to see ruins as the ever-lasting possibility of the transformation of reality, as a discovery of the past that promises to enrich the future" in: Soundings - An Interdisciplinary Journal 89, 3-4 (Fall/Winter 2006)
"The Aesthetics of Ruins is both a simulation and rewarding experience in which we learn to reconsider our perspective on ruins and aesthetics simultaneously. With good humor and clarity, Ginsberg reclaims the study of ruins from the margins... A broad work, both in its size and scope...[the] extensive and definitive bibliography ... provides an excellent source for further research on ruins." in: Journal of Aesthetic Education, Vol. 40, No 4, Winter 2006
"it has real intellectual thought and quirky insights at every turn ... a cheerful discussion with the reader in a very conversational style, a mine of detailed and encyclopaedic information .... As academically and intellectually precise in its detail as it is complex in its thought." in: The Art Book, Vol. 13, May 2006
"Bibliographically, this book is outstanding. Ginsberg knows much and tells it all. The generous last chapter (pp. 449-538) contains solid commentaries on books, besides ample indexes of names, titles, and other clues. The illustrations are numerous, diverse in their cultural and geographic choice, and capably selected for their suggestiveness. More generally, the book is encyclopedically conceived: I can hardly remember a work in which sections on "cinema and television as ruin," on music, literature, even nature as ruin coexist side-by-side with philosophical and aesthetic chapters, as well as with more predictable considerations on ruins in the narrower traditional sense: buildings, architecture, and the like." in: The Review of Metaphysics, March 1, 2006