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Zest

Essays on the Art of Living

Iain Bamforth

Categories: 21st Century, Art, British, Scottish
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (260 pages)
(Due Jul 2022)
9781800172050
£19.99 £17.99
  • Description
  • Author
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  • Originally subtitled ‘On the Art of Living in the Merciless Order of Modernity’, the writing in Zest adds up to a pattern book for intellectual and emotional survival in this fractious age. The book opens with Hieronymus Bosch in the Garden of Eden, where we share with him the first fruit. It takes us by way of writers, artists, philosophers, travellers, photographers, flavours and musicians into the world of Zest – how we can find it and what its discovery does to us. Bamforth’s sensuous, richly nuanced essays affect us as stories do, each one creating a world in which its arguments live and breathe, laugh and explore. He has written extensively about medicine. He is, more than just a widely-travelled European, a world traveller: his work as a hospital doctor and general practitioner has taken him to every corner of the planet, working as a public health consultant in various developing countries, especially in Asia. ‘Zest’ itself occurs in the South of France, with Tobias Smollett, as picaresque a writer and character as Dr Bamforth himself. He is provoking, digressive and sometimes droll. His diverse interests, from Bible studies to communication theory, from photography to the impact of globalisation, and his shifts from botanising in the Garden of Eden to “botanising on the asphalt” (Walter Benjamin) always keep in sight the philosophical issue that provides Zest’s subtitle—'the art of living’.
    Iain Bamforth grew up in Glasgow and graduated from its medical school. He has pursued a peripatetic career as a hospital doctor, general practitioner, translator, lecturer in comparative literature, and latterly public health consultant in several developing countries, principally in Asia. His four books of poetry were joined by a fifth, ... read more
    Praise for Iain Bamforth 'This collection is a joy to read, full of so much nuance, and persuasive language, a permanent wistfulness that never strays into the twee and the constant sense of travel, of movement and growth.'
    Matt Macdonald, Scottish Review of Books
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