At points Greil Marcus’ digressive style can seem like nervy brilliance, at others, idle whimsy. What ennobles the book is the critic’s love for his underlying subject: the soulful search for a truer America.
What we have here is the voice of one trying to navigate, endure, rise above, and somehow pacify a tapestry of cruelty and grief, while it struggles to find the words and voice that will do the work.
David Thomson’s meditation on our love of disasters is engagingly allusive, reflective, humane, wide-ranging, and often funny.
Each month, our arts critics — music, book, theater, dance, and visual arts — fire off a few brief reviews.
Ludwig Hohl belongs in the line of such lucidly contentious thinkers as Karl Kraus, Pascal, and Lichtenberg, commentators whose writing oscillates between the traditions of literature and philosophy.
The biography raises the subject of Man Ray’s Jewish roots, but the matter is dropped pretty quickly.
Biographer June Cummins considers the first All-of-a-Kind Family book, published in 1951, as groundbreaking and Sydney Taylor as “one of the first writers of multicultural literature for children.”
Art and Faith should be widely read — its delightful wisdom and clarity underlines our culture’s desperate need to make things new.
Biographer James Kaplan was aided by the assistance of Irving Berlin’s two elder daughters, and that makes this biography particularly valuable.
The book will stand as a good first stop for anyone interested in Alfred Stieglitz, 20th-century photography, or American modern art.