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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