Search results for: the-cabaret-of-plants

Literary Influences

Author : Richard Mabey
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In The Cabaret of Plants, Mabey explores the plant species which have challenged our imaginations, awoken our wonder, and upturned our ideas about history, science, beauty and belief. Picked from every walk of life, they encompass crops, weeds, medicines, religious gathering-places and a water lily named after a queen. Beginning with pagan cults and creation myths, the cultural significance of plants has burst upwards, sprouting into forms as diverse as the panacea (the cure-all plant ginseng, a single root of which can cost up to $10,000), Newton's apple, the African 'vegetable elephant' or boabab - and the mystical, night-flowering Amazonian cactus, the moonflower.Ranging widely across science, art and cultural history, poetry and personal experience, Mabey puts plants centre stage, and reveals a true botanical cabaret, a world of tricksters, shape-shifters and inspired problem-solvers, as well as an enthralled audience of romantics, eccentric amateur scientists and transgressive artists. The Cabaret of Plants celebrates the idea that plants are not simply 'the furniture of the planet', but vital, inventive, individual beings worthy of respect - and that to understand this may be the best way of preserving life together on Earth.

The Cabaret of Plants

Author : Richard Mabey
File Size : 36.58 MB
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In The Cabaret of Plants, Mabey explores the plant species which have challenged our imaginations, awoken our wonder, and upturned our ideas about history, science, beauty and belief. Picked from every walk of life, they encompass crops, weeds, medicines, religious gathering-places and a water lily named after a queen. Beginning with pagan cults and creation myths, the cultural significance of plants has burst upwards, sprouting into forms as diverse as the panacea (the cure-all plant ginseng, a single root of which can cost up to $10,000), Newton's apple, the African 'vegetable elephant' or boabab - and the mystical, night-flowering Amazonian cactus, the moonflower. Ranging widely across science, art and cultural history, poetry and personal experience, Mabey puts plants centre stage, and reveals a true botanical cabaret, a world of tricksters, shape-shifters and inspired problem-solvers, as well as an enthralled audience of romantics, eccentric amateur scientists and transgressive artists. The Cabaret of Plants celebrates the idea that plants are not simply 'the furniture of the planet', but vital, inventive, individual beings worthy of respect - and that to understand this may be the best way of preserving life together on Earth.

The Cabaret of Plants Forty Thousand Years of Plant Life and the Human Imagination

Author : Richard Mabey
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"Highly entertaining…Mabey gets us to look at life from the plants’ point of view." —Constance Casey, New York Times The Cabaret of Plants is a masterful, globe-trotting exploration of the relationship between humans and the kingdom of plants by the renowned naturalist Richard Mabey. A rich, sweeping, and wonderfully readable work of botanical history, The Cabaret of Plants explores dozens of plant species that for millennia have challenged our imaginations, awoken our wonder, and upturned our ideas about history, science, beauty, and belief. Going back to the beginnings of human history, Mabey shows how flowers, trees, and plants have been central to human experience not just as sources of food and medicine but as objects of worship, actors in creation myths, and symbols of war and peace, life and death. Writing in a celebrated style that the Economist calls “delightful and casually learned,” Mabey takes readers from the Himalayas to Madagascar to the Amazon to our own backyards. He ranges through the work of writers, artists, and scientists such as da Vinci, Keats, Darwin, and van Gogh and across nearly 40,000 years of human history: Ice Age images of plant life in ancient cave art and the earliest representations of the Garden of Eden; Newton’s apple and gravity, Priestley’s sprig of mint and photosynthesis, and Wordsworth’s daffodils; the history of cultivated plants such as maize, ginseng, and cotton; and the ways the sturdy oak became the symbol of British nationhood and the giant sequoia came to epitomize the spirit of America. Complemented by dozens of full-color illustrations, The Cabaret of Plants is the magnum opus of a great naturalist and an extraordinary exploration of the deeply interwined history of humans and the natural world.

Plant Ethics

Author : Angela Kallhoff
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Large parts of our world are filled with plants, and human life depends on, interacts with, affects and is affected by plant life in various ways. Yet plants have not received nearly as much attention from philosophers and ethicists as they deserve. In environmental philosophy, plants are often swiftly subsumed under the categories of "all living things" and rarely considered thematically. There is a need for developing a more sophisticated theoretical understanding of plants and their practical role in human experience. Plant Ethics: Concepts and Applications aims at opening a philosophical discussion that may begin to fill that gap. The book investigates issues in plants ontology, ethics and the role of plants and their cultivation in various fields of application. It explores and develops important concepts to shape and frame plants-related philosophical questions accurately, including new ideas of how to address moral questions when confronted with plants in concrete scenarios. This edited volume brings together for the first time, and in an interdisciplinary spirit, contemporary approaches to plant ethics by international scholars of established reputation. It will be of great interest to students and scholars of Philosophy and Ethics.

Carnivorous Plants

Author : Dan Torre
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Carnivorous plants are a unique botanical group, possessing modified leaves to trap, kill, and consume small creatures. As a result they are often depicted as killers in films and literature—from Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors to the world-dominating plants of The Day of the Triffids—yet many people regard carnivorous plants as exotic and beautiful specimens to collect and display. In this abundantly illustrated and highly entertaining book, Dan Torre describes the evolution, structure, and scientific background of carnivorous plants. Examining their cultural and social history, he also shows how they have inspired our imagination and been represented in art, literature, cinema, animation, and popular culture. From the Venus flytrap—a species endemic to the Carolinas—to pitcher plants, this fascinating history of these singular, arresting, beautiful, yet deadly plants is certain to be devoured.

House Plants

Author : Mike Maunder
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Exploring the economics, science, and cultural significance of houseplants, a many-tendrilled history of our domestic, pot-bound companions. Our penchant for keeping houseplants is an ancient practice dating back to the Pharaohs. House Plants explores the stories behind the plants we bring home and how they were transformed from wild plants into members of our households. A billion-dollar global industry, house plants provide interaction with nature and contribute to our health, happiness, and well-being. They also support their own miniature ecosystems and are part of the home biome. Featuring many superb illustrations, House Plants explores both their botanical history and cultural impact, from song (Gracie Fields’s “Biggest Aspidistra in the World”), literature (Orwell’s Keep the Aspidistra Flying), and cinema (Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors) to fashion, technology, contemporary design, and painting.

Animals Plants and Afterimages

Author : Valérie Bienvenue
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The sixth mass extinction or Anthropocene extinction is one of the most pervasive issues of our time. Animals, Plants and Afterimages brings together leading scholars in the humanities and life sciences to explore how extinct species are represented in art and visual culture, with a special emphasis on museums. Engaging with celebrated cases of vanished species such as the quagga and the thylacine as well as less well-known examples of animals and plants, these essays explore how representations of recent and ancient extinctions help advance scientific understanding and speak to contemporary ecological and environmental concerns.

Sensory Biology of Plants

Author : Sudhir Sopory
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Plants provide a source of survival for all life on this planet. They are able to capture solar energy and convert it into food, feed, wood and medicines. Though sessile in nature, over many millions of years, plants have diversified and evolved from lower to higher life forms, spreading from sea level to mountains, and adapting to different ecozones. They have learnt to cope with challenging environmental conditions and various abiotic and biotic factors. Plants have also developed systems for monitoring the changing environment and efficiently utilizing resources for growth, flowering and reproduction, as well as mechanisms to counter the impact of pests and diseases and to communicate with other biological systems, like microbes and insects. This book discusses the “awareness” of plants and their ability to gather information through the perception of environmental cues, such as light, gravity, water, nutrients, touch and sound, and stresses. It also explores plants’ biochemical and molecular “computing” of the information to adjust their physiology and development to the advantage of the species. Further, it examines how plants communicate between their different organs and with other organisms, as well as the concepts of plant cognition, experience and memory, from both scientific and philosophical perspectives. Lastly, it addresses the phenomenon of death in plants. The epilogue presents an artist’s view of the beauty of the natural world, especially plant “architecture”. The book provides historical perspectives, comparisons with animal systems where needed, and general biochemical and molecular concepts and themes. Each chapter is selfcontained, but also includes cross talk with other chapters to offer an integrated view of plant life and allow readers to appreciate and admire the functioning of plant life from within and without. The book is a tribute by the Editor to his students, colleagues and co-workers and to those in whose labs he has worked.

Why Look at Plants

Author : Giovanni Aloi
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Why Look at Plants? proposes a thought-provoking look into the emerging cultural politics of plant-presence in contemporary art through the original contributions of artists, scholars, and curators who have creatively engaged with the ultimate otherness of plants in their work.

The Plant Contract

Author : Prudence Gibson
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The Plant Contract presents contemporary art that changes human perception of the vegetal world, after centuries of plant disassociation, and returns us to the genius and solace of “nature and thought”.