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The Life Within: Classic Maya and the Matter of Permanence (Hardback)
  • The Life Within: Classic Maya and the Matter of Permanence (Hardback)
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The Life Within: Classic Maya and the Matter of Permanence (Hardback)

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£45.00
Hardback 208 Pages / Published: 02/05/2014
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For the Classic Maya, who flourished in and around the Yucatan peninsula in the first millennium AD, artistic materials were endowed with an internal life. Far from being inert substances, jade, flint, obsidian, and wood held a vital essence, agency, and even personality. To work with these materials was to coax their life into full expression and to engage in witty play. Writing, too, could shift from hieroglyphic signs into vibrant glyphs that sprouted torsos, hands, and feet. Appearing to sing, grapple, and feed, they effectively blurred the distinction between text and image.

In this first full study of the nature of Maya materials and animism, renowned Mayanist scholar Stephen Houston provides startling insights into a Pre-Columbian worldview that dramatically contrasts with western perspectives. Illustrated with more than one hundred photographs, images, and drawings, this beautifully written book reveals the Maya quest for transcendence in the face of inevitable death and decay.

Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300196023
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 1016 g
Dimensions: 254 x 203 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Houston strives for deep understandings of Maya thought that allow us to see large-scale truths often overlooked. His unusual approach to materiality in ancient Maya culture will be pioneering." -Andrea Stone, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee -- Andrea Stone
"A major contribution to the study of the ancient Maya and an important intervention in the growing body of scholarship about materiality." -Claudia Brittenham, University of Chicago -- Claudia Brittenham
Winner of the 2014 American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE) in the Art History & Criticism category. -- PROSE * American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence *

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