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Download Evolution of Inanimate Objects: The Life Collected Works of Thomas Darwin (1857-1879) ePub

by Harry Karlinsky

Download Evolution of Inanimate Objects: The Life  Collected Works of Thomas Darwin (1857-1879) ePub
  • ISBN 000745435X
  • ISBN13 978-0007454358
  • Language English
  • Author Harry Karlinsky
  • Publisher Friday Project (February 1, 2012)
  • Pages 232
  • Formats doc mobi mbr docx
  • Category Fiction
  • Subcategory Genre Fiction
  • Size ePub 1562 kb
  • Size Fb2 1436 kb
  • Rating: 4.9
  • Votes: 693

LONGLISTED FOR THE WELLCOME TRUST BOOK PRIZE 2012 While carrying out historical research at an Ontario asylum, psychiatrist Harry Karlinsky comes across a familiar surname in the register. Could the "Thomas Darwin of Down, England" be a relative of the famous Charles Darwin? In a narrative woven from letters, photographs, historical documents and illustrations, what emerges is a sketch of Thomas's life - the last of eleven children born to Charles Darwin. It tells of his obsession with extending his father's studies into the realm of inanimate objects - kitchen utensils, to be precise. Can the theory of evolution be aplied to knives, forks and spoons? In this stunning factitious biography, Karlinsky presents us with the tragically short life of Thomas Darwin, leaving the reader to decide how much is fact and how much is fiction.

In this stunning factitious biography, Karlinsky presents us with the tragically short life of Thomas Darwin, leaving the reader to decide how much is fact and how much is fiction.

A novel by Harry Karlinsky

A novel by Harry Karlinsky.

In this stunning factitious biography, Karlinsky presents us with the tragically short life of Thomas Darwin, leaving . According to Darwin family lore, an otherwise healthy Thomas tragically and abruptly died of tuberculosis while travelling in Canada following his second year at Cambridge.

In this stunning factitious biography, Karlinsky presents us with the tragically short life of Thomas Darwin, leaving the reader to decide how much is fact and how much is fiction. Read on the Scribd mobile app. Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere.

Start by marking The Evolution of Inanimate Objects: The Life .

Start by marking The Evolution of Inanimate Objects: The Life and Collected Works of Thomas Darwin (1857-1879) as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read. Thomas is fictional, and therefore his obsession with evolution, most especially with the evolution of inanimate objects (forks. and his madness, are also in the mind of this book's author. Written I've shelved this book under Historical Novels, though it is far from any kind of norm one would expect with that listed as its genre.

It tells of his obsession with extending his father’s studies into the realm of inanimate objects – kitchen utensils, to be precise. Books related to The Evolution of Inanimate Objects: The Life and Collected Works of Thomas Darwin (1857-1879).

Could the Thomas Darwin of Down, England be a relative of the famous Charles Darwin? .

Could the Thomas Darwin of Down, England be a relative of the famous Charles Darwin? In a narrative woven from letters, photographs, historical documents and illustrations, what emerges is a sketch of Thomas’s life - the last of eleven children born to Charles Darwin. It tells of his obsession with extending his father’s studies into the realm of inanimate objects – kitchen utensils, to be precise. Can the theory of evolution be aplied to knives, forks and spoons? In this stunning factitious biography, Karlinsky presents us with the tragically short life of Thomas Darwin, leaving the reader.

A number of recent neo-Victorian novels have indeed re-imagined the life and work of the nineteenth-century scientist, creatively re-staging both Darwin’s discovery of evolution and its aftermath. 1 These fictional returns to the scientific ideas of the Victorian age may seem to long for the excitement of a time when important discoveries were being made, and when new. scientific disciplines were being created. Karlinsky H. (2010) The Evolution of Inanimate Objects: The Life and Collected Works of Thomas Darwin (1857–1879) (London, Ontario: Insomniac Press).

In Harry Karlinsky's The Evolution of Inanimate Objects: The Life .

In Harry Karlinsky's The Evolution of Inanimate Objects: The Life and Collected Works of Thomas Darwin (1857-1879) we learn that Darwin's eleventh and youngest child extended and applied his father's work to the domain of man-made artifacts, such as eating utensils. One of the interesting aspects of this book is how young Thomas comes to extend the application of his father's ideas related to natural selection of animate objects-the birds and the bees, et. to inanimate objects, such as knives and forks. We are reminded how successfully elements of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution can be, and have been, applied across a variety of domains.

Harry Karlinsky’s extraordinary book slyly and playfully blurs the . Thomas applies his father's principles of evolution to inanimate objects, focusing especially on silverware.

Harry Karlinsky’s extraordinary book slyly and playfully blurs the boundaries between fact and fiction, asking where one begins and the other ends. THE EVOLUTION OF INANIMATE OBJECTS is the work of a genuinely original imagination, a complete pleasure and like no other book you have ever read. Thomas' life is intertwined with that of Charles Darwin and it becomes difficult to separate fact from fiction, something that is both charming and infuriating, depending on your outlook. It is certainly a unique way to write historical fiction.

The Life and Collected Works of Thomas Darwin (1857-1879). 232 pages, The Friday Project. The title of this book intrigued me. Nothing appeared odd about it at all: inanimate objects do change over time, don’t they? Take, for instance, aircraft. Karlinsky’s curiosity is piqued, and he sets out to learn if the person admitted to the hospital on July 2, 1879 was any relation to the famed naturalist, Charles Darwin.

Talk about Evolution of Inanimate Objects: The Life Collected Works of Thomas Darwin (1857-1879)


Duzshura
Note: I received a free copy for review purposes.

The title of this book intrigued me. Nothing appeared odd about it at all: inanimate objects do change over time, don't they? Take, for instance, aircraft. As an example, one might start with the hot air balloon and end with the Curiosity spacecraft. The two couldn't be more different, yet they both, at their basic function, perform the same task. And don't antiques develop a patina, a character of their own, by absorbing--or shedding off--atoms over time? That might be stretching the term "evolution" a little, but not as much as Thomas Darwin, the subject of this book, stretches this idea.

The story begins when Harry Karlinsky, the author, starts a research project at Ontario's London Asylum and happens to come across the surname Darwin. Karlinsky's curiosity is piqued, and he sets out to learn if the person admitted to the hospital on July 2, 1879 was any relation to the famed naturalist, Charles Darwin. He soon discovers the person noted in the ledgers is, indeed, the last child of Charles and Emma Darwin. Through the personal correspondence between the Darwin family, recorded history, and the asylum records, Karlinsky pulls together the story of Thomas. The reader understands this is a work of fiction from the proclamation printed on the front cover stating it is a novel.

But where does fact end and fiction begin? It is sometimes hard to tell. Replete with charts, sketches, and footnotes, the novel sets the reader on a venture to find out. For someone who loves puzzles, and scavenger hunts, this is an added bonus. I even started to wonder if Mr. Karlinsky was part of the ruse. But, after hard investigation, my conclusion is that he does exist. I could be wrong, and, if I am, then someone went to a lot of trouble to make him appear to be a real person.

Other questions nagged at me; questions I find hard to articulate: Is Karlinsky poking fun at Darwin's theories, or did he write this story simply for the entertainment factor? Is Karlinsky, a psychiatrist, telling us not to take ourselves too seriously? Is he telling us genius can often be misconstrued as insanity, or vice versa? I find myself wondering why Karlinsky chose to write about this subject. And I'm left with a nagging feeling I should be taking away something more from this novel than I can comprehend at the moment.

For this reason, I'm not sure if the novel was to be taken seriously, or humorously, or perhaps both. I found it both. The most humorous is Thomas's conviction that if he places two pieces of cutlery on top of one another at night, in the morning they will have joined together to become an entirely unique piece. The saddest aspect of the story is a small miscommunication, a line or two in a letter from a mentor, causes the fictitious Thomas to travel to Canada without first confronting his father over the misunderstanding, which leads the young man to be isolated from his family in a time of need.

I had an affinity with Thomas. I could see myself coming up with some wild idea similar to his and obsessing over it; but, for someone with an underlying propensity, obsession over a quirky idea can easily lead to mental illness, as it does in the case of Thomas. Another reason for Thomas's apparent mental instability is hinted at when he is introduced by his older brother to the idea that offspring produced by the pairing of close relatives often have defects. Since Charles and Emma are first cousins, this could be a possibility.

The author does a great job of making you believe the "facts." The documentation and personal correspondence seem very real. But, while I could intuit the human story behind the clinical observations, as a reader, I yearned for the experience of understanding Thomas from a different approach. I would love to read this story as a true novel--a "fictional" historical fiction, if you will.

What bogged me down most was the author's propensity to use a lot of parenthetical elements in his writing, exactly what one would expect in a clinical paper. This, combined with the ever-intrusive footnotes, created a sort of back-and-forth that brought me out of the story at times. Still, I thought this was an interesting premise cleverly delivered. I could have used less of the clinical and more of the human story, but I appreciate the authenticity the clinical approach lent to the telling.

The Evolution of Inanimate Objects is definitely a different, quirky, and interesting novel--the kind The Friday Project is known to deliver.
Gelgen
It doesn't sound like a novel--The Evolution of Inanimate Objects--but there it is on the cover--"a novel by Harry Karlinsky".

Yes, the main character is fictional. The deceit is acknowledged in the "Author's Notes" following this curiously inventive work of pseudo historical fiction. Thomas Darwin, the 11th child of the famed Charles Darwin, did not exist. Did not come to Canada as a young man, did not get arrested and was not committed to an insane asylum. Of course he didn't--it's a novel. But one that goes to great lengths to bamboozle us into believing in young Darwin's actual historical existence.

Inanimate Objects is a literary experiment--a bold and skillfully crafted experiment--but not a story in the conventional sense. Its scant 142 pages of actual text are written not as a tale but as a case study: "Thomas first yawned on the third day of his life. On day thirteen, he sneezed." These observations ostensibly derive from Charles Darwin's own journals as he charted the development of his latest offspring as if it were a rare new species. The narrator remains professionally aloof, never affecting our interpretation of events, leaving us to process the facts like a jury--or the editor of some academic journal.

The book's Preface establishes the work as a research project on a lunatic asylum in London, Ontario, and the subsequent discovery, in the records of 1879, of a `famous' patient. Celebrity insanity is a great hook. We are further teased with this mysterious fellow's wonderful obsession--self propagating objects. Kitchen implements, mainly. He apparently lays out the knives and forks at night in hopes of catching them in flagrante dilecto. It's a bizarre as it gets.

Which is why I kept reading page after page of institutional record and official correspondence, and becoming more and more eager to find myself inside this madman's brain. But of course scientists don't manipulate the evidence, do they? A lab report doesn't take flight, it states the facts. Does Harry Karlinsky, who is a psychiatrist in real life, believe that readers will thrill to the narrative stylings of a case study? (Do doctors themselves even enjoy medical journals?) I'm afraid that readers of literature suffer data not well at all. Numbers, dates, facts--at best they are rhetorical decoration. And at worst--copulating cutlery notwithstanding--they add up to a failure of enchantment.

Scientists, by definition, are not practiced in seduction. Their PhD requires them to suspend belief (not disbelief) in order to avoid being beguiled. Readers will nevertheless pick up Karlinsky's book in anticipation of joining in the writer-reader conspiracy. The very act of opening a book announces our willingness to suspend our disbelief and be charmed. The reader's attention is really the author's to lose. Karlinsk loses me by failing to wield any narrative magic. It's his game plan from the get-go, a deceit built entirely of events processed by the left side of the brain, the same hemisphere that brought us the scientific method and which continues to bring us things like recipes and statistics.

Inanimate Objects promises us a compelling mystery, but subjecting the main character to the clinical approach prevents us from engaging with the heart of the story. The research data never gets woven into the kind of complexity that our right-brains love to scan in search of pattern and meaning. We are denied what Flannery O'Conner calls "the experience of meaning"--the surprise that comes when things make sense.

The only surprise--and it has the effect of a practical joke--comes when we learn that Thomas Darwin did not exist.

Once we're disillusioned on this point--that no such person lived or died--what are we left with? Good fiction, counterfeit though it obviously is, leaves us to wonder `what if', and to digest some larger truth. Karlinsky leaves us with little more than a sincere wish that he would apply his vivid imagination to more conventional storytelling architecture.