We are living at a time of great change in people’s patterns of work, gender and consumption, and this has deeply affected the structure of our intimate lives. Jonathan Rutherford has brought together a new collection of essays, poems and interviews which discuss the implications of some of these changes - in relation to love, death, friendship, home, identity, work and sacred life.
People today are less likely to derive their morality from traditional sources of authority, whether religious or secular. This, together with our increasing personal isolation, has led people to place much greater emphasis on individuality and self-reliance, and to look for rules of conduct that are personally rather than collectively based - to begin to define their own approach to the art of life.
The Art of Life addresses the question of how to live ethically in the face of the collapsing of wider frameworks of reference. It also attempts the task of beginning to fill the gaps in our ethical vocabulary, to enable us to reaffirm the interdependence of human beings, and to reinvent a language of relationships between people.
Contributors: Zygmunt Bauman ,Ulrich Beck, Madeleine Bunting, Suzanne Franks, Brian Heaphy, Michael Kenny, Roshi Naidoo, Ray Pahl, Adam Phillips, Nick Stevenson, Rachel Thomson, Wendy Wheeler.
Poems from: Frances Angela, Bo Carpelan, Nina Cassian, Jaan Kaplinski, Jackie Kay, Mimi Khalvati, Stephen Knight, Brian Patten, Jacek Podsiadlo, Anna Robinson.
Jonathan Rutherford is Lecturer in Cultural Studies at Middlessex University and author of a number of books including Forever England: Reflections on Masculinity and Empire and I Am No Longer Myself Without You. He is editor of Identity: Community, Culture, Difference and Young Britain.