The Lonely City

Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

Author: Olivia Laing

Publisher: Picador

ISBN: 1250039592

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 336

View: 4065

An expertly crafted work of reportage, memoir and biography on the subject of loneliness told through the lives of iconic artists, by the acclaimed author of The Trip to Echo Spring What does it mean to be lonely? How do we live, if we're not intimately engaged with another human being? How do we connect with other people? Does technology draw us closer together or trap us behind screens? When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her mid-thirties, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. Increasingly fascinated by this most shameful of experiences, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art. Moving fluidly between works and lives - from Edward Hopper's Nighthawks to Andy Warhol's Time Capsules, from Henry Darger's hoarding to the depredations of the AIDS crisis - Laing conducts an electric, dazzling investigation into what it means to be alone, illuminating not only the causes of loneliness but also how it might be resisted and redeemed. Humane, provocative and deeply moving, The Lonely City is about the spaces between people and the things that draw them together, about sexuality, mortality and the magical possibilities of art. It's a celebration of a strange and lovely state, adrift from the larger continent of human experience, but intrinsic to the very act of being alive.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

The Lonely City

Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

Author: Olivia Laing

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 1250039576

Category: Art

Page: 336

View: 4096

"You can be lonely anywhere, but there is a particular flavor to the loneliness that comes from living in a city, surrounded by thousands of strangers. The Lonely City is a roving cultural history of urban loneliness, centered on the ultimate city: Manhattan, that teeming island of gneiss, concrete, and glass. What does it mean to be lonely? How do we live, if we're not intimately involved with another human being? How do we connect with other people, particularly if our sexuality or physical body is considered deviant or damaged? Does technology draw us closer together or trap us behind screens? Olivia Laing explores these questions by travelling deep into the work and lives of some of the century's most original artists, among them Andy Warhol, David Wojnarowicz, Edward Hopper, Henry Darger and Klaus Nomi. Part memoir, part biography, part dazzling work of cultural criticism, The Lonely City is not just a map, but a celebration of the state of loneliness. It's a voyage out to a strange and sometimes lovely island, adrift from the larger continent of human experience, but visited by many - millions, say - of souls"--
Posted in Art

The Lonely City

Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

Author: Olivia Laing

Publisher: Canongate Books

ISBN: 1782111247

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 336

View: 9667

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2016 GORDON BURN PRIZE CHOSEN AS 'BOOK OF THE YEAR' BY Observer Guardian Telegraph Irish Times New Statesman Times Literary Supplement Herald When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her mid-thirties, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. Increasingly fascinated by this most shameful of experiences, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art. Moving fluidly between the works and lives of some of the city's most compelling artists, Laing conducts an electric, dazzling investigation into what it means to be alone, illuminating not only the causes of loneliness but also how it might be resisted and redeemed.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

The Trip to Echo Spring

On Writers and Drinking

Author: Olivia Laing

Publisher: Picador

ISBN: 1250039584

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 352

View: 8720

WHY IS IT THAT SOME OF THE GREATEST WORKS OF LITERATURE HAVE BEEN PRODUCED BY WRITERS IN THE GRIP OF ALCOHOLISM, AN ADDICTION THAT COST THEM PERSONAL HAPPINESS AND CAUSED HARM TO THOSE WHO LOVED THEM? In The Trip to Echo Spring, Olivia Laing examines the link between creativity and alcohol through the work and lives of six extraordinary men: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, John Berryman, John Cheever, and Raymond Carver. All six of these writers were alcoholics, and the subject of drinking surfaces in some of their finest work, from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to A Moveable Feast. Often, they did their drinking together: Hemingway and Fitzgerald ricocheting through the cafés of Paris in the 1920s; Carver and Cheever speeding to the liquor store in Iowa in the icy winter of 1973. Olivia Laing grew up in an alcoholic family herself. One spring, wanting to make sense of this ferocious, entangling disease, she took a journey across America that plunged her into the heart of these overlapping lives. As she travels from Cheever's New York to Williams's New Orleans, and from Hemingway's Key West to Carver's Port Angeles, she pieces together a topographical map of alcoholism, from the horrors of addiction to the miraculous possibilities of recovery. Beautiful, captivating, and original, The Trip to Echo Spring strips away the myth of the alcoholic writer to reveal the terrible price creativity can exert.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

To the River

A Journey Beneath the Surface

Author: Olivia Laing

Publisher: Canongate Books

ISBN: 0857860658

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 304

View: 4295

To the River is the story of the Ouse, the Sussex river in which Virginia Woolf drowned in 1941. One midsummer week over sixty years later, Olivia Laing walked Woolf's river from source to sea. The result is a passionate investigation into how history resides in a landscape - and how ghosts never quite leave the places they love. Along the way, Laing explores the roles rivers play in human lives, tracing their intricate flow through literature and mythology alike. To the River excavates all sorts of stories from the Ouse's marshy banks, from the brutal Barons' War of the thirteenth century to the 'Dinosaur Hunters', the nineteenth-century amateur naturalists who first cracked the fossil code. Central among these ghosts is, of course, Virginia Woolf herself: her life, her writing and her watery death.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

Fire in the Belly

The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz

Author: Cynthia Carr

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1608194205

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 624

View: 8225

"[Fire in the Belly is] unimprovable as a biography-thorough, measured, beautifully written, loving but not uncritical-as a concentrated history of his times, and as a memorial.Â?? -Luc Sante, Bookforum David Wojnarowicz was an abused child, a teen runaway who barely finished high school, but he emerged as one of the most important voices of his generation. He found his tribe in New York's East Village, a neighborhood noted in the 1970s and '80s for drugs, blight, and a burgeoning art scene. His creativity spilled out in paintings, photographs, films, texts, installations, and in his life and its recounting-creating a sort of mythos around himself. His circle of East Village artists moved into the national spotlight just as the AIDS plague began its devastating advance, and as right-wing culture warriors reared their heads. As Wojnarowicz's reputation as an artist grew, so did his reputation as an agitator-because he dealt so openly with his homosexuality, so angrily with his circumstances as a Person With AIDS, and so fiercely with his would-be censors. Fire in the Belly is the untold story of a polarizing figure at a pivotal moment in American culture-and one of the most highly acclaimed biographies of the year.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

Close to the Knives

A Memoir of Disintegration

Author: David Wojnarowicz

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 1480489611

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 279

View: 435

The savage, beautiful, and unforgettable memoirs of an extraordinary artist, activist, and iconoclast who lit up the New York art scene in the late twentieth century David Wojnarowicz’s brief but eventful life was not easy. From a suburban adolescence marked by neglect, drugs, prostitution, and abuse to a squalid life on the streets of New York City, to fame—and infamy—as an activist and controversial visual artist whose work was lambasted in the halls of Congress, all before his early death from AIDS at age thirty-seven, Wojnarowicz seemed to be at war with a homophobic “establishment” and the world itself. Yet what emerged from the darkness was a truly extraordinary artist and human being—an angry young man of remarkable poetic sensibilities who was inordinately sympathetic to those who, like him, lived and struggled outside society’s boundaries. Close to the Knives is his searing yet strangely beautiful account told in a collection of powerful essays. An author whom reviewers have compared to Kerouac and Genet, David Wojnarowicz mesmerizes, horrifies, and delights in equal measure with his unabashed honesty. At once savage and funny, poignant and sexy, compassionate and unforgiving, his words and stories cut like knives, leaving indelible marks on all who read them.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

The Selfishness of Others

An Essay on the Fear of Narcissism

Author: Kristin Dombek

Publisher: FSG Originals

ISBN: 0374712549

Category: Social Science

Page: 160

View: 9420

They're among us, but they are not like us. They manipulate, lie, cheat, and steal. They are irresistibly charming and accomplished, appearing to live in a radiance beyond what we are capable of. But narcissists are empty. No one knows exactly what everyone else is full of--some kind of a soul, or personhood--but whatever it is, experts agree that narcissists do not have it. So goes the popular understanding of narcissism, or NPD (narcissistic personality disorder). And it's more prevalent than ever, according to recent articles in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and Time. In bestsellers like The Narcissism Epidemic, Narcissists Exposed, and The Narcissist Next Door, pop psychologists have armed the normal with tools to identify and combat the vampiric influence of this rising population, while on websites like narcissismsurvivor.com, thousands of people congregate to swap horror stories about relationships with "narcs." In The Selfishness of Others, the essayist Kristin Dombek provides a clear-sighted account of how a rare clinical diagnosis became a fluid cultural phenomenon, a repository for our deepest fears about love, friendship, and family. She cuts through hysteria in search of the razor-thin line between pathology and common selfishness, writing with robust skepticism toward the prophets of NPD and genuine empathy for those who see themselves as its victims. And finally, she shares her own story in a candid effort to find a path away from the cycle of fear and blame and toward a more forgiving and rewarding life.
Posted in Social Science

Flâneuse

Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London

Author: Lauren Elkin

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374715890

Category: Travel

Page: 336

View: 4401

The New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice The flâneur is the quintessentially masculine figure of privilege and leisure who strides the capitals of the world with abandon. But it is the flâneuse who captures the imagination of the cultural critic Lauren Elkin. In her wonderfully gender-bending new book, the flâneuse is a “determined, resourceful individual keenly attuned to the creative potential of the city and the liberating possibilities of a good walk.” Virginia Woolf called it “street haunting”; Holly Golightly epitomized it in Breakfast at Tiffany’s; and Patti Smith did it in her own inimitable style in 1970s New York. Part cultural meander, part memoir, Flâneuse takes us on a distinctly cosmopolitan jaunt that begins in New York, where Elkin grew up, and transports us to Paris via Venice, Tokyo, and London, all cities in which she’s lived. We are shown the paths beaten by such flâneuses as the cross-dressing nineteenth-century novelist George Sand, the Parisian artist Sophie Calle, the wartime correspondent Martha Gellhorn, and the writer Jean Rhys. With tenacity and insight, Elkin creates a mosaic of what urban settings have meant to women, charting through literature, art, history, and film the sometimes exhilarating, sometimes fraught relationship that women have with the metropolis. Called “deliciously spiky and seditious” by The Guardian, Flâneuse will inspire you to light out for the great cities yourself.
Posted in Travel

Loneliness

Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection

Author: John T. Cacioppo,William Patrick

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393335283

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 317

View: 5412

A pioneering neuroscientist draws on detailed studies to demonstrate the correlation between social environments and health, offering insight into the differences between chronic loneliness and depression while explaining how social isolation can affect perceptions, behavior, and physiology. Reprint.
Posted in Family & Relationships

A Field Guide to Getting Lost

Author: Rebecca Solnit

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101118719

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 224

View: 2765

A stimulating exploration of wandering, being lost, and the uses of the unknown from the author of Men Explain Things To Me Written as a series of autobiographical essays, A Field Guide to Getting Lost draws on emblematic moments and relationships in Rebecca Solnit's life to explore issues of uncertainty, trust, loss, memory, desire, and place. Solnit is interested in the stories we use to navigate our way through the world, and the places we traverse, from wilderness to cities, in finding ourselves, or losing ourselves. While deeply personal, her own stories link up to larger stories, from captivity narratives of early Americans to the use of the color blue in Renaissance painting, not to mention encounters with tortoises, monks, punk rockers, mountains, deserts, and the movie Vertigo. The result is a distinctive, stimulating voyage of discovery. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

Taft 2012

A Novel

Author: Jason Heller

Publisher: Quirk Books

ISBN: 1594745501

Category: Fiction

Page: 246

View: 8631

After his mysterious disappearance on the day of Woodrow Wilson's inauguration, William Howard Taft's sudden arrival in Washington nearly one hundred years later marks an expected change in the course of the 2012 elections.
Posted in Fiction

The Gentrification of the Mind

Witness to a Lost Imagination

Author: Sarah Schulman

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520280067

Category: History

Page: 192

View: 2365

In this memoir of the AIDS years (1981-1996) in New York, CUNY Professor of English Sarah Schulman recalls how much of the queer culture, cheap rents, and virbrant downtown arts movement vanished almost overnight, replaced by gay conservative spokespeople and mainstream consumerism. Schulman takes us back to her Lower East Side and brings it to life, sharing vivid memories of her avant-garde queer friends and recreating the early years of the AIDS crisis as experienced by a political insider. Interweaving personal reminiscence with analysis, Schulman details her experience as a witness to the loss of a generation's imagination and the consequences of that loss.--From publisher description.
Posted in History

Solitude

In Pursuit of a Singular Life in a Crowded World

Author: Michael Harris

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 1250088615

Category: Psychology

Page: 304

View: 8094

With a foreword by Nicholas Carr, author of the Pulitzer Prize–finalist The Shallows. Today, society embraces sharing like never before. Fueled by our dependence on mobile devices and social media, we have created an ecosystem of obsessive connection. Many of us now lead lives of strangely crowded isolation: we are always linked, but only shallowly so. The capacity to be alone, properly alone, is one of life’s subtlest skills. Real solitude is a powerful resource we can call upon—a crucial ingredient for a rich interior life. It inspires reflection, allows creativity to flourish, and improves our relationships with ourselves and, unexpectedly, with others. Idle hands can, in fact, produce the extraordinary. In living bigger and faster, we have forgotten the joys of silence, and undervalued how profoundly it can revolutionize our lives. This book is about discovering stillness inside the city, inside the crowd, inside our busy lives. With wit and energy, award-winning author Michael Harris weaves captivating true stories with reporting from the world’s foremost brain researchers, psychologists, and tech entrepreneurs to guide us toward a state of measured connectivity that balances quiet and companionship. Solitude is a beautiful and convincing statement on the transformative power of being alone.
Posted in Psychology

In the Wolf's Mouth

A Novel

Author: Adam Foulds

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374711305

Category: Fiction

Page: 336

View: 7050

A new novel by the author Julian Barnes called "one of the best British writers to emerge in the last decade" Set in North Africa and Sicily at the end of World War II, In the Wolf's Mouth follows the Allies' botched "liberation" attempts as they chased the Nazis north toward the Italian mainland. Focusing on the experiences of two young soldiers—Will Walker, an English field security officer, ambitious to master and shape events; and Ray Marfione, a wide-eyed Italian American infantryman—the novel contains some of the best battle writing of the past fifty years. Eloquent on the brutish, blundering inaccuracy of war, the immediacy of Adam Foulds's prose is uncanny and unforgettable. The book also explores the continuity of organized crime in Sicily through the eyes of two men—Angilù, a young shepherd; and Cirò Albanese, a local Mafioso. These men appear in the prologue and in the book's terrifying final chapters, making it evident that the Mafia were there before and are there still, the slaughter of war only a temporary distraction. In the Wolf's Mouth has achieved an extraordinary resurrection, returning humanity to the lives lost in the writing of history.
Posted in Fiction

Contemporary Solitude

The Joy and Pain of Being Alone

Author: Joanne Wieland-Burston

Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser

ISBN: 9780892540334

Category: Psychology

Page: 181

View: 9522

Explores how solitude is handled in various cultural contexts, and how solitude can alternatively help or thwart personal growth. Many case examples reveal the role of psychotherapy in the search to discover the kind of space in which we can develop as individuals and yet not become closed off from the world. Illustrated. Bibliography, index.
Posted in Psychology

The Violet Hour

Great Writers at the End

Author: Katie Roiphe

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 0385343590

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 306

View: 6400

"Katie Roiphe takes an unexpected and liberating approach to the most unavoidable of subjects: death. She investigates the final days of six great thinkers, writers, and artists": Susan Sontag, Sigmund Freud, John Updike, Dylan Thomas, Maurice Sendak and James Slater.--
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

The Dead Ladies Project

Exiles, Expats, and Ex-Countries

Author: Jessa Crispin

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022627845X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 240

View: 7624

When Jessa Crispin was thirty, she left Chicago and took off for Berlin. Half a decade later, she's still on the road, in search not so much of a home as of understanding.Fascinated by exile, Crispin travels an itinerary of of places that have drawn writers who needed to break free from their origins and start afresh.She reflects on Maud Gonne fomenting revolution, on Nora Barnacl, Rebecca West, Margaret Anderson and Jean Rhys.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

The Art of Stillness

Adventures in Going Nowhere

Author: Pico Iyer

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476784736

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 96

View: 4429

A follow up to Pico Iyer’s essay “The Joy of Quiet,” The Art of Stillness considers the unexpected adventure of staying put and reveals a counterintuitive truth: The more ways we have to connect, the more we seem desperate to unplug. Why might a lifelong traveler like Pico Iyer, who has journeyed from Easter Island to Ethiopia, Cuba to Kathmandu, think that sitting quietly in a room might be the ultimate adventure? Because in our madly accelerating world, our lives are crowded, chaotic and noisy. There’s never been a greater need to slow down, tune out and give ourselves permission to be still. In The Art of Stillness—a TED Books release—Iyer investigate the lives of people who have made a life seeking stillness: from Matthieu Ricard, a Frenchman with a PhD in molecular biology who left a promising scientific career to become a Tibetan monk, to revered singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, who traded the pleasures of the senses for several years of living the near-silent life of meditation as a Zen monk. Iyer also draws on his own experiences as a travel writer to explore why advances in technology are making us more likely to retreat. He reflects that this is perhaps the reason why many people—even those with no religious commitment—seem to be turning to yoga, or meditation, or seeking silent retreats. These aren't New Age fads so much as ways to rediscover the wisdom of an earlier age. Growing trends like observing an “Internet Sabbath”—turning off online connections from Friday night to Monday morning—highlight how increasingly desperate many of us are to unplug and bring stillness into our lives. The Art of Stillness paints a picture of why so many—from Marcel Proust to Mahatma Gandhi to Emily Dickinson—have found richness in stillness. Ultimately, Iyer shows that, in this age of constant movement and connectedness, perhaps staying in one place is a more exciting prospect, and a greater necessity than ever before. In 2013, Pico Iyer gave a blockbuster TED Talk. This lyrical and inspiring book expands on a new idea, offering a way forward for all those feeling affected by the frenetic pace of our modern world.
Posted in Body, Mind & Spirit

A Philosophy of Loneliness

Author: Lars Svendsen

Publisher: Reaktion Books

ISBN: 1780237936

Category: Philosophy

Page: 240

View: 3472

For many of us it is the ultimate fear: to die alone. Loneliness is a difficult subject to address because it has such negative connotations in our intensely social world. But the truth is that wherever there are people, there is loneliness. You can be lonely sitting in the quiet of your home, in the still of an afternoon park, or even when surrounded by throngs of people on a busy street. One need only turn on the radio to hear a crooner telling us just how lonesome we can be. In this groundbreaking book, philosopher Lars Svendsen confronts loneliness head on, investigating both the negative and positive sides of this most human of emotions. Drawing on the latest research in philosophy, psychology, and the social sciences, A Philosophy of Loneliness explores the different kinds of loneliness and examines the psychological and social characteristics that dispose people to them. Svendsen looks at the importance of friendship and love, and he examines how loneliness can impact our quality of life and affect our physical and mental health. In a provocative move, he also argues that the main problem in our modern society is not that we have too much loneliness but rather too little solitude, and he looks to those moments when our loneliness can actually tell us profound things about ourselves and our place in the world. The result is a fascinating book about a complex and deeply meaningful part of our very being.
Posted in Philosophy