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Item Number:  29899727





Price: US$ 21.37

Seller Information

Seller Name: WeSellBooks
Member since 4/2010
Contact Seller
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States

Listing Date: 10/24/2012



Item Description


Title: AN INFINITY OF LITTLE HOURS Publisher: PublicAffairs
Author: Maguire, Nancy Klein Klein Publication Date: 2006
Binding/Format: Hardcover Edition:
Condition: New Condition, New Book Jacket ISBN: 1586483277
Inventory #: 48327    


"This is the story of the five-year journey taken by five young men inside the largest center of the most rigorous and ascetic monastic order in the Western world: the Carthusians. When the five young men arrive at the imposing gates of Parkminster in 1960, they enter a world virtually unchanged since its founding in the eleventh century." "As well as being a uniquely intimate portrait of the customs and practices of a monastic order almost entirely unknown until now, An Infinity of Little Hours is a drama of the struggle faced by the young men. After five years, each faces a choice: if he stays to make "solemn profession," he will never leave. But if he leaves he must turn his back on a journey to find God - his life's ambition. Like a team of mountaineers, each searching for a spiritual summit, the novice monks' lives are followed as they climb out of their own age and into a spiritual world of their own making." An investigative work, the book combines unique source material - including personal interviews with the monks themselves, and their handwritten notes, journals, and other correspondence - to describe first-hand the Carthusian life. In the final chapter, describing a reunion forty years later, Nancy Klein Maguire reveals which of the five made it to the top of the mountain, and how the others incorporated their monastic experiences as they rejoined the world outside. San Diego Union-Tribune "Nancy Klein Maguire immerses us into the mysterious world of this ascetic order with admirable detail and clarity." Seattle Times "Maguire's years' of labor bore fine fruit." American Scholar "[An] outstanding work of cultural anthropology and oral history. it probes, it teaches, it unsettles, it amazes." "The level of detail is astonishing. Reading "An Infinity of Little Hours" is almost like praying." Publishers Weekly Carthusians are contemplative monastics who live in community but spend most of their days alone in their private dwellings. With a lifestyle similar to that of their 11th-century French founder, they wear hair shirts, practice self-flagellation and eat just one meal a day from mid-September to Easter (though some monasteries reluctantly have begun allowing such luxuries as electricity, hot water and flush toilets). Maguire, a Renaissance scholar married to an ex-Carthusian, examines this living museum of a bygone age by following the lives of five young men who entered St. Hugh's Charterhouse in England between July 1960 and March 1961. As they work, pray and live in solitude, they discover not only God but also themselves. They do not, however, learn much about the rapid changes taking place beyond their walls, and the men who leave the monastery in 1965 find themselves in a strange new world. Through painstaking research including countless phone conversations, 5,000 pages of e-mails and a reunion of the five men in France, Maguire creates a personal, sympathetic and amazingly detailed description of an ancient order and its contemporary adherents, traveling "toward inner space within the confines of their solitary cells." Gripping tale of five young men who entered Catholicism's most rigorous contemplative monastic order. Founded in 1084, the Carthusian order remained virtually unchanged through the Second Vatican Council in the mid-1960s, declares Maguire, scholar-in-residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library. (It is now slightly more democratic, though post-Vatican II members do not generally consider the changes substantial.) Emphasizing prayer, members of the order led very individual lives, speaking rarely, living austerely and having virtually no contact with the world outside the monastery's walls. Drawing upon copious letters, e-mails, conversations with former and current members of the order and several nearly unprecedented visits to the English Carthusian monastery of Parkminster, Maguire recreates the personal stories of five men who entered Parkminster in 1960 and 1961.





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