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Tracings: A Book of Partial Portraits

Horgan, Paul (signed)

3 valoraciones por Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0374278598 / ISBN 13: 9780374278595
Editorial: Farrar Straus Giroux, New York, 1993
Condición: Fine Encuadernación de tapa dura
Librería: Casa Paloma Books (Green Valley, AZ, Estados Unidos de America)

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hardcover, first edition, 1993, with a six word inscription by the author to John and dated 1993 on front endpaper, fine condition in a fine dust jacket, not price clipped, author records his personal encounters with some of the outstanding artists of the 20th Century, including Greta Garbo, T. S. Eliot, Somerset Maugham, Peter Hurd and others. N° de ref. de la librería 4737

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Detalles bibliográficos

Título: Tracings: A Book of Partial Portraits

Editorial: Farrar Straus Giroux, New York

Año de publicación: 1993

Encuadernación: Hardcover

Condición del libro:Fine

Condición de la sobrecubierta: Fine

Ejemplar firmado: Inscribed by Author(s)

Edición: First Edition

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In this fascinating book of portraits, Paul Horgan records his personal encounters with some of the outstanding artists of the century. For over fifty years - from the time when, as a teenage reporter in New Mexico, he met the doomed poet Vachel Lindsay, to the final illness of his friend Igor Stravinsky - Horgan not only crossed paths with the great and near-great, but his writer's eye enriched these moments with special grace and depth. Whether in comedy or the spirit of elegy, and with the lightest touch, Tracings brings together partial portraits of such legendary figures as opera stars Feodor Chaliapin, Mary Garden, and Marguerite D'Alvarez; actresses Minnie Maddern Fiske and Greta Garbo; painter Peter Hurd; writers Somerset Maugham, T. S. Eliot, Thornton Wilder, and Edmund Wilson. While researching his Pulitzer Prize biography, Lamy of Santa Fe, Horgan is granted an unheard-of privilege when the "100-year" rule governing the Vatican's archives is mysteriously waived for him. In Rome during wartime, he is also permitted to spend several hours in the Sistine Chapel entirely alone. This rich collection confirms the verdict of James K. Morris: "Paul Horgan is one of a handful of writers in America today who deserve the title of literary master."

From Kirkus Reviews:

Southwestern novelist/historian Horgan (A Certain Climate, 1988, etc.), twice a Pulitzer-winner, offers 17 slight but sprightly essays on his encounters with artistic illuminati. These pieces--many of which first appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The Yale Review, etc.--cover five decades, beginning with Horgan's comic meeting, as a teenaged reporter in New Mexico, with the poet Vachel Lindsay, who fended off inquiries about the youngster's poetry by rambling on about The Egyptian Book of the Dead. Two essays uncharacteristically involve not artists but cultural artifacts: the Sistine Chapel (where Horgan found himself all alone in August 1945) and the Vatican Library (where he was allowed to break the institution's ``100- year-rule'' limiting access to archives). Horgan seems most fascinated by the theatricality that celebrities project even when offstage (even the one nonprofessional celebrity here, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, emerges as a deft comic and mimic). But the problem with many of the portraits--for instance, of Garbo, Thornton Wilder, Somerset Maugham, Fyodor Chaliapin, and Broadway actress Minnie Maddern Fiske--is that they're based on such slender acquaintance that character development is nonexistent. The compensating factor is Horgan's succinct descriptive power (on T.S. Eliot: ``His eyes were gray, powerfully taking, under lids slanting aside....The general effect was that of composed good looks at the service of sober good manners''). The best pieces concern figures with whom Horgan became most intimate: Edmund Wilson, wooed by the author into a stint as a visiting scholar at Wesleyan, where the critic memorably displayed his ``oddments and crochets''; and Igor Stravinsky, during his last frail days. Glancing, at times superficial, brushes with the famous, told with affection and charm. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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