Turn & Jump: How Time & Place Fell Apart


Product Details

$24.95  $23.20
Down East Books
Publish Date
5.8 X 8.74 X 0.77 inches | 0.85 pounds
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About the Author

Howard Mansfield is the author of books about preservation, architecture, and history. He has contributed to the New York Times, the Washington Post, Historic Preservation, and Yankee. He and his wife, writer Sy Montgomery, live in a 130-year-old house in Hancock, New Hampshire.


Hyperactive moderns, running late and never quite catching up to their schedules, are apt to fret that there is simply not enough time in the day. Howard Mansfield would argue that there is too much time-too much consciousness of time, anyway, and too much uniformity in the way we think about it. Throw out your clocks, he advises in Turn & Jump, a series of essays on the cleavage of time and place.--BILL KAUFFMAN, Wall Street Journal
Mansfield's writing is lyrical and figurative, but clear and simple. On describing the town of Turners Falls, MA, where British colonists massacred Native Americans in 1676, and where the falls where salmon once spawned were dammed, Mansfield writes, Turners Falls is divorced from deep time, from the true history of the land. For thousands of years this place kept time by the salmon leaping the falls and the Indians fathering to fish. He tells readers he realizes why he was uncomfortable there: What I had felt on my first visit was the pain of divorce. This synthesis of history, sociology, and personal reflection makes Turn & Jump both contemplative (like wabi, which Koren tells us refers to the inward, the subjective) and informative (like sabi, which refers to the outward, the objective). Ranging from vaudeville (where the title comes from) to outlet damn on a small lake in New Hampshire to a family store in a small town, covering everything from the standardization of time to suit railroad schedules to the nonlinear view of time held by native peoples, Mansfield guides readers along routes of inquiry well researched but never dry. Mansfield is a great writer, and a great thinker. Read his book and you'll feel as if you're talking with your smartest friend.--Deb Baker's Book Blog