The Age of Insight
The Age of Insight
By Eric R. Kandel
“In a polymathic performance, a Nobel laureate weaves together the theories and practices of neuroscience, art and psychology to show how our creative brains perceive and engage art—and are consequently moved by it . . . A transformative work that joins the hands of Art and Science and makes them acknowledge their close kinship.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“A fascinating synthesis of art, history, and science that is also accessible to the general reader. A distinctive and important title that is also a pleasure to read”—Library Journal, Starred Review
“Eric Kandel’s training as a psychiatrist and his vast knowledge of how the brain works enrich this thoroughly original exploration of the relationship between the birth of psychoanalysis, Austrian Expressionism, and Modernism in Vienna.”—Margaret Livingstone, Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School
A brilliant book by Nobel Prize winner Eric R. Kandel, The Age of Insight takes us to Vienna 1900, where leaders in science, medicine, and art began a revolution that changed forever how we think about the human mind—our conscious and unconscious thoughts and emotions—and how mind and brain relate to art.
Kandel tells the story of how these pioneers—Freud, Schnitzler, Klimt, Kokoschka, and Schiele—inspired by the Vienna School of Medicine, in turn influenced the founders of the Vienna School of Art History to ask pivotal questions such as What does the viewer bring to a work of art? How does the beholder respond to it? These questions prompted new and ongoing discoveries in psychology and brain biology, leading to revelations about how we see and perceive, how we think and feel, and how we respond to and create works of art. Kandel, one of the leading scientific thinkers of our time, places these five innovators in the context of today’s cutting-edge science and gives us a new understanding of the modernist art of Klimt, Kokoschka, and Schiele, as well as the school of thought of Freud and Schnitzler. Reinvigorating the intellectual enquiry that began in Vienna 1900, The Age of Insight is a wonderfully written, superbly researched, and beautifully illustrated book that also provides a foundation for future work in neuroscience and the humanities. It is an extraordinary book from an international leader in neuroscience and intellectual history.
Random House Publishers, 2012
6.6 x 1.6 x 9.5 inches
Austrian History, Art History, Psychology