Adrift: A Secret Life of London's Waterways by Helen Babbs

By Helen Babbs

From deep wintry weather to overdue autumn, from east to west, Adrift takes the reader on a travel of the folk, politics, background and natural world of London’s canals and rivers. mixing nature writing, social commentary and memoir, Helen Babbs invitations you on an eye-opening trip right into a assorted aspect of the town. From Walthamstow Marsh within the east to Uxbridge within the west, Helen Babbs trips alongside London’s waterways on a canal boat referred to as Pike, placing down roots for 2 weeks at a time ahead of relocating on. Taking within the River Lea and the Lee Navigation, the Regent’s Canal and the Grand Union, she explores the London panorama in all its guises: marshland, wilderness, urban centre and suburb. Adrift charts a yr of Helen’s lifestyles on Pike, exploring the adjustments wreaked via the seasons in addition to by way of builders, and recounting the sensible trials of dwelling aboard. it's a tale of mapping and discovery, of break out and opting out, but in addition of constructing connections and discovering domestic. simply because the coots and cormorants avoid the detritus of a giant urban, so too does Helen wend in the course of the attractiveness and the airborne dirt and dust to bare an intimate and strange portrait of London and of lifestyles.

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The workmanship of the text, despite its fragmentary state, gives indications that need to be integrated in the interpretation. The writing aims at intellectual—if not spiritual—exercise, and its difficulty has a purpose: meditation, as opposed to revelation. Parmenides guides contemplation with a system that leads thought beyond it. He does not propose a doctrine that offers peace to the soul with dreams of the hereafter. The aim is to seek out understanding. We must bear in mind the collective exercises, supported by books or contemplative, organized by the Pythagorean communities before Parmenides’ times.

50 As for the roundness of earth and universe, Parmenides is following a tradition belonging to the previous philosophical thought, from Ionians to Pythagoreans. 57 Parmenides’ originality, and here he was also following the scientific spirit of Ionians,58 was in trying a climatic and anthropologic partitioning of the earth. What proves to be harder is to exactly define the διάκοσμος, Parmenides’ cosmic system. Going by fragments 10–12 and some Strab. I 94 = 28A44a says Posidonius (who, through Eudoxus, uses Theophrastus) stated that the first adoption of the division of the earth in five zones (ζώνας) was by Parmenides.

The construction of the world prepares him for this perception, from where he can reconstruct the unity of the separate entities. The road of non-Being is presented in fragment 6: it is one of the choices to avoid, regarding Being. This road is clearly distinguished from another wrong way that is to be avoided at all cost. The two roads have a different status. The second one is descriptive. It belongs to mortals without knowledge, like Parmenides’ philosophical predecessors. Short-sighted, they confuse Being and non-Being.

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