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Golf Ball (Object Lessons)


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Part One: Out: Thing 1. How I cut a golf ball in half, and found a lot of things inside 2. How the golf ball keeps holy the Lord's day 3. How an empire made the golf ball, and the golf ball made an empire 4. How the golf ball blew up America and made golf more fun 5. How the golf ball went ballistic 6. How the golf ball reached detente 7. How the court decided custody of the golf ball 8. How the golf ball became the #1 ball in golf 9. How the golf ball got so cool Part Two: In: Phenomenon 10. How the golf ball vanishes before your eyes 11. How the golf ball makes us feel fulfilled, for a millisecond 12. How to control the unruly golf ball 13. How to hit the golf ball by not hitting it 14. How the golf ball looks into the abyss, and the abyss looks back 15. How the golf ball won the Golden Fleece 16. How the golf ball went to the moon 17. How the golf ball makes friends with animals 18. How the golf ball prepares for doomsday Notes Index

Promotional Information

Golf balls embody the complex human relation to the natural world, a will to control nature, but the action of balls in play reveals the futility of the endeavor.

About the Author

Harry Brown is Associate Professor of English at DePauw University, USA. He is the author of Injun Joe's Ghost (University of Missouri, 2004) and Videogames and Education (M.E. Sharpe, 2008). He has published articles on American literature and culture in The Journal of American and Comparative Culture, Studies in Medievalism, and Paradoxa, as well as original fiction in Blueline and The Mississippi Review.


Golf Ball is a funny, smart, and charming meditation on an unlikely subject. Who knew that the story of this humble little white sphere could tell us so much about our history and culture? Brown weaves cultural history, literary criticism, physics, and philosophy into this wonderful book. His meditation on the golf ball deserves a place on the reading list of the curious golfer and cultural critic alike. * Orin Starn, Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Duke University, USA, and author of The Passion of Tiger Woods *
Brown starts where the curious amongst us always seem to-by taking things apart. Departing from the physical dissection of a single ball, performed as a boy, Brown rollicks through a detailed and highly entertaining exploration of the history of the game of golf. Golf Ball will fill the air of the 19th Hole with questions answered and stories told. * Tom Chiarella, Visiting Writer, Esquire Magazine, and Award-Winning Member of the Golf Writers Association of America *
An intriguing mix of history, personal anecdote and cutting-edge philosophy, carrying the reader aloft over a range of courses and discourses past and present ... In Golf Ball, Brown has some fun with contemporary thinking whilst never getting too bogged down in the sand trap of theory ... leaving us with some intriguing questions to ponder about the objects we use, lose and overlook every day. * Neil Fitzgerald, *
Golf Ball... begins with Harry Brown explaining how his object chose him. As an eight-year-old homegrown Heideggerian of a boy, he claims, he sliced a golf ball in two to inquire into its hardness. The book derives from this severing. It inhabits the 'glimpse of internal structure' that it offered, unfolding in two parts: 'Out: Thing,' and 'In: Phenomenon.' -- Julian Yates * Los Angeles Review of Books *

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