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Strange, that the mere identity of paper and ink should be so powerful. In truth, the original manuscript has always something which print itself must inevitably lose. —Nathaniel Hawthorne
MILWAUKEE, WI, February 08, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ -- What do Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglas, and Margaret Fuller have in common with Omar Khayyām, Mahatma Gandhi, St. Augustine, Abraham Lincoln, Leo Tolstoy, and Annie Besant? And why would an Indian-born cardiologist from the Midwest and an educator from New England decide to collaborate on a project incorporating these writers and thinkers from different parts of the globe and across the centuries?
James Mathew and Kent Bicknell, both learned men who are deeply interested in the writings of the Transcendentalists and the intersection of Eastern and Western thought, have joined forces to produce an extraordinary book that examines global spiritual traditions. No ordinary text on the subject, Book of Books: Pearls from the Meandering Stream of Time that Runs across Continents is, according to Mathew, "a box of literary delights, illustrated throughout and drawing on philosophies and writings from both East and West. Book of Books weaves an elegant tapestry of rare books, manuscripts and historical artifacts from a single collection into a book."
The book begins with entries from the intellectuals of a young nation in the West who gave birth to its literature, the Transcendentalists of America—Henry David Thoreau's A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers with his hand-corrections in which he extolls the Hindoo Scriptures, and Ralph Waldo Emerson's signed holograph of "Brahma" that echoes a familiar voice from ancient India.
Then comes a serving of the sacred texts of an ancient civilization in the East from which the Transcendentalists drew light—the Gita and the Upanishads, and more like the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyām and the Buddhist Ray. These entries are followed by luminaries of a more recent past from the West, the East, and in between who ushered in a new dawn of mutual respect with equal profit—Leo Tolstoy, Annie Besant, Swami Vivekananada, Rabindranath Tagore, and Mahatma Gandhi, to name a few.
Underscoring "the power of primary source material," which fills the pages of Book of Books, the authors share what one prominent nineteenth-century author had to say on the subject:
"Strange, that the mere identity of paper and ink should be so powerful. In truth, the original manuscript has always something which print itself must inevitably lose. An erasure, even a blot, a casual irregularity of hand, and all such little imperfections of mechanical execution, bring us close to the writer, and perhaps convey some of those subtle intimations for which language has no shape."
—Nathaniel Hawthorne, "A Book of Autographs," 1844
What people are saying about Book of Books
"Book of Books represents an original and needed contribution to understanding the very profound impacts that the Transcendentalists made to fostering important conversations across the world about how to understand the reality of global spiritual traditions."
—Todd Lewis, Edward G. Murray Distinguished Professor in Arts and Humanities, College of the Holy Cross
"This book on rare books, holographs and historical artifacts in a single collection is a treasure in itself. With generous portions of passages paired with pictures and tastefully spiced with comments, this book is a feast to the intellect. I commend this book as an aperitivo for starters and a digestivo for the sated. Bon Appetit to all guests!"
—Adoor Gopalakrishnan, India writer & filmmaker, recipient of India's highest film honor, Dadasaheb Phalke Award; British Film Institute Award, and French honor: Commander of the Order of Arts & Letters
"Books are inanimate friends, ready to challenge, comfort and inspire us. This Book of Books offers the reader a glimpse into the minds of people who made their mark on previous generations."
—Father Michael Collins, Ireland, author of Books That Changed History
About the Authors
James Mathew is a cardiologist who lives in Milwaukee, WI. He has presented papers at the Annual Gatherings of the Thoreau Society in Concord, and the Annual Conference of the American Literature Association in Boston, MA. Book of Books is his first book.
Kent Bicknell founded and then directed a progressive school in central NH for forty-four years. He has published several articles on the Transcendentalists and in 1995 acquired and edited an unpublished Gothic thriller by Louisa May Alcott, A Long Fatal Love Chase, which became a New York Times best-seller.
PR contact: Victor Gulotta, 617-306-9494, [email protected]
Book of Books: Pearls from the Meandering Stream of Time that Runs across Continents
By James Mathew and Kent Bicknell
Publisher: Green Frigate Books/Libri Publishing Ltd.
6 x 9, 352 pp.
Trade Edition: ISBN 978-1-911451-10-5; paperbound, $40.00
Limited Edition: ISBN 978-1-911451-11-2; clothbound, $152.00
Libri Publishing: www.libripublishing.co.uk, Brunel House, Volunteer Way, Faringdon, Oxfordshire, UK SN7 7YR Tel: +44 (0) 845 873 3837
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