Important: COVID-19 Update
Eureka is open! Shop in store 10am-7pm daily or ONLINE 24 hours a day. Curb-side pickup is available for online orders. 
Please email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it with any questions or call us at 617-738-7352. 
 
× Select a Wish List
Add to wish list:
Add to Wish List

The Shape of Difficulty:A Fan Letter to Unruly Objects

# 43011
$29.95 Buy Now
× Add to cart
gibberish barbaric speak gibberish barbaric speak gibberish barbaric speak
    Availability
    • Currently In Stock
    Product Specifications
    • Brand: Penn state university Press.
    • Item Number: 43011.
    • Manufacturer Number: 9780271082424.
    • UPC: 9780271082424.
    • Weighs approximately: 1.50 pounds.

    What is it about puzzles that drives us to figure them out? In this unique and innovative book, Bret L. Rothstein explores how mechanical problems delight and frustrate us, distracting our attention from recognizably “useful” activities and directing it toward something that may be even more important.

     

    All too often puzzles can seem like some kind of cruel test to be beaten or passed. But according to Rothstein, they really want nothing more than for us to drop what we are doing and play. In that way, they can actually enhance consciousness, as we are perhaps never more aware than when we grapple with an object that refuses to satisfy our expectations. The Shape of Difficulty is an ode to and exploration of these “unruly objects”—Rubik's cubes, geometric dissections, secret-opening boxes, string disentanglements, and so many more—that bring interpretive failure out of the shadows and allow it to take center stage in physical ways. While many puzzles may offer perceptible expressions of mathematical concepts, logical propositions, and logistical problems, this book urges readers to dwell for a while with objects that, built specifically to be misunderstood, demand that we reconsider our approaches to understanding—and, in the bargain, how we conceive of the interpretive self.

    Drawing on landmark theories of play, Rothstein’s richly illustrated meditation on our fascination with objects reveals the lasting allure of puzzles while underscoring the intellectual worth of doubt, failure, and idle time.

    Add To Wishlist
    Safety Information
    None
    -Shipping Estimate
    Zip Code:
    USPS$0.00Zip code required.
    UPS$0.00Zip code required.
    Local Pickup at Eureka! Puzzles: Curbside pick-up operates during regular store hours, currently from 11 am to 6 pm daily. Please allow 90 minutes for your order to be picked and processed. You will receive another email when your order is ready. $0.00