Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Tony Harrison/Fram

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Fram does rise up from the frozen world, uncrushed. The ship, the play, the “craft,” which is both the ship and poetry, sails on, forward, into the sacred space, where inspiration and despair—the song and the scream—can come together, and embrace.

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Vanity Fair

Tuesday, May 18th, 2004

Thackeray endows Rebecca Sharp — “that artful little minx — with all the qualities which make his own writing so delightful. He portrays Rebecca as an artist — the lost, brilliant child of a singer and a painter, singing and dancing, scheming and dreaming her way though life.

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Florence Ladd

Thursday, June 13th, 1996

“The sea is a metaphor for transformation, the possibility of crossing over, for becoming someone else, for change,” says FLORENCE LADD. “Every time Sarah crosses the sea, it changes her. I believe in the unconscious and the way the unconscious enriches our interpretations of life.”

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Herman Melville

Monday, April 1st, 1996

“Give me a condor’s quill! Give me Vesuvius’ crater for an inkstand! Friends, hold my arms! For in the mere act of penning my thoughts of this Leviathan, they weary me, and make me faint with their out-reaching comprehensiveness of sweep, as if to include the whole circle of the sciences, and all the generations of whales, and men, and mastodons, past, present, and to come, with all the revolving panoramas of empire on earth, and throughout the whole universe.”

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Stephen McCauley

Friday, February 2nd, 1996

“I suppose I read so many biographies because I was trying to understand how people stumbled through their days and their failures and spun their miseries and despair into great art or pathbreaking science or profound enlightenment.”

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The Inferno of Dante

Sunday, January 1st, 1995

Dante’s vision of Hell is filled with terrifying images of transformation, yet its ultimate horror is its changelessness — the unrepentant sinners whose punishment is to embody, forever, their sins. Centuries after its obscure Florentine villains have been forgotten, the poem still rings true as a drama of the inner life, because the heart of the poem is the hope that we can still be changed.

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Working Proof: Experimental Etching Studio

Saturday, November 21st, 1992

Ten years ago, I spent a very happy summer working at Experimental Etching Studio, so I was delighted when the Boston Public Library invited me to help shape a conversation among a group of artists from this extraordinary printmaking cooperative.

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Camille Paglia

Monday, May 4th, 1992

“Moment by moment, night flickers in the imagination, in eroticism, subverting our strivings for virtue and order, giving an uncanny aura to objects and persons, revealed to us by artists.” “The sea, Dionysian liquid nature, is the master image in Shakespeare’s plays. It is the wave-motion within Shakespearean speech which transfixes the audience even when we don’t understand a word of it.”

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Ed Ruscha

Friday, September 8th, 1989

From the window of the studio ED RUSCHA had in the 1960’s, he could see a sign reading HOLLYWOOD. The big white letters are as flat an fake as an old, abandoned movie set, crumpled and peeling, with some of the letters falling down. But Ruscha’s many images of that sign make it a real sign, luminous and charged with light.

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Simon Schama’s CITIZENS

Tuesday, March 7th, 1989

CITIZENS, Simon Schama’s wonderful new book about the French Revolution, is especially fascinating to people who care about Art, because it is in many ways a book about the power of images to transform the world.

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Renoir: A Lesson in Happiness

Saturday, December 1st, 1984

“His hands were terribly deformed. Rheumatism had cracked the joints, bending the thumb toward the palm and the other fingers toward the wrist. Visitors who weren’t used to it couldn’t take their eyes off this mutilation. Their reaction, which they didn’t dare express, was: ‘It’s not possible. With those hands, he can’t paint these pictures. There’s a mystery!’ The mystery was Renoir himself.”

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