Light Traces

Light Traces

John Sallis
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 05/28/2014
ISBN: 978-0-253-01303-3
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What is the effect of light as it measures the seasons? How does light leave different traces on the terrain—on a Pacific Island, in the Aegean Sea, high in the Alps, or in the forest? John Sallis considers the expansiveness of nature and the range of human vision in essays about the effect of light and luminosity on place. Sallis writes movingly of nature and the elements, employing an enormous range of philosophical, geographical, and historical knowledge. Paintings and drawings by Alejandro A. Vallega illuminate the text, accentuating the interaction between light and environment.

Author Bio

John Sallis is Frederick J. Adelmann Professor of Philosophy at Boston College. He is author of Logic of Imagination: The Expanse of the Elemental (IUP, 2012) and Topographies (IUP, 2006).

Alejandro A. Vallega is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oregon. He trained as a visual artist before studying philosophy. He is author of Latin American Philosophy from Identity to Radical Exteriority (IUP, 2014).


“A profound and exceptionally nuanced piece of writing that brings philosophy and art into close proximity. Decades of Sallis's remarkable philosophical thinking are at work and play.”
 — Jason M. Wirth, Seattle University

“Beautifully conceived and written. Sallis engages the elemental interplay of earth and sky, translucence and obscurity, airiness and density, height and depth, wet and dry, gods and mortals, storms and clouds, rivers and fog, plains and mountains–nature in its expansive, indefinable materiality and ephemeral intangiblity.”
 — Charles E. Scott, Vanderbilt University

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations


1. Clouds
2. Caves
3. Exorbitant Points
4. Poseidon
5. Blues
6. City of Lights
7. Time’s Shadow
8. The Light Spread of Time
9. Heights
10. Summer Snow
11. Dark Light
12. At Sea
13. Seacoves
14. Sunspots
15. Visible Time
16. Wild
17. Quiet
18. White