In the hilarious science fiction novel of Douglas Adams Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, dolphins are smart enough to leave Earth together before its destruction. His farewell message to humanity is “See you later, and thanks for the fish.”
Maybe if the dolphins had read The map of wonders, from Caspar hendersonThey would have done their best to prevent the destruction of the Earth, or at least not to abandon it. And of course they would have given thanks for much more besides the fish. Because, perhaps, dolphins, like us, we would have learned to marvel at everything near and prosaic as well as the distant and exotic.
“Nothing in the world is fabulous at all. Everything that seems magical actually has an absolutely true foundation,” wrote the Russian. Maxim Gorky. Caspar Henderson approaches this idea in a diametrically opposite way in this rare, precious and particular book, without a doubt a book to return to again and again, namely: that knowing the fundamentals of things, even the most everyday, they acquire a luster extraordinary, almost magical.
Map of Wonders: 74 (Attic of Books)
So that, The map of wonders, delightfully edited by Ático de los Libros, is not just a book. They are glasses, goggles, lenses that focus near and far, a microscope and a telescope. A different way of looking at the world around us. A great scrutinizing eye able to penetrate all the layers of the onion mixing erudition and poetry in equal parts to show us, first, that ignorance is to affirm that Frankenstein is the monster, then what culture is to know that Frankenstein is not the monster and, finally, to deduce what wisdom is to know that Frankenstein is the monster.
A wonderful book, in all the extension of the term, to understand that the world is also wonderful and strange. Thus, each chapter to penetrate a little more into reality, starting with light (one of the fundamental phenomena of the universe), continuing with the origin of life, the human heart, the brain, human life, the world in which we live and, finally, the technologies that have transformed everything.
A spectacular trip, like a 480-page roller coaster, but written with delicacy and affection, in the most alphanumeric way possible, mixing knowledge from all disciplines as if it were only one discipline, invoking the “consilience” of Edward O. Wilson.
Information, culture, wisdom so exceed the passion of the author, who also does the same with his text, which is dotted with images, quotes, circumlocutions … and even, on the side of each paragraph, we can read digressions, adenadas or more quotes that bear some relation to what we are reading to have an even more multifocal and polyhedral experience. Typical of a diamond that must be preserved as something precious. Like this book, whose mass is 1.1 kilograms but I am convinced that it exceeds that of a neutron star.
A dazzling journey through the wonders that surround us. We live in a known world, with hardly any territories to explore. But is this hunger for knowledge making us forget the ability to admire our surroundings, the essence of what it means to be human? With the curiosity and enthusiasm of a great explorer, award-winning writer Caspar Henderson travels the cosmos and the nature that surrounds and inhabits us, offering us a delightful map of the world to guide us in our quest for the wonders of the modern world. Along the way, he celebrates and explains to us the miracle of light and the origins of the universe, the many wonders of the human body, and reveals to us those to come, the technologies that will transform the human experience. On a fascinating walk through time through philosophy and natural history, art and religion, neuroscience and nanotechnology, Henderson invites us to join him in his song to life. The map of wonders is a dazzling and amazing guide to learning to see the world around us with a new look, an invitation to seek the wonderful in our daily lives.