TOWERS 2 TALL
The idea of building a tower has seduced the human imagination from its earliest times. Towers provide refuge, showcase a civilization’s strength, secure cherished people and things, and allow us to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the ground below. Towers 2 Tall, with its scintillating illustrations of a trove of history’s most celebrated towers, invites us to consider our fascination with verticality and dizzying heights.
Author Joanne H. Stroud distills the imagery of the tower, in all of its forms, into a rumination on the “double meaning” of these often practical, but also highly fantastical structures, noting, “the tower symbolizes the will to survive and to rise . . . . But the tower casts a dark shadow.” Open this extra tall book and see how towers have made, and continue to make, their mark on the world.
Lee Cullum, Journalist, Host of CEO produced by PBS, Fellow of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, says:
Towers 2 Tall may seem playful at first, but it’s not for the flighty or the flaky. This is a searching and serious investigation of the human impulse to reach higher than the world can handle. It was true of the gods of Greece, the seers of the Hebrew Bible, and the audacious dreamers of the World Trade Center. It inspired writers from Dostoevsky to Edgar Allen Poe to Barbara Tuchman, not to forget Shelley, whose Ozymandian imagination recalled and foretold it all. And it’s all here, in riveting text by Joanne Stroud and wildly original illustrations by Tashasan. Suffused with subtlety and wit, these towers sometimes have eyes that see too much and know too little, but suspect the worst. They are not mistaken, as anyone who reads this cautionary summary of unnecessary suffering will understand and, let’s hope, take firmly to heart.
“The great verticality of a tower makes our hearts rise symbolically from the great horizontal flatness of our earth.”
Peter Walker, PWP Landscape Architecture; co-designer with Michael Arad of the National September 11th Memorial
Gail Thomas, President and CEO of the Trinity Trust Foundation in Dallas, founder and CEO of Cities Alive, and Fellow of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, and author of Healing Pandora: The Restoration of Hope and Abundance, says:
Joanne Stroud has done it again in her inimitable style of saying the obvious with profound wisdom . . .Dr. Stroud cautions us in closeting ourselves above our natural habitat. Each brief chapter, accompanied by Tashasan’s clever drawings of towers from ancient times to the present that themselves tell their own tragic tale, conveys the journey of the human soul in aspiring toward a higher realm of being. This tall, deep book is laced throughout with poetic insights of philosopher Gaston Bachelard, psychologist Carl Jung, and poet W. B. Yeats. . . . And it is fun to read!
Book design by Suzanna Brown
Illustrated by Tashasan
About the author
Joanne H. Stroud, Ph.D. taught both literature and psychology at the University of Dallas before becoming a co-founder and Founding Fellow of The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. Currently on the faculty there, she teaches in the Cultural and Spiritual Psychology program. Her book, The Bonding of Will and Desire, was published by Continuum in 1994. Thirty years ago she began the undertaking of translating eight books from the works on imagination of the French Philosopher of Science, Gaston Bachelard, which culminated in 2012 with the final translation in the series, Earth and Reveries of Repose. This book, Gaston Bachelard: An Elemental Reverie on the World’s Stuff was taken from her many lectures and classes. She has also written Choose your Element: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water (a four book set), Time Doesn’t Tick Any More, and Towers 2 Tall with illustrations by Tashasan. All were inspired by Bachelard.