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De Kooning's Bicycle: Artists and Writers in the Hamptons
by Robert Long
Some of the twentieth century's most important artists and writers--from Jackson Pollock to Saul Steinberg, Frank O'Hara to Jean Stafford--lived and worked on the East End of Long Island years before it assumed an alternate identity as the Hamptons. The home they made there, and its effect on their work, is the subject of these searching, lyrical vignettes by the critic an ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published November 16th 2005 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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I listened to the audiobook version of this one while I tooled around in my car running errands & such here in Alaska. While it's very green here in the summertime and, hopefully, very sunny, there's not much beachy-ness to be had so this book felt like a summer vacation, what with all the talk of the Hamptons & the light & the sand & the ocean & all the picturesque scenery, way back before the area was "The Hamptons" packed full of filthy rich Paltrows & Diddys. I liked ...more
I was fascinated with the history and description of the Hamptons. I am interested in many of the people mentioned but became very frustrated with the author's style. His descriptive language seemed very affected and he acted as though he knew the thoughts of the people he discussed. He also had the habit of calling everyone "he" or "she" and I often listened for a long time before I could figure out who the subject of the chapter was. Did all of these folks actually drink continually? I know th ...more
I am on my fifth reading of this book. I can't get enough of it like I can't get enough of Vonnegut's Bluebeard. The locale is the same between the two, and the two books inform each other in a strange way, in my mind at least, like cross-pollinating plants.
I'm not invested in knowing about the Hamptons, but I did want to learn a bit more about De Kooning and Jackson Pollack. And I did. Plus a little more. Nothing Earth-shattering, but I did feel is helped broaden my understanding of two of America's most significant artists.