From the list on to shatter the myth of modernity.
Who am I?
I am an award-winning historian and philosopher of the human sciences. But I got here by means of an unusually varied path: working for a private investigator, practicing in a Buddhist monastery, being shot at, hiking a volcano off the coast of Africa, being jumped by a gang in Amsterdam, snowboarding in the Pyrenees, piloting a boat down the canals of Bourgogne, playing bass guitar in a punk band, and once I almost died from scarlet fever. Throughout my journey, I have lived and studied in five countries, acquired ten languages, and attended renowned universities (Oxford, Harvard, and Stanford), all while seeking ways to make the world a better place.
Jason's book list on to shatter the myth of modernity
Why did Jason love this book?
I couldn't resist recommending one of my favorite novels.
The period following the French Revolution has often been described in terms of the birth of the modern nation-state and the globalization of the domination of nature, but Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, despite being a work of fiction, does a better job than many works of history in undermining these myths and portraying popular attitudes toward fairies and magic in the early 19th century.
When many people think of fairies, they imagine Tinker Bell and little winged creatures, but cutesy fairies were a Victorian invention, and Clarke preserves the ambiguities of early fairy lore. Magic, too, was understood by many of its practitioners as a practical craft, similar to how Clarke depicts it.
All that is to say, this novel explores fascinating themes and is also a cracking good read.