Archive for criticism

SKYLIT: Daniel Oppenheimer, “FAR FROM RESPECTABLE”

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, criticism, art, biography, skylit by skylightbooks on June 14th, 2021
Regarded as both a legend and a villain, the critic Dave Hickey has inspired generations of artists, art critics, musicians, and writers. His 1993 book The Invisible Dragon became a cult hit for its potent and provocative critique of the art establishment and its call to reconsider the role of beauty in art. His next book, 1997's Air Guitar, introduced a new kind of cultural criticism--simultaneously insightful, complicated, vulnerable, and down-to-earth--that propelled Hickey to fame as an iconoclastic thinker, loved and loathed in equal measure, whose influence extended beyond the art world. Far from Respectable is a focused, evocative exploration of Hickey's work, his impact on the field of art criticism, and the man himself, from his Huck Finn childhood to his drug-fueled periods as both a New York gallerist and Nashville songwriter to, finally, his anointment as a tenured professor and MacArthur Fellow. Drawing on in-person interviews with Hickey, his friends and family, and art world comrades and critics, Daniel Oppenheimer examines the controversial writer's distinctive takes on a broad range of subjects, including Norman Rockwell, Robert Mapplethorpe, academia, Las Vegas, basketball, country music, and considers how Hickey and his vision of an "ethical, cosmopolitan paganism" built around a generous definition of art is more urgently needed than ever before.
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Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

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Ted Scheinman, “CAMP AUSTEN”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, criticism by skylightbooks on August 28th, 2018

In a haze of morning crumpets and restrictive tights, Ted Scheinman delivers a hilarious and poignant survey of one of the most enduring and passionate literary coteries in history. Combining clandestine journalism with frank memoir, academic savvy with insider knowledge, Camp Austen is perhaps the most comprehensive study of Jane Austen that can also be read in a single sitting. Brimming with stockings, culinary etiquette, and scandalous dance partners, this is summer camp like you've never seen it before.




Leslie Jamison, “THE RECOVERING”

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, Memoir, essays, journalism, criticism by skylightbooks on July 18th, 2018

With its deeply personal and seamless blend of memoir, cultural history, literary criticism, and journalistic reportage, The Recovering turns our understanding of the traditional addiction narrative on its head, demonstrating that the story of recovery can be every bit as electrifying as the train wreck itself. Leslie Jamison deftly excavates the stories we tell about addiction--both her own and others'--and examines what we want these stories to do, and what happens when they fail us. 
All the while, she offers a fascinating look at the larger history of the recovery movement, and at the literary and artistic geniuses whose lives and works were shaped by alcoholism and substance dependence, including John Berryman, Jean Rhys, Raymond Carver, Billie Holiday, David Foster Wallace, and Denis Johnson, as well as brilliant figures lost to obscurity but newly illuminated here.

For the power of her striking language and the sharpness of her piercing observations, Leslie Jamison has been compared to such iconic writers as Joan Didion and Susan Sontag. Yet her utterly singular voice also offers something new. With enormous empathy and wisdom, Jamison has given us nothing less than the story of addiction and recovery in America writ large, a definitive and revelatory account that will resonate for years to come.





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