Download and read online Red Brick Black Mountain White Clay in PDF and EPUB New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2012 "Beautiful, haunted, evocative and so open to where memory takes you. I kept thinking that this is the book that I have waited for: where objects, and poetry intertwine. Just wonderful and completely sui generis." (Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with Amber Eyes) An unforgettable voyage across the reaches of America and the depths of memory, Red Brick, Black Mountain, White Clay follows one incredible family to discover a unique craft tradition grounded in America¹s vast natural landscape. Looking back through the generations, renowned critic Christopher Benfey unearths an ancestry--and an aesthetic--that is quintessentially American. His mother descends from colonial explorers and Quaker craftsmen, who carved new arts from the trackless wilds of the frontier. Benfey¹s father escaped from Nazi Europe--along with his aunt and uncle, the famed Bauhaus artists Josef and Anni Albers--by fleeing across the Atlantic and finding an eventual haven in the American South. Bricks form the backbone of life in North Carolina¹s rural Piedmont, where Benfey¹s mother was raised among centuries-old folk potteries, tobacco farms, and clay pits. Her father, like his father before him, believed in the deep honesty of brick, that men might build good lives with the bricks they laid. Nurtured in this red-clay world of ancient craft and Quaker radicalism, Benfey¹s mother was poised to set out from home when a tragic romance cracked her young life in two. Salvaging the broken shards of his mother¹s past and exploring the revitalized folk arts resisting industrialization, Benfey discovers a world brimming with possibility and creativity. Benfey¹s father had no such foundation in his young life, nor did his aunt and uncle. Exiled artists from Berlin¹s Bauhaus school, Josef and Anni Albers were offered sanctuary not far from the Piedmont at Black Mountain College. A radical experiment in unifying education and art, Black Mountain made a monumental impact on American culture under Josef¹s leadership, counting Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage, and Buckminster Fuller among its influential students and teachers. Focusing on the natural world, innovative craftsmanship, and the physical reality of materials, Black Mountain became a home and symbol for an emerging vision of American art. Threading these stories together into a radiant and mesmerizing harmony, Red Brick, Black Mountain, White Clay is an extraordinary quest to the heart of America and the origins of its art.
Download and read online Red Brick Black Mountain White Clay in PDF and EPUB "An unforgettable voyage across the reaches and the depths of memory, Red Brick, Black Mountain, White Clay tells the story of America's artistic birth. Following his family back through the generations, renowned critic Christopher Benfey unearths an ancestry--and an aesthetic--that is quintessentially American. His mother descends from colonial craftsmen, such as the Quaker artist-explorer William Bartram. Benfey's father--along with his aunt and uncle, the famed Bauhaus artists Josef and Anni Albers--escaped from Nazi Europe by fleeing to the American South. Struggling to find themselves in this new world, Benfey's family found strength and salvation in the rich craft tradition grounded in America's vast natural landscape. Threading these stories together into a radiant and mesmerizing harmony, Red Brick, Black Mountain, White Clay is an extraordinary quest to the heart of America and the origins of its art"--Provided by publisher.
Download and read online A Summer of Hummingbirds in PDF and EPUB The country's most noted writers, poets, and artists converge at a singular moment in American life, a great companion to fans of the film A Quiet Passion, starring Cynthia Nixon as Emily Dickinson. At the close of the Civil War, the lives of Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Martin Johnson Heade intersected in an intricate map of friendship, family, and romance that marked a milestone in the development of American art and literature. Using the image of a flitting hummingbird as a metaphor for the gossamer strands that connect these larger-than-life personalities, Christopher Benfey re-creates the summer of 1882, the summer when Mabel Louise Todd-the protégé to the painter Heade-confesses her love for Emily Dickinson's brother, Austin, and the players suddenly find themselves caught in the crossfire between the Calvinist world of decorum, restraint, and judgment and a new, unconventional world in which nature prevails and freedom is all. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Download and read online The Great Wave in PDF and EPUB When the United States entered the Gilded Age after the Civil War, argues cultural historian Christopher Benfey, the nation lost its philosophical moorings and looked eastward to “Old Japan,” with its seemingly untouched indigenous culture, for balance and perspective. Japan, meanwhile, was trying to reinvent itself as a more cosmopolitan, modern state, ultimately transforming itself, in the course of twenty-five years, from a feudal backwater to an international power. This great wave of historical and cultural reciprocity between the two young nations, which intensified during the late 1800s, brought with it some larger-than-life personalities, as the lure of unknown foreign cultures prompted pilgrimages back and forth across the Pacific. In The Great Wave, Benfey tells the story of the tightly knit group of nineteenth-century travelers—connoisseurs, collectors, and scientists—who dedicated themselves to exploring and preserving Old Japan. As Benfey writes, “A sense of urgency impelled them, for they were convinced—Darwinians that they were—that their quarry was on the verge of extinction.” These travelers include Herman Melville, whose Pequod is “shadowed by hostile and mysterious Japan”; the historian Henry Adams and the artist John La Farge, who go to Japan on an art-collecting trip and find exotic adventures; Lafcadio Hearn, who marries a samurai’s daughter and becomes Japan’s preeminent spokesman in the West; Mabel Loomis Todd, the first woman to climb Mt. Fuji; Edward Sylvester Morse, who becomes the world’s leading expert on both Japanese marine life and Japanese architecture; the astronomer Percival Lowell, who spends ten years in the East and writes seminal works on Japanese culture before turning his restless attention to life on Mars; and President (and judo enthusiast) Theodore Roosevelt. As well, we learn of famous Easterners come West, including Kakuzo Okakura, whose The Book of Tea became a cult favorite, and Shuzo Kuki, a leading philosopher of his time, who studied with Heidegger and tutored Sartre. Finally, as Benfey writes, his meditation on cultural identity “seeks to capture a shared mood in both the Gilded Age and the Meiji Era, amid superficial promise and prosperity, of an overmastering sense of precariousness and impending peril.” From the Hardcover edition.
Download and read online Degas in New Orleans in PDF and EPUB 00 Edgar Degas traveled from Paris to New Orleans during the fall of 1872 to visit the American branch of his mother's family, the Mussons. This war-torn, diverse, and conflicted city elicited from Degas some of his finest paintings. He arrived at a key moment in the cultural history of this most exotic of American cities, still recovering from the agony of the Civil War. This decisive period of Reconstruction, in which his American relatives were importantly involved, was also the time when the American writers Kate Chopin and George Washington Cable were beginning to mine the resources of New Orleans culture and history. Edgar Degas traveled from Paris to New Orleans during the fall of 1872 to visit the American branch of his mother's family, the Mussons. This war-torn, diverse, and conflicted city elicited from Degas some of his finest paintings. He arrived at a key moment in the cultural history of this most exotic of American cities, still recovering from the agony of the Civil War. This decisive period of Reconstruction, in which his American relatives were importantly involved, was also the time when the American writers Kate Chopin and George Washington Cable were beginning to mine the resources of New Orleans culture and history.
Download and read online Lives of the Novelists in PDF and EPUB No previous author has attempted a book such as this: a complete history of novels written in the English language, from the genre's seventeenth-century origins to the present day. In the spirit of Dr. Johnson’s Lives of the Poets, acclaimed critic and scholar John Sutherland selects 294 writers whose works illustrate the best of every kind of fiction—from gothic, penny dreadful, and pornography to fantasy, romance, and high literature. Each author was chosen, Professor Sutherland explains, because his or her books are well worth reading and are likely to remain so for at least another century. Sutherland presents these authors in chronological order, in each case deftly combining a lively and informative biographical sketch with an opinionated assessment of the writer's work. Taken together, these novelists provide both a history of the novel and a guide to its rich variety. Always entertaining, and sometimes shocking, Sutherland considers writers as diverse as Daniel Defoe, Henry James, James Joyce, Edgar Allan Poe, Virginia Woolf, Michael Crichton, Jeffrey Archer, and Jacqueline Susann. Written for all lovers of fiction, Lives of the Novelists succeeds both as introduction and re-introduction, as Sutherland presents favorite and familiar novelists in new ways and transforms the less favored and less familiar through his relentlessly fascinating readings.
Download and read online Black Mountain Days in PDF and EPUB Literary Nonfiction. Memoir. Poetry History & Criticism. "An increasingly articulate record of 'those happy few' who were its persons in the closing years of the college. The poet and rector Charles Olson makes an ample and defining pivot for the meld of stories here told—of persons in displacing crisis, of elders confounded with responsibility and poverty, of the all too indifferent world surrounding this fragile company in perhaps the most decisive experiment ever to be attempted in the history of American educational enterprise."—Robert Creeley
Download and read online Frances and Bernard in PDF and EPUB Frances and Bernard meet in the summer of 1957. Afterward, he writes her a letter. Soon they are immersed in the kind of fast, deep friendship that can change the course of our lives. They find their way to New York and, for a few whirling years, each other. The city is a wonderland for young people with dreams: cramped West Village kitchens, parties stocked with the sharp-witted and glamorous, taxis that can take you anywhere at all, long talks along the Hudson as the lights of the Empire State Building blink on above. Inspired by the lives of Flannery O’Connor and Robert Lowell, Frances and Bernard imagines, through new characters with charms entirely their own, what else might have happened. In the grandness of the fall, can we love another person so completely that we lose our dreams? In witness to all the wonder of kindred spirits and bittersweet romance, Frances and Bernard is a tribute to the power of friendship and the people who help us discover who we are.
Download and read online Ancient Light in PDF and EPUB The Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea gives us a brilliant, profoundly moving new novel about an actor in the twilight of his life and his career: a meditation on love and loss, and on the inscrutable immediacy of the past in our present lives. Is there any difference between memory and invention? That is the question that fuels this stunning novel, written with the depth of character, the clarifying lyricism and the sly humor that have marked all of John Banville’s extraordinary works. And it is the question that haunts Alexander Cleave, an actor in the twilight of his career and of his life, as he plumbs the memories of his first—and perhaps only—love (he, fifteen years old, the woman more than twice his age, the mother of his best friend; the situation impossible, thrilling, devouring and finally devastating) . . . and of his daughter, lost to a kind of madness of mind and heart that Cleave can only fail to understand. When his dormant acting career is suddenly, inexplicably revived with a movie role portraying a man who may not be who he says he is, his young leading lady—famous and fragile—unwittingly gives him the opportunity to see with aching clarity the “chasm that yawns between the doing of a thing and the recollection of what was done.” Ancient Light is a profoundly moving meditation on love and loss, on the inscrutable immediacy of the past in our present lives, on how invention shapes memory and memory shapes the man. It is a book of spellbinding power and pathos from one of the greatest masters of prose at work today. This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
Download and read online The High Places in PDF and EPUB By the author of The Night Guest, a collection of fourteen scintillating short stories: surprising, wise, thought-provoking and superbly wrought. Ranging in setting from Australia to Greece, England to a Pacific island, they focus on people: their hopes, fears, dreams and disappointments, and their relationships - between ill-matched friends, daughters and mothers, fathers and sons, married couples and sisters. Some are eccentric, like the widower who believes his dead wife's mechanical parrot speaks to him, or the research scientist convinced that Charles Darwin visits him on his remote island; others delude themselves, like the mistress of a married man who thinks she's freer than her married sister. All are confronted with events that make them see themselves and their lives from a fresh perspective. It is what they do as a result that is as unpredictable as life itself.
Download and read online The Lost Carving in PDF and EPUB “A beautiful, intricate meditation on creativity and discovery, on fire and rebirth.” —Elizabeth Gilbert Awestruck at the sight of a Grinling Gibbons carving in a London church, David Esterly chose to dedicate his life to woodcarving—its physical rhythms, intricate beauty, and intellectual demands. Forty years later, he is the foremost practitioner of Gibbons’s forgotten technique, which revolutionized ornamental sculpture in the late 1600s with its spectacular cascades of flowers, fruits, and foliage. After a disastrous fire at Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace, Esterly was asked to replace the Gibbons masterpiece destroyed by the flames. It turned out to be the most challenging year in Esterly’s life, forcing him to question his abilities and delve deeply into what it means to make a thing well. Written with a philosopher’s intellect and a poet’s grace, The Lost Carving explores the connection between creativity and physical work and illuminates the passionate pursuit of a vocation that unites head and hand and heart.
Download and read online Hold Still in PDF and EPUB NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEARThe New York Times, Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, Vogue, NPR, Publishers Weekly, BookPage A revealing and beautifully written memoir and family history from acclaimed photographer Sally Mann. In this groundbreaking book, a unique interplay of narrative and image, Mann's preoccupation with family, race, mortality, and the storied landscape of the American South are revealed as almost genetically predetermined, written into her DNA by the family history that precedes her. Sorting through boxes of family papers and yellowed photographs she finds more than she bargained for: "deceit and scandal, alcohol, domestic abuse, car crashes, bogeymen, clandestine affairs, dearly loved and disputed family land . . . racial complications, vast sums of money made and lost, the return of the prodigal son, and maybe even bloody murder." In lyrical prose and startlingly revealing photographs, she crafts a totally original form of personal history that has the page-turning drama of a great novel but is firmly rooted in the fertile soil of her own life.
Download and read online Print Workshop in PDF and EPUB This is a book for low budgets and high ambition. Read it and you will learn how to put images of things onto other things. You will start by rolling up your sleeves. Your shirt will be stained anyways. At some point, you will harness the power of the sun. Go ahead, look inside. You will see that you do not need a fancy studio to print a T-shirt or a picnic blanket. There is no specialized machine required to print anything you want in any room you want. A mural, a dartboard, a deck of cards, these are all possible. In a week or a month, you will wake up to find you know words like acetate and substrate. You will be comfortable talking about ink and shopping at military supply stores. Perhaps most important of all, you will be printing images of things onto other things. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Download and read online Fin Lady in PDF and EPUB In the Greenwich Village of 1964, eleven-year-old Fin moves in with his glamorous, careless older sister, and it's hard to tell who's raising whom.
Download and read online Flyover Lives in PDF and EPUB “[A] vivid . . . quest for roots. . . . Splendid.” —The New York Times Book Review Growing up in the small river town of Moline, Illinois, Diane Johnson always dreamed of venturing off to see the world—and did. Now having traveled widely and lived part-time in Paris for many years, she is stung when a French friend teases her about Americans’ indifference to history. Could it be true? The j’accuse haunts Diane and inspires her to dig into her family’s past, working back from the Friday night football of her youth to the adventures illuminated in the letters and memoirs of her stalwart pioneer ancestors—beginning with a lonely young soldier who came to America from France in 1711. As enchanting as her bestselling novels, Flyover Lives is a moving examination of identity and the “wispy but material” family ghosts who shape us. As Johnson pays tribute to her deep Midwestern roots, she captures the perpetual tug-of-war between the magnetic pull of home and our lust for escape and self-invention.