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Miguel Tamen's concern is to show how inanimate objects take on life through their interpretation - notably, in our own culture, as they are collected and housed in museums. It is his claim that an object becomes interpretable only in the context of a "society of friends." Thus, Tamen suggests, our inveterate tendency as human beings to interpret the phenomenal world gives objects not only a life but also a society. As his work unfolds, "friends" also takes on a legal sense, meaning advocates, introduced to advance the argument that the social life of interpreted and interpretable objects engenders a related web of social obligations. Learned and witty, with much to teach art historians, environmentalists, anthropologists, curators, and literary critics, his book utterly reorients our understanding of how we make sense of our world.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674013681
ISBN-10: 0674013689
Format: Paperback
(192mm x 106mm x 15mm)
Pages: 208
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 2-Apr-2004
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Miguel Tamen

Miguel Tamen is Professor at the University of Lisbon and regular visiting professor at the University of Chicago.

Books By Author Miguel Tamen

Revisionary History of Portuguese Literature by Miguel Tamen

A Revisionary History of Portuguese Literature

Hardback, December 1998
$169.20