Book List 07

pile of books 07

These are the books I’d like to finish reading this year, non-fiction:

  1. Italian Journey by Goethe: nearly done with this, pg. 401 out of 497. This has lingered on my shelf for a few years since I picked it up at a used book store while looking for some other book by him for a reading group. Mostly a travelogue but with a scattering of insights into his ideas on art and science.
  2. Creative Evolution by Henri Bergson: barely started, will probably begin again fresh. Purchased through Alibris, indulging my old book fetish. I have not read any of his other works yet, but there are some irresistible titles in the bunch. This is a sort of philosophical perspective on evolution first published in 1911. I don’t think that anyone holds to his ideas in a scientific sense any longer, but from the little I’ve read, I’m intrigued by his perspective on time, identity, evolution, and especially the contrast between plants and animals. I’m hoping to use this, together with some Goethe, to revive my Botanical series (see Gallery).
  3. Looking at the Overlooked by Norman Bryson: Also found through Alibris. Was referred to in an introductory essay of a beautiful book on Still Life that I found at the library. I have an ongoing fascination with Still Life and also thought that perhaps, this might have something to add to my thinking about Art vs. Craft. We’ll see.
  4. The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp: First read a copy from the library last year and then purchased through Alibris. I couldn’t resist that title/subtitle as I’d been looking for a way to adjust my creative life to the need for more job hours. This book helped me think about how I do things in a new way and gave me hope that I could still be creative while working a job to even out my income flow. I think that her suggested exercises also contributed to my thinking that a blog could help my work. I want to reread this, at least in part, and try some of the exercises and suggestions more deliberately.
  5. Thinking with Things by Esther Pasztory: This one I have only about 40 pages left, though I’ll probably review some early chapters. Again, purchased through Alibris, cause I like to support independent booksellers, but I like to be able to find a specific book, often not currently in print. Also, there are few things that compete with getting a book in the mail. This book was referred to in a NYT article reviewing an exhibition of Meso-American artifacts. The brief reference and the title really peaked my curiosity which was well rewarded by the book itself. The author is a Professor of Pre-Colombian Art History and Archaeology at Columbia and the subtitle does a good job of describing the aim of the book: Toward a New Vision of Art. She makes a compelling case for a shift in perspective which expands what is considered Art to include a wider range of human made objects, which has implications for those working in Craft and Design as well as Non-Western and Non-Traditional mediums. I found her perspective on what we are doing when we create objects, both in the intellect of the individual and in the context of a society to be very intriguing. Highly recommended reading for anyone who is interested in the Art vs. Craft “debate,” especially those who tend to think that there doesn’t need to be a hierarchical divide between the two.

So there we are. Nearly March and I’m still making resolutions. All part of my effort to work on focus.

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  1. Resolution #1: Reading List 07/08 « tether

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