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The Amateur An Independent Life of Letters

Lesser, Wendy *SIGNED by Author*

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ISBN 10: 0375404023 / ISBN 13: 9780375404023
Editorial: Pantheon Books, New York, NY, 1999
Condición: Fine Encuadernación de tapa dura
Librería: edconroybooks (Troy, NY, Estados Unidos de America)

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(full book description) Pantheon Books, New York, NY, 1999. 1st Edition 1st Printing, Fine/Fine-, Hard Cover, w/Dust Jacket. Size=6."x8.", 274 pages. SIGNED by Author on bookstore bookplate on front endpaper. Clean, bright & tight. No ink names, tears, chips, foxing etc. Price unclipped. ISBN 0375404023 SELLING WORLDWIDE SINCE 1987. WE PACK WITH GREAT CARE, 99% OF OUR BOOKS ARE SHIPPED IN CUSTOM BOXES!. N° de ref. de la librería CONROY222041I

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Detalles bibliográficos

Título: The Amateur An Independent Life of Letters

Editorial: Pantheon Books, New York, NY

Año de publicación: 1999

Encuadernación: Hardcover

Condición del libro:Fine

Condición de la sobrecubierta: As New

Ejemplar firmado: Signed by Author

Edición: First Edition.

Tipo de libro: Book

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The Amateur is an inquiry into how we discover our passions and how they discover us. "I am very conscious," writes Wendy Lesser, one of our shrewdest cultural observers, "of having made choices in my life. You can't plan how the choices will turn out. But you can certainly make them." In The Amateur Lesser explores some of the choices she has made in pursuit of an old-fashioned but indispensable vocation: an independent life of letters. She discusses the place--California--in which she grew up; the institutions-- Harvard, Cambridge, Berkeley--where she received her formal education; the writers, artists, and performers who deepened her critical understanding; and, finally, the literary journal she founded, The Threepenny Review, which she still edits and publishes out of the Berkeley apartment in which it began nearly twenty years ago.

Lesser describes both the events in her own life and those she has witnessed on stage, screen, canvas, and paper, noting noting how both experience and art teach us to observe, to discriminate, and to make sense of one another. Written with her trademark intelligence, quiet wit, and elegance, The Amateur is a beguiling work of autobiography.


In The Amateur Wendy Lesser marries two literary forms, autobiography and essay, with remarkable results. True to the spirit of the critical essay, she discusses any number of subjects in a profound and analytical way; yet in the course of reflecting on, say, vocabulary or philanthropy or dance lessons, she imparts a vivid portrait of the woman behind the ideas. Consider, for example, how Lesser bounces between intellect and slapstick. An examination of the relationship between critics and artists in "Passionate Witness" ("When you attach yourself to a cherished artist, as I have attached myself to Mark Morris, you cede to that artist a certain portion of your own intellectual development. You are not just the learned critic, commenting on the work, you are also the novice, being molded by that work") gives way to a wacky tale of high art and low comedy in "A Night at the Opera"--complete with stomach cramps, a visit to the aid station, and an eye-opening introduction to behind-the-scenes doings that rivals any drama being enacted on the stage. Over the course of 24 essays a picture gradually emerges of all the phases of Wendy Lesser's life in the world and of the mind.

Whether she's discussing her disastrous affair with a young Englishman during her postgraduate years at Cambridge, the poet Thom Gunn, or her cat, Ralph ("I had a cat without a nose"), Lesser does so with intelligence, humor, and deep insight. Reading her is something like having a conversation with an old friend--that delightful sense of kinship even when you disagree. --Alix Wilber

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