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Historia íntima de la humanidad por…
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Historia íntima de la humanidad (original 1994; edición 1994)

por Theodore Zeldin, José Luis Gil Aristu (Traductor)

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9091017,712 (3.87)7
This extraordinarily wide-ranging study looks at the dilemmas of life today and shows how they need not have arisen. Portraits of living people and historical figures are placed alongside each other as Zeldin discusses how men and women have lost and regained hope; how they have learnt to have interesting conversations; how some have acquired an immunity to loneliness; how new forms of love and desire have been invented; how respect has become more valued than power; how the art of escaping from one's troubles has developed; why even the privileged are often gloomy; and why parents and children are changing their minds about what they want from each other.… (más)
Miembro:ClaraBarroS
Título:Historia íntima de la humanidad
Autores:Theodore Zeldin
Otros autores:José Luis Gil Aristu (Traductor)
Info:Madrid : Alianza
Colecciones:Tu biblioteca
Valoración:
Etiquetas:Amor, Soledad, Deseo, Sexo, Respeto, Miedo, Libertad, Compasión, Tolerancia, Liberación sexual, Familia, Hospitalidad, Almas gemelas, Generosidad

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Historia íntima de la humanidad por Theodore Zeldin (1994)

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» Ver también 7 menciones

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Angela C. Milner
  cheshire11 | Apr 7, 2021 |
Rambling opinions, with no established credibility, on topics ranging from family to astrology ( )
  Bonnie_Bailey | Oct 5, 2020 |
Dit is helemaal geen geschiedenisboek, al maakt Zeldin wel ruim gebruik van historische voorbeelden. Neen, dit is eerder een filosofisch werk, maar wel op een heel originele manier. Zeldin focust op existentiële vragen: de moeizame verhouding tussen mannen en vrouwen, de bepalende rol van angst in een mensenleven, het vraagstuk van de eenzaamheid, de asymmetrie in de verhouding tussen ouders en kinderen, het verschil tussen tolerantie en ruimhartigheid, enzovoort. In totaal 25 van dergelijke problematieken behandelt hij, ongeveer altijd op dezelfde manier. Hij presenteert eerst een aantal casestudies van mensen die hij gesproken heeft en die voor hem blootleggen wat er rond een bepaalde problematiek speelt in hun leven. Het zijn bijna altijd vrouwen, en de meeste van hen komen uit Frankrijk (Frankrijk is Zeldin’s specialisatie, getuige zijn fenomenale “A History of French Passions”). Vervolgens schetst hij hoe de vooropgestelde problematiek doorheen de geschiedenis geëvolueerd is, en vooral welk een verschuivingen er recent hebben plaatsgevonden.
Dit klinkt wellicht te veel als een rigide schema, maar eigenlijk is het meer een verzameling causerieën, eerder dan een systematische uiteenzetting. In die zin deed het me erg denken aan Montaigne’s Essaies, waarin ook allerlei thema’s aan bod komen en vanuit verschillende invalshoeken wordt bezien. Want ook Zeldin gaat erg breed: hij put niet alleen uit de geschiedenis, maar betrekt ook sociologie, psychologie, economie, politiek en cultuur bij zijn analyses en voorbeelden.
Bij dat alles legt Zeldin keer op keer bloot hoe de mensheid vooral in de tweede helft van de 20ste eeuw een enorme evolutie heeft ondergaan, zeker in die meer ‘intieme’ (hij bedoelt vooral existentiële) aspecten. En wat hem betreft is die evolutie ondubbelzinnig positief: de mensheid stuit uiteraard nog altijd op de grenzen van zijn conditie, maar vooral door de enorme vrijheid die we hebben verworven, staan we veel opener in het leven dan ooit tevoren. Geen wonder dat Zeldin voortdurend een pleidooi houdt om daarin nog verder te gaan, en vooral de begrippen ‘nieuwsgierigheid’ en ‘ruimhartigheid’ keren telkens weer in zijn discours terug. In die zin is dit werk ook een soort zelfhulpboek, maar niet op de goedkope, prekerige manier! Daarmee verraadt dit boek ook het tijdperk waarin het geschreven is: begin jaren 1990, toen na het einde van de Koude Oorlog, en bij het begin van de communicatie-revolutie die internet zou inluiden, de toekomst nog eenduidig rozig oogde. We zijn nu bijna 30 jaar verder, en er zijn flink wat deuken gekomen in dit optimistisch perspectief.
Toch aarzel ik om dit boek gedateerd te noemen. Zeldin’s voluntarisme gaat gepaard met zo’n nauwkeurige observatie van het menselijk dier, zo’n erudiete analyse van de menselijke geschiedenis, zoveel oog voor de grilligheid en complexiteit van de menselijke conditie, dat dit boek wellicht nog lang zal blijven prikkelen en tot reflectie kan aanzetten. ( )
  bookomaniac | May 17, 2020 |
A very ambitious book that attempts to chronicle the history of human thought, emotions, problems, and (for a lack of a better description) general themes by exploring how humans are connected. For instance, the book's chapters have titles such as "How some people have acquired an immunity to loneliness" and "How respect has become more desirable than power." Each chapter starts with descriptions of modern day persons and how they have interacted with (or more often struggled with) the chapter's theme. After this, Zeldin then comments on the character's struggles and links them back to other cultures across time and geography, illustrating both how these "modern problems" often have historical roots and also how other people with similar problems have attempted to solve them.

Zeldin's intentions behind this book are admirable and it is from reading on his general philosophy/thoughts that led me to this book initially. The Preface captures his ideologies well. He writes, "I want to show how, today, it is possible for individuals to form a fresh view both of their own personal history and of humanity's' whole record of cruelty, misunderstanding, and joy. To have a new vision of the future, it has always been first necessary to have a new vision of the past." For more information on Zeldin, I suggest to watch this 5x15 talk he gives, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdnnZ0Y4HEo, where he says, "I saw what I want from life is to discover life, to know what life is and that means getting to know as many people as possible, each of whom sees life in a different way and has experienced life in a different way and I can only see what I see, my idea of what life is, and each one of you sees something different and therefore I am almost blind and I am searching to see what there is...I have developed curiosity." You can feel this intense curiosity of Zeldin's from the book. The book is epic in scope and you get the sense that Zeldin has thought about, researched about, and knows a bit about...almost everything relating to humans and how we feel.

On the negative side, I did find some of the book slightly repetitive. I think Zeldin is so impassioned about his ideas about how people should seek to have conversations with each other and discover more of each other that similar arguments tend to come through again and again. At the end of each chapter are also wonderful lists of suggested additional reading related to the chapter, but I really wished that each page had footnotes as there were a lot of ideas I wanted to read further on and it would have helped to know specifically where to go.

Overall though, I found it a wonderful book and very easy to get through, for a "history book." One does have to go into it fairly open minded. Zeldin seems to be a bit of an idealist and also sometimes in the writing makes wide, sweeping, generalizing statements that made me to want to feel skeptical. However, for me, the point of the book is not to get a 100% detailed factual account of history - but one that inspires curiosity and makes me think in different ways about familiar topics. And in that respect, the book certainly succeeded. ( )
  JenniferLivingstone | Aug 7, 2017 |
People who wish to escape from the grasp of the institutions of their time, and the opinions of the crowd, and indeed from ordinary life, are not misfits in modern society: their roots go back into furthest antiquity, as far as those of warriors; they were singing songs like these in ancient China.

I arrive all alone, I sit down all alone.
I have no regrets that people today do not know me.
Only the spirit of the old tree, in the south of the city
knows for certain that I am an Immortal passing by.

To ask what the practical results of escape might be is to miss the point of escape, which includes escape from purpose. Those who want a purpose must look beyond escape.


Having acquired this book from a down-sizing relative, I was undecided about whether to read it or pass it on, but I was drawn in by the fascinating chapter headings, such as "How people have repeatedly lost hope, and how new encounters, and a new pair of spectacles, revive them", "How people searching for their roots are only beginning to look far and deep enough", and "How the art of escaping from one's troubles has developed, but not the art of knowing where to escape to", which made it clear that it was an unusual kind of history book.

.It has been said that tor those who 'feel', life is a tragedy and for those who 'think', it is a comedy. There is no need to live only half a life. for those who both think and feel, life is an adventure.

Each chapter begins with a description of how one or more people, mostly French women, think and feel about their lives, followed by a discussion of how human behaviour and attitudes have changed over the centuries, illustrated by examples from various countries and historical eras. I was not keen on the descriptions of the women at the beginning of every chapter. The author delved into their deepest motivations and insecurities in his interviews with the women, but then presented them in an extremely off-putting way, so that they come across as cold and self-centred. I did find them less annoying towards the end of the book, but I may just have got used to the style of the descriptions.

The scope of the book is enormous, covering large swathes of history and the world, but it is also intimate as the title says, with its concentration on topics such as love and loneliness, compassion and curiosity, power and pessimism, and the vexed question of whether men and women can ever really communicate. Some kinds of behaviour have changed gradually over the centuries, but other ideas and attitudes seem to be cyclical. Cultures tend to alternate between optimism and pessimism, and there will often be a growing dissatisfaction with the status quo that results in permissive decades (or even centuries) being followed by more restrictive decades, before swinging back again.

Three centuries of lonely ridicule followed, and astrologers almost vanished. It looked as though old ideas could be consigned once and for all to the dustbin. but no, they do not vanish, and when there is a crisis, and when people lose hope, or when they feel that the world is changing too fast and not giving them what they want, when they do not know where to turn, they discover that the old ways were only packed away in their bottom drawer. they fetch them out, and try them on again.

This wide-ranging and intriguing book is definitely a keeper, but next time I read it I may skip over the descriptions of the women. ( )
  isabelx | Apr 12, 2012 |
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This extraordinarily wide-ranging study looks at the dilemmas of life today and shows how they need not have arisen. Portraits of living people and historical figures are placed alongside each other as Zeldin discusses how men and women have lost and regained hope; how they have learnt to have interesting conversations; how some have acquired an immunity to loneliness; how new forms of love and desire have been invented; how respect has become more valued than power; how the art of escaping from one's troubles has developed; why even the privileged are often gloomy; and why parents and children are changing their minds about what they want from each other.

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