Absolutely excellent. Perhaps my favorite thing about this book is that from page one you know the words are penned by a man who goes insane, chops of...moreAbsolutely excellent. Perhaps my favorite thing about this book is that from page one you know the words are penned by a man who goes insane, chops off his own ear and shoots himself - which means there is never the temptation to take his words as immutable and inspired truth, and instead one comes alongside him as a fellow fallible sojourner. I smiled as I read him contradict himself from one letter to the next, and scribbled star after star at his early years letters when he pens his doubt, his agitation, and difficulty in believing that painting was his true purpose or work. Any artist or writer or anyone wishing to accomplish something bold and impractical will find a friend in these pages - a friend that will share in your weakness but demand courage and patience.a friend that will spur you onward. This book is A must read.
To put it in his own words: 'All the time-but without a word- a something which seems to say, we do not know what will happen to us tomorrow, but whatever it may be, think of me. And it does one good when it comes from a man who is neither embittered, nor sad,nor perfect, nor happy,nor always irreproachably right. But such a good soul and so wise and so full of feeling and so trustful.'(less)
If you've read The Fountainhead and loved it, but couldn't reconcile yourself with the complete absence of grace in Objectivism; if you wept at the en...moreIf you've read The Fountainhead and loved it, but couldn't reconcile yourself with the complete absence of grace in Objectivism; if you wept at the end of The Chosen (Potok), but didn't know where to go from there; if you hate sentimentality but still value people.... This book is for you. It is an outstandingly concise view on being Excellent in a 'pop' society that still makes you care about the characters along the way. (less)
If I had to chose only 3 books to carry with me for the rest of my life - this would (without a doubt) be one of them. I had started with the Wastelan...moreIf I had to chose only 3 books to carry with me for the rest of my life - this would (without a doubt) be one of them. I had started with the Wasteland and Prufrock the year before, so I had a little Eliot experience before reading it - nevertheless the endless allusions/half-thoughts/references daunted me at first. Don't be daunted. Know that it will require more than one reading. Sit down and read it once all the way through - don't worry about getting any particular meanings - just read it and let the sound of the words wash over you. You'll find that he repeats his allusions/half-thoughts/references over and over throughout the work, developing them a little each time. By the end they'll be your good friends and when you read it a second time the ideas will fly out at you without meticulous effort on your part. It is a poem that only gets richer and richer the more times you read it. My only advice is to buy it so you can write all over the pages - because you'll want to.(less)