Before the Beginning, During the Middle, After the End Download Cover Request Review Copy Request Exam Copy

Before the Beginning, During the Middle, After the End

Cosmology, Art, and Other Stories

by Lucian Krukowski

Imprint: Pickwick Publications

248 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.00 in

  • Paperback
  • 9781625645999
  • Published: August 2014

$30.00 / £23.00 / AU$41.00

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  • eBook
  • 9781630875152
  • Published: August 2014

$30.00

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  • Hardcover
  • 9781498227087
  • Published: August 2014

$48.00 / £36.00 / AU$65.00

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The divisions that mark my subject are three. The first is that point where the world begins--where it appears from out of the mystery of non-being. The second lies somewhere between its progeny and its future--the times between beginnings and ends where we, the beneficiaries of our being-here, come together to sing a celebration of the wonder that it happened at all, and then intone the fear of its ending. The third division is a speculation on ends--our own and the ending of the world. I use these divisions to locate a something that comes from nothing onto a historical tradition that imposes a value on the progression of that something, and so requires a judgment on all that has passed. I first discuss these through religious attempts to invest life and history with purpose--for they form the major explanatory traditions of Western culture and are a thematic source of much of its greatest art. I continue with an art-critical approach where themes of process and purpose are located in artworks through their stylistic histories and ambitions. I indicate how present art, when open to reconstitute such themes, could change the nature of today's efforts to give art polemical purposes, and so provide new reasons for its making. I conclude with some stories, unevenly biographical, partly fictional, which I offer as parables for the developed themes and their transformations. This last aim is to elucidate a view of art as providing specific symbols for a cosmology of beginning, living, and ending.
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