From the Publisher:
Literary Nonfiction. Philosophy. Translated from the German by Anthea Bell. In three beautifully wrought meditations on the import of René Descartes' legacy from a poet's perspective, Durs Grünbein presents us with a Descartes whom we haven't met before: not the notorious perpetrator of the mind-body-dualism, the arch-villain of Rationalism but the inspired and courageous dreamer, explorer, and fabulist. Reading Descartes against the grain of the widely accepted view of the philosopher as the proponent of a cut-and-dried, disembodied, and, hence, misguided view of humanity, Grunbein discloses the profoundly humane and poetic underpinnings of the legacy of this "modern man par excellence," and, by extension, of modernity as a whole. Uncovering the poetic foundations of Descartes' rationalism and, concomitantly, the poetic lining of the mantle of reason, Durs Grünbein, one of the world's greatest living poets and essayists, shows us that reason is never more alive than when it is most poetic.