Books

The Hidden Pleasures of Life: A New Way of Remembering the Past and Imagining the Future

The Hidden Pleasures of Life: A New Way of Remembering the Past and Imagining the Future Theodore Zeldin
Pub date 21st May 2015
Original publisher MacLehose Press (UK)
International publishers Grand China Publishing House (China), Varrak (Estonia), Fayard (France), Hoffmann & Campe (Germany), Sellerio (Italy), Across Publishing (Korea), Sofoklis (Lithuania), Ayrinti (Turkey)

The Hidden Pleasures of Life is a stimulating collection of twenty-seven essays by the acclaimed author of Conversations and An Intimate History of Humanity.  A compelling exploration of how two minds can, despite their inextinguishable differences, create powerful and lasting ideas and legacies.

Examining ‘the pleasures, pains and challenges of existence’, the collection is inspired by what couples have not yet achieved, but could.  Couples are not just people who fall in and out of love; there are also ‘couples of the mind’, formed independently of physical union, time or place. Sometimes short-term ‘couples’ exert the most influence, whilst ideas often reveal themselves as the most powerful bonds of all.

Debating broad questions such as ‘What does it mean to be alive?’ and the more esoteric ‘What else can one do in a hotel?’ Theodore Zeldin shares fascinating anecdotes and insights with the reader.  Some questions are brilliantly contrasted, for example, “What can the poor tell the rich?” is followed by “What can the rich tell the poor?”

This absorbing collection is ultimately intended as an invitation to the reader to engage in a silent discussion, each question designed to spark our own conversations.

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