Pip Pip

Pip Pip : A Sideways Look at Time

3.7 (363 ratings by Goodreads)
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'A wonderful piece of polemic against everything that's wrong with the way we deal with time today.' Independent WINNER OF THE BARNES AND NOBLE 'DISCOVER AWARD FOR NON-FICTION' 2003 An infectiously enthusiastic and original piece of cultural analysis on the one subject that has ousted sex and money from the top of the obsessions league. In thrillingly ebullient style and with every paragraph fizzing over with smart ideas smartly expressed, livewire polemicist Jay Griffiths takes Time in her teeth and champs and chews at it until it's a far more palatable item - something to nourish us, not just to tempt and worry us. Her fascinating exploration of the passage of time includes (among many other things): our obsession with speed, with overtaking; motorways and their link to fascism; war; Mercury and the mythology of time and speed; History and the heritage industry; the 'meanness' of Greenwich Mean Time; the fast language we now have to go with fast food; Aboriginal Dreamtime; the difference between festivals and pageants; May Day; New Year; fin de siecles; the Millennium Dome; the time-consuming nature of housework; sex as anti-authority and anti-linear time; male concepts of time set against female; plastic surgery and the denial of aging; the evolution of the global calendar and clock; clock time versus wild time. At once playful, political and passionate, she discusses Time's arrow/domain/passage/gender/ linearity/circularity/speed/sloth/etc with exceptional elan. It all makes for a hugely entertaining, exciting and even terrifying book which marks the beginning of a significant writing career.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 334 pages
  • 128 x 192 x 22mm | 240.41g
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • Flamingo
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • (integrated decorative devices throughout)
  • 0006551777
  • 9780006551775
  • 168,311

Review quote

A fascinating, highly original meditation on time... Jay Griffiths exposes the political nature of the linear, mechanical and global time of industrial culture and contrasts it with the myriad "times" embodied in nature's processes, known to indigenous cultures. Her writing style is rich and rhythmic, reflecting her main thesis. This is a book which needs to be read slowly." Fritjof Capra, author of The Tao of Physics and Web of Life. "Ambitious... playful, feminine, spontaneous and hedonistic." - The Economist "Like the seminal socialist, feminist and ecological works, Pip Pip articulates what thousands have felt but no-one has been able to put into words. Suddenly, shapeless concerns are brought into focus. Outrage takes the place of confusion, fascination displaces complacency. Cheeky, intelligent, always gripping, Pip Pip re-introduces us to a dimension we've utterly neglected. It will be the opening salvo in a new battle over the human spirit." - George Monbiot, columnist, The Guardian "A wonderfully argued and very moving book" - BBC Radio 4, Open Bookshow more

About Jay Griffiths

JAY GRIFFITHS read English at Oxford and has written extensively for (amongst others) the Guardian, the Observer, and the London Review of Books. This is her first book.show more

Review Text

Time is of the essence in our society, yet 'our' time is rarely our own. Instead, it belongs to others: family, friends, workplace and commitments. There is never enough time, we cry. But do we question what we mean by 'time' itself? This book is a direct challenge to our conceptions, as well as a startling, witty and eclectic collection of alternative ideas. It's an impressive debut for Griffiths, who has bitten off a sizeable amount to chew upon, weaving into her arguments examples from science and anthropology, literature and geography. Time as we know it in the West is manufactured, she says - no less than an example of 'cultural imperialism'. Our time is tamed by routine, clocks and calendars; we hollow out the cycles which occur in nature, and force diversities into homogeneity. Griffiths is both pithy ('HRT aims to make a Tesco of a woman') and exuberant; although her conclusions are sometimes sweeping, she provides a feast for thought. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

363 ratings
3.7 out of 5 stars
5 29% (104)
4 36% (130)
3 19% (68)
2 11% (41)
1 6% (20)
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