Since the last time I talked about this I’ve revised my plan a little. At that time I was planning six chapters (once it was more — originally I envisioned twelve chapters, one for each month of the year; I abandoned that in favor of a thematic organization). Now I’ve decided to take out the chapter on literature, and instead I’m interspersing the literature stuff throughout the other chapters.

So basically I’m writing five essays, on the following topics: economics and globalism; emerging roles for women; a kind of oddball chapter that’s half about climate and half about the visual arts (and only half done); a chapter on science, superstition, and esoteric knowledge; and a chapter on the movement of peoples: slavery, diasporism, tourism. The fourth chapter, which is the one I’m getting near to completing (in draft) now, is the longest — it will probably end up close to sixty pages.

The frontispiece to the table of contents, shown here, which is a detail from a Persian translation of a Hindu epic, is mainly there because I like it (that, and it’s from 1616). I hope by the time I’m done to have some more reasons for it being there!