Like Sex with Gods: An Unorthodox History of Flying

Like Sex with Gods: An Unorthodox History of Flying

Like Sex with Gods: An Unorthodox History of Flying

Like Sex with Gods: An Unorthodox History of Flying

Synopsis

"Human flight is not a simple matter of science and technology. It is a continuing epic of dreams and obsession, of yearning and striving to harness the intellect in the service of the emotions."

In Like Sex with Gods: An Unorthodox History of Flight, Bayla Singer offers a unique approach to humanity's fascination with flying. Rather than merely tracing the factual prehistory of flight up to the success of the Wright Brothers, Bayla Singer considers the interaction and influence of our dreams, fantasies, culture, and technology on the age-old quest to fly.

This enlightening study begins with the deities and other denizens of the heavens that humanity has created in its religion, literature, and art. At first a monopoly of the gods, flight came to interest humanity as a way to free itself from the physical and intellectual bonds of the earth.

The myth of flight eventually gives way to the pursuit of actual flight. Singer shows in compelling detail the many flying machines that have been created, including balloons, gliders, and kites. The accomplishment of the Wright Brothers and our successful trips into space are merely stops on a continuing journey, as our ancient dream of flight continues to push us to new and loftier places.

Filled with compelling stories and detailed illustrations, this book provides absorbing reading for aviation experts, those fascinated with the intimate relationship between technology and culture, and all of us who have even a passing interest in flying.

Excerpt

Human flight is not a simple matter of science and technology. It is a continuing epic of dreams and obsession, of yearning and striving to harness the intellect in the service of the emotions. Humanity’s drive toward the heavens has many wellsprings and multiple streams, all of them interacting with and reinforcing the others. Technological ingenuity is simply one outlet for the ancient dream. This book integrates both aspects of this quest, the psychological and the technological, as expressed in art and artifact.

For millennia, people of all cultures have dreamed of flying. Their dreams have had overtones of religion, of liberation and redemption, of sexuality, and of empowerment. Flight is fraught with symbolism, the stuff of legend and myth. Flying has been an end in itself, and a means to other ends. This book explores these complex and varied underlayers of a universal urge, an urge which has not been satisfied by the accomplishments of the twentieth century. Humankind continues to dream of flight: ever higher, further, faster.

The power of these dreams is reflected in the persistent efforts over the millennia to bring them to fruition. From magic carpets and har-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.