1st Edition

Imagining for Real Essays on Creation, Attention and Correspondence

By Tim Ingold Copyright 2022
    438 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    438 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    What does imagination do for our perception of the world? Why should reality be broken off from our imagining of it? It was not always thus, and in these essays, Tim Ingold sets out to heal the break between reality and imagination at the heart of modern thought and science. Imagining for Real joins with a lifeworld ever in creation, attending to its formative processes, corresponding with the lives of its human and nonhuman inhabitants. Building on his two previous essay collections, The Perception of the Environment and Being Alive , this book rounds off the extraordinary intellectual project of one of the world’s most renowned anthropologists.

    Offering hope in troubled times, these essays speak to coming generations in a language that surpasses disciplinary divisions. They will be essential reading not only for anthropologists but also for students in fi elds ranging from art, aesthetics, architecture and archaeology to philosophy, psychology, human geography, comparative literature and theology.

    Part I: Creating the world

    Introduction to Part 1

    1. Creation beyond creativity

    2. Landscapes of perception, landscapes of imagination

    3. Life in a whirl

    4. Evolution in the minor key, or, the soul of wisdom

    5. Dreaming of dragons

    Part II: Light, sound and experience

    Introduction to Part 2

    6. What in the world is light?

    7. Between noise and silence: on the meaning of sound

    8. The cello and the lasso, or, five propositions on beauty

    9. Episode zero: the reduction and revival of aesthetic experience

    Part III: Surface tensions

    Introduction to Part 3

    10. The conical lodge at the centre of the earth-sky world

    11. What if the city were an ocean, and its buildings ships?

    12. Palimpsest: ground and page

    13. On opening the book of surfaces

    14. Strike-through and wipe-out: tactics for editing the past

    Part IV: Material thinking

    Introduction to Part 4

    15. Of work and words: craft as a way of telling

    16. Thinking through the cello

    17. In the gathering shadows of material things

    18. The world in a basket

    Part V: Life as a whole

    Introduction to Part 5

    19. Animals are us: on living with other beings

    20. Posthuman prehistory

    21. The sustainability of everything

    22. Confessions of a semiophobe

    23. One world anthropology


    Tim Ingold is Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen, UK. He is the author of many books, including Lines, Making, The Life of Lines, Anthropology and/as Education and Correspondences.

    'Imagining for Real demonstrates beyond doubt why Tim Ingold is one of the most original thinkers of our time.’

    Arturo Escobar, University of Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA.

    ‘With the publication of Imagining for Real, Tim Ingold completes the landmark trilogy that secures his standing among a very select group of writers that have the power to transform our thinking about life’s most basic questions. To read these lucid, insightful, and compelling essays is to discover oneself stitched into a dynamic world overflowing with possibilities. It is to know and feel oneself more fully alive. I can’t recommend this work highly enough.’

    Norman Wirzba, Duke Divinity School, USA.

    ‘An inspiring, profound, theoretically scintillating, yet refreshingly down-to-earth account of human imagination,  Imagining for Real is the book we need to navigate reality in the 21st century.’

    Jill Bennett, University of New South Wales, Australia.

    ‘Tim Ingold offers a compelling and original treatise on humans and their relations with the world. Addressing a variety of classic and emerging issues in plain language, this book is a tour de force, acutely relevant for our times.’

    Gísli Pálsson, University of Iceland.

    ‘Ingold’s distinctive sense of direction and wayfinding allows him to travel into unmapped territories. Imagining for Real takes us on such a journey along previously unknown paths that connect imagination and reality. Along the way we get to know ‘creation from the inside’ and to ‘imagine for real’ using anthropology’s transformational capacity. Never before has a book made this journey possible.’

    Lambros Malafouris, University of Oxford, UK.

    ‘Imagining for Real is genuine Ingold, featuring the author’s unique ability for concrete-abstract thinking.’

    Ton Otto, Aarhus University, Denmark.