Dime-store Alchemy: The Art of Joseph Cornell

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New York Review of Books, 2006 - 82 pagine

InDime-Store Alchemy, poet Charles Simic refects on the life and work of Joseph Cornell, the maverick surrealist who is one of America’s great artists. Simic’s spare prose is as enchanting and luminous as the mysterious boxes of found objects for which Cornell is justly renowned.

In a work that is in various degrees biography, criticism, and sheer poetry, Simic tells the story of Cornell’s life and illuminates the hermetic mysteries of his extraordinary boxes–objects in which private obsessions were alchemically transformed into enduring works of art. Simic sees Cornell’s work as exemplifying a distinctively American aesthetic, open to the world, improvisatory, at once homemade and universal, modest and teasing and profound. Full of unexpected riches,Dime-Store Alchemyis both an entrancing meditation on the nature of art and a perfect introduction to a major American artist by one of his peers–a book that can be perused at length or dipped into at leisure again and again.

 

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Sommario

List of Illustrations
vii
Preface
ix
Chronology
xi
Medici Slot Machine
1
The Little Box
31
Imaginary Hotels
59
Notes
79
Copyright

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Informazioni sull'autore (2006)

Charles Simic was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, immigrated with his family to Chicago in 1954, and was educated at New York University. Although his native language was Serbian, he began writing in English. Some of his work reflects the years he served in the U.S. Army (1961--63). He has been awarded a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, a Guggenheim Foundation grant, and a National Endowment for the Arts award. "My poetry always had surrealistic tendencies, which were discouraged a great deal in the '50's," the poet said, but such tendencies were applauded in the 1970s and his reputation consequently flourished. His poems are about obsessive fears and often depict a world that resembles the animism of primitive thought. His work has affinities with that of Mark Strand and has in its turn produced several imitators. Simic was appointed the fifteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 2007

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