It’s no secret that I love books, but it can be an expensive love. Especially photography/art books!
One of my favorite stores is Half Price Books because of this. We go at least every other month and buy a stack of books (we usually have coupons too). For some reason, I’ve never perused the art section until our last trip.
I’m so glad I did!
I found so many books I wanted but I narrowed it down to two. Today I want to share one with it.
Love. This book spoke to me as both a writer and a photographer and I had to have it.
There are (if I counted right) 105 writers featured in this book.
I thought I would share some of my favorite photographs and what some of the writers had to say:
“The question of I, who am I, what different levels are inside of us, is very relevant to writing, to the process of creative writing about which we know nothing whatsoever. Every writing feels when he, she, hits a different level. A certain kind of warning or emotion comes from it. But you don’t know who it is who lives there.”
“A trapeze artist on his high wire is perfoming and defying death at the same time. He’s doing more than showing off his skill; he’s using his skill to stay alive. Art demands that sense of risk, of danger. But few artists in my period risk their lives. The truth is they’re not on a high enough wire.”
“There’s a phrase in West Africe…it’s called ‘deep talk.’…it takes you deeper. I’d like to think that I write ‘deep talk.’ When you read me, you should be able to say, ‘Gosh that’s pretty. That’s lovely. That’s nice. Maybe there’s something else. Better read it again.’”
“Writing is a mysterious activity. One has to be at different stages of conception and execution, in a state of extreme alertness and consciousness and in a state of great naivete and ignorance. Although this is probably true of the practice of any art, it may be more true of writing because the writer- unlike the painter or composer – works in a medium that one employs all the time, throughout one’s waking life…For ever self-revelation, there has to be a self-concealment. A lifelong commitment to writing involves a balancing of these incompatible needs.”
Tom Wolfe (don’t you just love his suit?!)
“I take no pleasure in mere form, and I’ve never said to myself, ‘I think I’ll write a sonnet.”…I just start writing and let the lines break off where they want to break off and, if they seek to rhyme, it’s they that are doing the rhyming, not I.”
Anne Sexton (this is one of my favorite photographs in the book.)
“It is a Sunday in the late 1930s – the relatives have come to our house, as usual, to eat everything they can sink their teeth into. And that, in my feverish child’s imagination, meant me too possible! They were a huge bunch who would snatch you up at any moment…Their dread faces loomed-flushed, jagged teeth flaring, eyes inflamed, and great nose hairs cascading, all oddly smelly and breathy, all dangerous, all growling, all relatives…I would, at a later take, take my revenge and turn them into the Wild Things.”
Alix Kates Shulman
“To me writing always involves reassessing one’s life and coming to some larger understanding. Usually the subjects and themes that attract me are those that have been sources of personal conflict of confusion…Though personal transformation is never my purpose in writing, it usually happens that when I have finished a book I find my demons laid to rest. I believe that if the writer is diligent and lucky, she gains clarity about life in the course of writing a book.”
John Updike (and this is my absolute favorite photograph in the book!)
“To condense from one’s memories and fantasies and small discoveries dark marks on paper which become handsomely reproducible many times over still seems to me, after nearly thirty years…a magical act, and a delightful technical process.”
♥I shared more than I had expected but there’s still over 100 writers and photographs for you to look through and read if you buy it. I didn’t spoil everything!