Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Art Quotes & Michael Mayne


I'm loving the quotes that come through from artsharknet on Twitter. A couple of today's examples.

No degree of dullness can safeguard a work against the determination of critics to find it fascinating. Harold Rosenberg

Art is like an ill-trained Labrador retriever that drags you out into traffic - Annie Dillard.

The links to the two authors are to Wikipedia articles, of course (and by the way, have you donated anything to the site yet?). I've been reading one of Michael Mayne's books again and yesterday looked him up on Wikipedia - last time I looked, probably a couple of years ago, there was no entry for him. And now I discover he died three years ago, and wrote a book about his last year when he had cancer of the jaw (something that I wouldn't wish on anyone). The photograph is of him, by the way.

The two books by Mayne that I've read (This Sunrise of Wonder and Learning to Dance) are a mix of reflection, wonder at creation in its detail, quotes from poets and diarists and nature lovers and some biographical stuff. They have a structure, but it's pretty loose. Of the two, I've read the first three times and enjoyed it each time. The second is the one I'm re-reading now; it's worth re-reading, but doesn't quite gel with me the way the other does. Still there are plenty of good things in it.
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