Like Rebecca Skloot's Henrietta Lacks account, Fonseca's work floored me. I devoured this book, and it showed me no mercy. I learned many hard truths,Like Rebecca Skloot's Henrietta Lacks account, Fonseca's work floored me. I devoured this book, and it showed me no mercy. I learned many hard truths, and I honestly feel like this book lifted a veil from eyes - one I naively thought I'd already lifted. Questions of self identification through imposed notions of nationality, societally imposed notions of acceptance, manufactured parameters of acceptable... -- I won't even begin to try and articulate what I cannot (unless of course I am drinking beer).
The ongoing attitude toward Roma is an absolute magnifying glass on our collective "civilized Western society." But it also highlights the rosy colored lies we believe about revolutions and progress. And, as an archivist, I must also highlight the very important issues this book raises about memory, the importance of education and participation to facilitate advocacy, but above all memory and knowledge - how easily and swiftly both are wiped out without the means or initiative to preserve them.
I think this work is invaluable, I want Fonseca to do an update, and I am only sorry I did not get to this sooner....more
I can't believe there will be no more Eiko costumes to drool over in cinema. Her work in Coppola's film has always been my particular favorite, and thI can't believe there will be no more Eiko costumes to drool over in cinema. Her work in Coppola's film has always been my particular favorite, and the photos of many of the costumes captured for this book are great representations....more
Stunning prose, absolutely ripped my guts out. "He saw clearly how all his life led only to this moment and all after led nowhere at all. He felt someStunning prose, absolutely ripped my guts out. "He saw clearly how all his life led only to this moment and all after led nowhere at all. He felt something cold and soulless enter him like another being and he imagined it smiled malignly and he had no reason to believe it would ever leave."
I have been consumed with grad school crap the last few months and have only managed to digest unfinished bits of glorious literature. After a month of being off, my brain was finally ready to digest the goods, and All the Pretty Horses was a brilliant example of what literature can do for the mind, and how it shines separately from film and music. The godly way in which McCarthy weaves sentences can never be overstated. The point in the novel in which the above two sentences are placed created a physical reaction in me, and it is a rare thing to be so fully engrossed in a novel the way I often am in film.
I'd put this more between a 3 and 4 star. The narrative quality of Davis' writing style doesn't get in the way, by that I mean it doesn't come off asI'd put this more between a 3 and 4 star. The narrative quality of Davis' writing style doesn't get in the way, by that I mean it doesn't come off as a historical fiction novel. I hate those. The amount of research Davis was able to do is very impressive, and she does a good job of reconstructing both Sargent and Amelie Gautreau with such little concrete information on their personal lives and feelings. The time she spends on Sargent's development as a painter is of particular interest. Davis also does a good job of setting up the atmosphere of Paris as a whole, and the day in particular when Madame X was unveiled. Hypocrisy and pervasive xenophobia seem to have been the two most toxic ingredients working against Sargent and Guatreau on that day. The follow up post "scandal" on Guatreau is rather melancholy. Again, pretty rich people with pretty problems, but she is intriguing in having survived the Civil War in New Orleans by the wits of her mother who created a new life for her child in Paris in the only way people of their standing could, by becoming social stars, requiring the cultivation of looks not intellect or any other skills. So when a magnificent and misunderstood portrait essentially destroys her social life, she really has nothing to fall back on. And it sounds like the rest of her life was spent trying to hide from this ridiculous scandal, and as years passed and public opinion changed, she desperately tried to remind people that she was once beautiful, and when time and age proved this impossible she responded with seclusion and refusing to entertain even the most base compliments. Sargent was able to turn the tides and restored his reputation as an amazing painter during his lifetime, and lived very comfortably and well regarded until his death. One can never know the true feelings of each individual involved, but I'd say the Madame definitely got the short end of the stick.
Short version: Entertaining and informative read....more
Just Kids moved me because I was already a Patti Smith fan. It interested me because she describes a very interesting time period in rock, art and hisJust Kids moved me because I was already a Patti Smith fan. It interested me because she describes a very interesting time period in rock, art and history in general (the late 1960s counterculture and politics, 1970s art scene and birth of punk rock, Warhol's withering Factory, The Chelsea Hotel etc etc.) Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe were where it was AT. But it's not just some cool book about the 1970s, or a cool rock memoir, or some tell all book. It's a poetic and moving tale of the birth of artists through a deep and unbreakable bond with one another. The details focusing on the way Smith and Mapplethorpe influenced and supported each other, and evolved into the god-like beings they are now is fascinating because it completely humanizes them and makes them so much more wonderful. Smith mastered the art of writing long ago, and her skills are put to great work here as she lovingly reconstructs the events which led her on her path to freedom and artistic growth through the magnifying glass of nostalgia and the wisdom of age. Being in Brooklyn myself to pursue dreams and goals (though non like theirs, that's for sure!) the memoir is inspiring simply for its sentiments of perseverance and honesty towards one's goals, namely fuck what people think you should be doing, do what you want most.
It's easy to dismiss stories about rich people with rich problems, but Wharton succeeds in her amazing language skills and intricate observations. TheIt's easy to dismiss stories about rich people with rich problems, but Wharton succeeds in her amazing language skills and intricate observations. The subtlety of the New York high society style gangland assassination is brilliant and moving. At its core the story can be viewed as a human being trying to free themselves from imposed social constraints to find true happiness, but those constraints are so deeply ingrained that he stumbles and eventually loses. ...more
Definitely one of the best endings ever written. Great build up, repressed sentiment, flowery language and general fabulous bitchiness of which OscarDefinitely one of the best endings ever written. Great build up, repressed sentiment, flowery language and general fabulous bitchiness of which Oscar Wilde is the master. Will get to the "Other Writings" shortly......more