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From the renowned artist and author Patti Smith, a rare and generous look into the creative process A work of creative brilliance may seem like magic--its source a mystery, its impact unexpectedly stirring. How does an artist accomplish such an achievement, connecting deeply with an audience never met? In this groundbreaking book, one of our culture's beloved artists offers a detailed account of her own creative process, inspirations, and unexpected connections. Patti Smith first presents an original and beautifully crafted tale of obsession--a young skater who lives for her art, a possessive collector who ruthlessly seeks his prize, a relationship forged of need both craven and exalted. She then takes us on a second journey, exploring the sources of her story. We travel through the South of France to Camus's house, and visit the garden of the great publisher Gallimard where the ghosts of Mishima, Nabokov, and Genet mingle. Smith tracks down Simone Weil's grave in a lonely cemetery, hours from London, and winds through the nameless Paris streets of Patrick Modiano's novels. Whether writing in a caf or a train, Smith generously opens her notebooks and lets us glimpse the alchemy of her art and craft in this arresting and original book on writing. The Why I Write series is based on the Windham-Campbell Lectures, delivered annually to commemorate the awarding of the Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prizes at Yale University.
The untold story of how the Dutch conquered the European book market and became the world's greatest bibliophiles The Dutch Golden Age has long been seen as the age of Rembrandt and Vermeer, whose paintings captured the public imagination and came to represent the marvel that was the Dutch Republic. Yet there is another, largely overlooked marvel in the Dutch world of the seventeenth century: books. In this fascinating account, Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen show how the Dutch produced many more books than pictures and bought and owned more books per capita than any other part of Europe. Key innovations in marketing, book auctions, and newspaper advertising brought stability to a market where elsewhere publishers faced bankruptcy, and created a population uniquely well-informed and politically engaged. This book tells for the first time the remarkable story of the Dutch conquest of the European book world and shows the true extent to which these pious, prosperous, quarrelsome, and generous people were shaped by what they read.
Hans Magnus Enzensberger takes the title for this collection of daring short essays on topical themes politics, economics, religion, society not from Jeremy Bentham's famous prison but from a mid-1930s Cabinet of Curiosities opened in Germany by Karl Valentin. "There," writes Enzensberger, "viewers could admire, along with implements of torture, all manner of abnormalities and sensational inventions." And that's what he offers here: a wide-ranging, surprising look at all manner of strange aspects of our contemporary world. As masterly with the essay as he is with fiction and poetry, Enzensberger here presents complicated thoughts with a light touch, tying new iterations of old ideas to their antecedents, quoting liberally from his forebears, and presenting himself unapologetically as not an expert but a seeker. Enzensberger the essayist works in the mode of Montaigne, unafraid to take his reader in unexpected directions, knowing that the process of exploration is often in itself sufficient reward for following a line of thought. ?In an era that regularly laments the death of the public intellectual, Enzensberger is the real deal: a towering figure in German literature who refuses to let his mind or work be bound by the narrow world of the poetry or fiction section. Panopticon will thrill readers daring enough to accompany him.
'There are no walls around the house here.' I wrote in my diary, in an entry dated December 24, 1967. This was a few days after my arrival in America. It took me years to realize that in America other kinds of walls, mainly invisible, existed. I had to learn about their presence, respect their sovereignty, abide by their rules. I could not neglect them, trespass them. I could not disregard them. This meant not only learning the English language but also mastering the metalanguage, the verbal and nonverbal codes of interactions, the different systems and styles of communication.
"Suppose I were to begin by saying that I had fallen in love with a color . . ."
A lyrical, philosophical, and often explicit exploration of personal suffering and the limitations of vision and love, as refracted through the color blue. With "Bluets," Maggie Nelson has entered the pantheon of brilliant lyric essayists.
Maggie Nelson is the author of numerous books of poetry and nonfiction, including "Something Bright, Then Holes" (Soft Skull Press, 2007) and "Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions" (University of Iowa Press, 2007). She lives in Los Angeles and teaches at the California Institute of the Arts.
Throughout her life, Diana Trilling (1905-1996) wrote about profound social changes with candor and wisdom, first for The Nation and later for Partisan Review, Harpers, and such popular magazines as Vogue and McCalls. She went on to publish five books, including the best-selling Mrs. Harris: The Death of the Scarsdale Diet Doctor, written when she was in her late seventies. She was also one half of one of the most famous intellectual couples in the United States. Diana Trilling's life with Columbia University professor and literary critic Lionel Trilling was filled with secrets, struggles, and betrayals, and she endured what she called her "own private hell" as she fought to reconcile competing duties and impulses at home and at work. She was a feminist, yet she insisted that women's liberation created unnecessary friction with men, asserting that her career ambitions should be on equal footing with caring for her child and supporting her husband. She fearlessly expressed sensitive, controversial, and moral views, and fought publicly with Lillian Hellman, among other celebrated writers and intellectuals, over politics. Diana Trilling was an anticommunist liberal, a position often misunderstood, especially by her literary and university friends. And finally, she was among the "New Journalists" who transformed writing and reporting in the 1960s, making her nonfiction as imaginative in style and scope as a novel. The first biographer to mine Diana Trilling's extensive archives, Natalie Robins tells a previously undisclosed history of an essential member of New York City culture at a time of dynamic change and intellectual relevance.
It stands barely three inches high, a small brick of a book. The pages are skewed a bit, and evidence of a small handprint remains on the worn, cheap leather covers that don't quite close. The book bears the marks of considerable use. But why-and for whom-was it made? Christopher N. Phillips's The Hymnal is the first study to reconstruct the practices of reading and using hymnals, which were virtually everywhere in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Isaac Watts invented a small, words-only hymnal at the dawn of the eighteenth century. For the next two hundred years, such hymnals were their owners' constant companions at home, school, church, and in between. They were children's first books, slaves' treasured heirlooms, and sources of devotional reading for much of the English-speaking world. Hymnals helped many people learn to memorize poetry and to read; they provided space to record family memories, pass notes in church, and carry everything from railroad tickets to holy cards to business letters. In communities as diverse as African Methodists, Reform Jews, Presbyterians, Methodists, Roman Catholics, and Unitarians, hymnals were integral to religious and literate life. An extended historical treatment of the hymn as a read text and media form, rather than a source used solely for singing, this book traces the lives people lived with hymnals, from obscure schoolchildren to Emily Dickinson. Readers will discover a wealth of connections between reading, education, poetry, and religion in Phillips's lively accounts of hymnals and their readers.
The invocation of blood-as both an image and a concept-has long been critical in the formation of American racism. In Blood Work, Shawn Salvant mines works from the American literary canon to explore the multitude of associations that race and blood held in the consciousness of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Americans. Drawing upon race and metaphor theory, Salvant provides readings of four classic novels featuring themes of racial identity: Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894); Pauline Hopkins's Of One Blood (1902); Frances Harper's Iola Leroy (1892); and William Faulkner's Light in August (1932). His expansive analysis of blood imagery uncovers far more than the merely biological connotations that dominate many studies of blood rhetoric: the racial discourses of blood in these novels encompass the anthropological and the legal, the violent and the religious. Penetrating and insightful, Blood Work illu-minates the broad-ranging power of the blood metaphor to script distinctly American plots-real and literary-of racial identity.
Drawing on a vast archive of world history, anthropology, geography, cultural theory, postcolonial studies, gender studies, literature, and art, Susan Stanford Friedman recasts modernity as a networked, circulating, and recurrent phenomenon producing multiple aesthetic innovations across millennia. Considering cosmopolitan as well as nomadic and oceanic worlds, she radically revises the scope of modernist critique and opens the practice to more integrated study. Friedman moves from large-scale instances of pre-1500 modernities, such as Tang Dynasty China and the Mongol Empire, to small-scale instances of modernisms, including the poetry of Du Fu and Kabir and Abbasid ceramic art. She maps the interconnected modernisms of the long twentieth century, pairing Joseph Conrad with Tayeb Salih, E. M. Forster with Arundhati Roy, Virginia Woolf with the Tagores, and Aime Cesaire with Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. She reads postcolonial works from Sudan and India and engages with the idea of Negritude. Rejecting the modernist concepts of marginality, othering, and major/minor, Friedman instead favors rupture, mobility, speed, networks, and divergence, elevating the agencies and creative capacities of all cultures not only in the past and present but also in the century to come.
Bringing together original contributions from scholars around the world, this volume traces the history of travel writing from antiquity to the Internet age. It examines travel texts of several national or linguistic traditions, introducing readers to the global contexts of the genre. From wilderness to the urban, from Nigeria to the polar regions, from mountains to rivers and the desert, this book explores some of the key places and physical features represented in travel writing. Chapters also consider the employment in travel writing of the diary, the letter, visual images, maps and poetry, as well as the relationship of travel writing to fiction, science, translation and tourism. Gender-based and ecocritical approaches are among those surveyed. Together, the thirty-seven chapters here underline the richness and complexity of this genre.
"Barcelona is a fountain of courtesy, shelter of strangers...land of the valiant, avenger of the offended, reciprocator of firm friendship, a city unique in its location and beauty." Don Quixote City of outlandish cathedrals, eccentric parks, elegant placas and atmospheric barrios, Barcelona is `haunted by history', yet alive with the ghosts of those it has inspired, from Cervantes, Zafon and Montalban, Gaudi, Miro and Dali to Jean Genet, George Sand, Auden and Orwell. Perhaps more than any other Spanish city, Barcelona is synonymous with literature, art and creativity; it is the distilled essence of Catalonia - a region that has always marched to the beat of its own drum. Barcelona: A Literary Guide for Travellers takes the reader on a dynamic journey into the imaginations of over 50 iconic writers and the heart of one of the most alluring cities in the world.
"Elizabeth Ammons has produced a first-rate Norton Critical Edition with Uncle Tom's Cabin." --Mason I. Lowance, Jr., University of Massachusetts Amherst "I will definitely use this edition again. The critical materials at the end of the book helped my students to have informed, productive class discussions." --Heidi Oberholtzer Lee, University of Notre Dame
On a summer's day in 1858, in a garden behind Christ Church College in Oxford, Charles Dodgson, a lecturer in mathematics, photographed six-year-old Alice Liddell, the daughter of the college dean, with a Thomas Ottewill Registered Double Folding camera, recently purchased in London. Simon Winchester deftly uses the resulting image-as unsettling as it is famous, and the subject of bottomless speculation-as the vehicle for a brief excursion behind the lens, a focal point on the origins of a classic work of English literature. Dodgson's love of photography framed his view of the world, and was partly responsible for transforming a shy and half-deaf mathematician into one of the world's best-loved observers of childhood. Little wonder that there is more to "Alice Liddell as the Beggar Maid" than meets the eye. Using Dodgson's published writings, private diaries, and of course his photographic portraits, Winchester gently exposes the development of Lewis Carroll and the making of his Alice. Acclaim for Simon Winchester "An exceptionally engaging guide at home everywhere, ready for anything, full of gusto and seemingly omnivorous curiosity." -Pico Iyer, The New York Times Book Review "A master at telling a complex story compellingly and lucidly." -USA Today "Extraordinarily graceful." -Time "Winchester is an exquisite writer and a deft anecdoteur." -Christopher Buckley "A lyrical writer and an indefatigable researcher." -Newsweek
In "Ecology without Nature," Timothy Morton argues that the chief stumbling block to environmental thinking is the image of nature itself. Ecological writers propose a new worldview, but their very zeal to preserve the natural world leads them away from the "nature" they revere. The problem is a symptom of the ecological catastrophe in which we are living. Morton sets out a seeming paradox: to have a properly ecological view, we must relinquish the idea of nature once and for all.
"Ecology without Nature" investigates our ecological assumptions in a way that is provocative and deeply engaging. Ranging widely in eighteenth-century through contemporary philosophy, culture, and history, he explores the value of art in imagining environmental projects for the future. Morton develops a fresh vocabulary for reading "environmentality" in artistic form as well as content, and traces the contexts of ecological constructs through the history of capitalism. From John Clare to John Cage, from Kierkegaard to Kristeva, from "The Lord of the Rings" to electronic life forms, "Ecology without Nature" widens our view of ecological criticism, and deepens our understanding of ecology itself. Instead of trying to use an idea of nature to heal what society has damaged, Morton sets out a radical new form of ecological criticism: "dark ecology."
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