Diane Arbus is an enigma, and an enigma that will never be fully explained. Here Schultz writes what he calls a psycho-biography, a psychological inteDiane Arbus is an enigma, and an enigma that will never be fully explained. Here Schultz writes what he calls a psycho-biography, a psychological interpretation of Diane Arbus’ interior life and how it influenced her photographic work. Schultz also looked at how Arbus’ work may have affected her psyche. He uses published sources, interview material to develop and draw his theory together in an interesting read, he does get decidedly excited in certain aspects of detail, in others boringly academic, but overall I remain unconvinced of his take on Arbus. Most of his theory is really stating the obvious, Arbus was marginalized - from her family, society, and was drawn to those on the margins - the circus freaks, sexual deviants, the odd and the irregular, and at a time when society's values and boundaries were definitely altering - the 1960's. In some ways she was capturing the close of one, and the start of a new. Arbus will remain an enigma, not only because her estate and family closed ranks around her, protecting the information that may answer the questions, but also the fact she herself operated in such a manner. Whether her suicide was intended or whether she was seeking an experience, will remain unanswered. That helps to preserve the myth and ensure the legacy of her art....more
Ok... this got very close to a five star rating. So why not...? I got the last section of the book - the "autobiographical" essays, and they let the bOk... this got very close to a five star rating. So why not...? I got the last section of the book - the "autobiographical" essays, and they let the book down... well, really, that are a tad self indulgent, Mr Dyer! Not that I can't relate to the excesses of the 1980's, I was there and I lived to tell the tale too. Aside from that I do like, actually love Dyer's writing, and this collection is wonderful. He is at his best when talking about photography and jazz, his insights are incisive, clear and erudite. while reading this I was filling my notebook with comments - photographers work to search out, musical lists being added to etc etc I gave up on adding books to my to read list. I've enjoyed this guy for years, and he just keeps getting better. I look forward to his latest about Tarkovsky's film Zone, even though I ever likely to watch the film ... you don't need to!
And I've just seen that he's just won the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. Well done!...more
A stunningly inventive re imagining of a classic epic poem combined with historical narrative to retell a blood soaked story of early contact betweenA stunningly inventive re imagining of a classic epic poem combined with historical narrative to retell a blood soaked story of early contact between English sailors and traders with the Maori chief Te Rauparaha in the early Nineteenth Century. There is rich evocation of the sense of discovery of the new lands, the strange plants, wildlife, the indigenous peoples are all told through the language of the sailor, his sense of fear and foreboding, the sea lore and legends, reading of omens, and of course their views of the native culture through there Nineteenth century set of values. Haunting and taunt, this a richly rewarding read!...more