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The Rest Is Noise

The Rest Is Noise

The Rest Is Noise

Author: ,

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Isbn 10: 9781429932882

Category: Music

Number of Pages: 640

Number of Views: 1126

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The scandal over modern music has not died down. While paintings by Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock sell for a hundred million dollars or more, shocking musical works from Stravinsky's Rite of Spring onward still send ripples of unease through audiences. At the same time, the influence of modern music can be felt everywhere. Avant-garde sounds populate the soundtracks of Hollywood thrillers. Minimalist music has had a huge effect on rock, pop, and dance music from the Velvet Underground onward. Alex Ross, the brilliant music critic for The New Yorker, shines a bright light on this secret world, and shows how it has pervaded every corner of twentieth century life. The Rest Is Noise takes the reader inside the labyrinth of modern sound. It tells of maverick personalities who have resisted the cult of the classical past, struggled against the indifference of a wide public, and defied the will of dictators. Whether they have charmed audiences with the purest beauty or battered them with the purest noise, composers have always been exuberantly of the present, defying the stereotype of classical music as a dying art. Ross, in this sweeping and dramatic narrative, takes us from Vienna before the First World War to Paris in the twenties, from Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia to downtown New York in the sixties and seventies. We follow the rise of mass culture and mass politics, of dramatic new technologies, of hot and cold wars, of experiments, revolutions, riots, and friendships forged and broken. In the tradition of Simon Schama's The Embarrassment of Riches and Louis Menand's The Metaphysical Club, the end result is not so much a history of twentieth-century music as a history of the twentieth century through its music.


Listen to This

Listen to This

Listen to This

Author: Alex Ross

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Isbn 10: 9781429977616

Category: Music

Number of Pages: 384

Number of Views: 1026

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One of The Telegraph's Best Music Books 2011 Alex Ross's award-winning international bestseller, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, has become a contemporary classic, establishing Ross as one of our most popular and acclaimed cultural historians. Listen to This, which takes its title from a beloved 2004 essay in which Ross describes his late-blooming discovery of pop music, showcases the best of his writing from more than a decade at The New Yorker. These pieces, dedicated to classical and popular artists alike, are at once erudite and lively. In a previously unpublished essay, Ross brilliantly retells hundreds of years of music history—from Renaissance dances to Led Zeppelin—through a few iconic bass lines of celebration and lament. He vibrantly sketches canonical composers such as Schubert, Verdi, and Brahms; gives us in-depth interviews with modern pop masters such as Björk and Radiohead; and introduces us to music students at a Newark high school and indie-rock hipsters in Beijing. Whether his subject is Mozart or Bob Dylan, Ross shows how music expresses the full complexity of the human condition. Witty, passionate, and brimming with insight, Listen to This teaches us how to listen more closely.


The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock: An Anatomy of the Master of Suspense

The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock: An Anatomy of the Master of Suspense

The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock: An Anatomy of the Master of Suspense

Author: Edward White

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Isbn 10: 1324002409

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Number of Pages: 400

Number of Views: 1006

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A fresh, innovative biography of the twentieth century’s most iconic filmmaker. In The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock, Edward White explores the Hitchcock phenomenon—what defines it, how it was invented, what it reveals about the man at its core, and how its legacy continues to shape our cultural world. The book’s twelve chapters illuminate different aspects of Hitchcock’s life and work: “The Boy Who Couldn’t Grow Up”; “The Murderer”; “The Auteur”; “The Womanizer”; “The Fat Man”; “The Dandy”; “The Family Man”; “The Voyeur”; “The Entertainer”; “The Pioneer”; “The Londoner”; “The Man of God.” Each of these angles reveals something fundamental about the man he was and the mythological creature he has become, presenting not just the life Hitchcock lived but also the various versions of himself that he projected, and those projected on his behalf. From Hitchcock’s early work in England to his most celebrated films, White astutely analyzes Hitchcock’s oeuvre and provides new interpretations. He also delves into Hitchcock’s ideas about gender; his complicated relationships with “his women”—not only Grace Kelly and Tippi Hedren but also his female audiences—as well as leading men such as Cary Grant, and writes movingly of Hitchcock’s devotion to his wife and lifelong companion, Alma, who made vital contributions to numerous classic Hitchcock films, and burnished his mythology. And White is trenchant in his assessment of the Hitchcock persona, so carefully created that Hitchcock became not only a figurehead for his own industry but nothing less than a cultural icon. Ultimately, White’s portrayal illuminates a vital truth: Hitchcock was more than a Hollywood titan; he was the definitive modern artist, and his significance reaches far beyond the confines of cinema.


An Unsocial Socialist

An Unsocial Socialist

An Unsocial Socialist

Author: George Bernard Shaw

Publisher: The Floating Press

Isbn 10: 1877527726

Category: Fiction

Number of Pages: 418

Number of Views: 746

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An Unsocial Socialist begins in an unruly girl's school, comically portraying their tricks and pranks. The narrative then moves to a seemingly ill-bred laborer, who is in fact a wealthy gentleman in disguise. He wishes, in part, to avoid his overly-affectionate wife, but also to preach socialism, of which he is a staunch convert. The story is then largely subsumed in a discussion of socialism and briefly concludes with the suitable marriages of the now-grown schoolgirls.


Hot, Cold, Heavy, Light, 100 Art Writings 1988-2018

Hot, Cold, Heavy, Light, 100 Art Writings 1988-2018

Hot, Cold, Heavy, Light, 100 Art Writings 1988-2018

Author: Peter Schjeldahl

Publisher: Abrams

Isbn 10: 1683355296

Category: Art

Number of Pages: 400

Number of Views: 653

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Hot Cold Heavy Light collects 100 writings—some long, some short—that taken together forma group portrait of many of the world’s most significant and interesting artists. From Pablo Picasso to Cindy Sherman, Old Masters to contemporary masters, paintings to comix, and saints to charlatans, Schjeldahl ranges widely through the diverse and confusing art world, an expert guide to a dazzling scene. No other writer enhances the reader’s experience of art in precise, jargon-free prose as Schjeldahl does. His reviews are more essay than criticism, and he offers engaging and informative accounts of artists and their work. For more than three decades, he has written about art with Emersonian openness and clarity. A fresh perspective, an unexpected connection, a lucid gloss on a big idea awaits the reader on every page of this big, absorbing, buzzing book.


Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner

Author: Martin Geck

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Isbn 10: 0226924629

Category: Music

Number of Pages: 416

Number of Views: 1221

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Best known for the challenging four-opera cycle The Ring of the Nibelung, Richard Wagner (1813–83) was a conductor, librettist, theater director, and essayist, in addition to being the composer of some of the most enduring operatic works in history, such as The Flying Dutchman, Tannhäuser, and Tristan and Isolde. Though his influence on the development of European music is indisputable, Wagner was also quite outspoken on the politics and culture of his time. His ideas traveled beyond musical circles into philosophy, literature, theater staging, and the visual arts. To befit such a dynamic figure, acclaimed biographer Martin Geck offers here a Wagner biography unlike any other, one that strikes a unique balance between the technical musical aspects of Wagner’s compositions and his overarching understanding of aesthetics. Wagner has always inspired passionate admirers as well as numerous detractors, with the result that he has achieved a mythical stature nearly equal to that of the Valkyries and Viking heroes he popularized. There are few, if any, scholars today who know more about Wagner and his legacy than Geck, who builds upon his extensive research and considerable knowledge as one of the editors of the Complete Works to offer a distinctive appraisal of the composer and the operas. Using a wide range of sources, from contemporary scholars to the composer’s own words, Geck explores key ideas in Wagner’s life and works, while always keeping the music in the foreground. Geck discusses not only all the major operas, but also several unfinished operas and even the composer’s early attempts at quasi-Shakespearean drama. Richard Wagner: A Life in Music is a landmark study of one of music’s most important figures, offering something new to opera enthusiasts, Wagnerians, and anti-Wagnerians alike.


A Sound Mind

A Sound Mind

A Sound Mind

Author: Paul Morley

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Isbn 10: 152664455X

Category: Music

Number of Pages: 624

Number of Views: 1268

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'An alternately funny and moving book about the most important art form on Planet Earth. Destined to become a classic (pun intended)' Jarvis Cocker Music critic and writer Paul Morley weaves together memoir and history in a spiralling tale that establishes classical music as the most rebellious genre of all. Paul Morley had stopped being surprised by modern pop music and found himself retreating into the sounds of artists he loved when, as an emerging music journalist in the 70s, he wrote for NME. But not wishing to give in to dreary nostalgia, endlessly circling back to the bands he wrote about in the past, he went searching for something new, rare and wondrous – and found it in classical music. A soaring polemic, a grumpy reflection on modern rock, and a fan's love note, A Sound Mind rejects the idea that classical music is establishment; old; a drag. Instead, the book reveals this genre to be the most exciting and varied in music. A Sound Mind is a multi-layered memoir of Morley's shifting musical tastes, but it is also a compelling history of classical music that reveals the genre's rich and often deviant past – and, hopefully, future. Like a conductor, Morley weaves together timelines and timeframes in an orchestral narrative that declares the transformative and resilient power of classical music from Bach to Shostakovich, Brahms to Birtwistle, Mozart to Cage, travelling from eighteenth century salons to the modern age of Spotify.


What Goes On

What Goes On

What Goes On

Author: Walter Everett,Tim Riley

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Isbn 10: 0190949880

Category: Music

Number of Pages: 304

Number of Views: 575

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In a stretch of just seven years, the Beatles recorded hundreds of songs which tower above those of their worthy peers as both the product of cultural leadership and an artistic reflection of their turbulent age, the1960s. Walter Everett and Tim Riley's What Goes On: The Beatles, Their Music, and Their Time blends historical narrative, musicology, and music analysis to tell the full story of the Beatles and how they redefined pop music. The book traces the Beatles' development chronologically, marking the band's involvement with world events such as the Vietnam War, strides in overcoming racial segregation, gender stereotyping, student demonstrations, and the generation gap. It delves deeply into their body of work, introducing the concepts of musical form, instrumentation, harmonic structure, melodic patterns, and rhythmic devices in a way that is accessible to musicians and non-musicians alike. Close readings of specific songs highlight the tensions between imagination and mechanics, songwriting and technology, and through the book's musical examples, listeners will learn how to develop strategies for creating their own rich interpretations of the potential meanings behind their favorite songs. Videos hosted on the book's companion website offer full definitions and performance demonstrations of all musical concepts discussed in the text, and interactive listening guides illustrate track details in real-time listening. The unique multimedia approach of What Goes On reveals just how great this music was in its own time, and why it remains important today as a body of singular achievement.


Switched On Pop

Switched On Pop

Switched On Pop

Author: Nate Sloan,Charlie Harding

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Isbn 10: 0190056665

Category: Music

Number of Pages: 200

Number of Views: 1955

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Pop music surrounds us - in our cars, over supermarket speakers, even when we are laid out at the dentist - but how often do we really hear what's playing? Switched on Pop is the book based on the eponymous podcast that has been hailed by NPR, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, and Entertainment Weekly for its witty and accessible analysis of Top 40 hits. Through close studies of sixteen modern classics, musicologist Nate Sloan and songwriter Charlie Harding shift pop from the background to the foreground, illuminating the essential musical concepts behind two decades of chart-topping songs. In 1939, Aaron Copland published What to Listen for in Music, the bestseller that made classical music approachable for generations of listeners. Eighty years later, Nate and Charlie update Copland's idea for a new audience and repertoire: 21st century pop, from Britney to Beyoncé, Outkast to Kendrick Lamar. Despite the importance of pop music in contemporary culture, most discourse only revolves around lyrics and celebrity. Switched on Pop gives readers the tools they need to interpret our modern soundtrack. Each chapter investigates a different song and artist, revealing musical insights such as how a single melodic motif follows Taylor Swift through every genre that she samples, André 3000 uses metric manipulation to get listeners to "shake it like a Polaroid picture," or Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee create harmonic ambiguity in "Despacito" that mirrors the patterns of global migration. Replete with engaging discussions and eye-catching illustrations, Switched on Pop brings to life the musical qualities that catapult songs into the pop pantheon. Readers will find themselves listening to familiar tracks in new waysand not just those from the Top 40. The timeless concepts that Nate and Charlie define can be applied to any musical style. From fanatics to skeptics, teenagers to octogenarians, non-musicians to professional composers, every music lover will discover something ear-opening in Switched on Pop.


The Ring of Truth

The Ring of Truth

The Ring of Truth

Author: Roger Scruton

Publisher: Penguin UK

Isbn 10: 0241188563

Category: Music

Number of Pages: 368

Number of Views: 561

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Richard Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung is one of the greatest works of art created in modern times, and has fascinated both critics and devotees for over a century and a half. No recent study has examined the meaning of Wagner's masterpiece with the attention to detail and intellectual power that Roger Scruton brings to it in this inspiring account. The Ring of Truth is an exploration of the drama, music, symbolism and philosophy of the Ring from a writer whose knowledge and understanding of the Western musical tradition are the equal of his capacities as a philosopher. Scruton shows how, through musical connections and brilliant dramatic strokes, Wagner is able to express truths about the human condition which few other creative artists have been able to convey so convincingly. For Wagner, writes Scruton, the task of art is to 'show us freedom in its immediate, contingent, human form, reminding us of what it means to us. Even if we live in a world from which gods and heroes have disappeared we can, by imagining them, dramatize the deep truths of our condition and renew our faith in what we are.' Love, death, sacrifice and the liberation that we win through sacrifice - these are the great themes of the Ring, as they are of this book. Scruton's passionate and moving interpretation allows us to understand more fully than ever how Wagner conveys his ideas about who we are, and why the Ring continues to be such a hypnotically absorbing work.


Tristan's Shadow

Tristan's Shadow

Tristan's Shadow

Author: Adrian Daub

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Isbn 10: 022608227X

Category: Music

Number of Pages: 240

Number of Views: 1807

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Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, and Siegfried. Parsifal. Tristan und Isolde. Both revered and reviled, Richard Wagner conceived some of the nineteenth century’s most influential operas—and created some of the most indelible characters ever to grace the stage. But over the course of his polarizing career, Wagner also composed volumes of essays and pamphlets, some on topics seemingly quite distant from the opera house. His influential concept of Gesamtkunstwerk—the “total work of art”—famously and controversially offered a way to unify the different media of an opera into a coherent whole. Less well known, however, are Wagner’s strange theories on sexuality—like his ideas about erotic acoustics and the metaphysics of sexual difference. Drawing on the discourses of psychoanalysis, evolutionary biology, and other emerging fields of study that informed Wagner’s thinking, Adrian Daub traces the dual influence of Gesamtkunstwerk and eroticism from their classic expressions in Tristan und Isolde into the work of the generation of composers that followed, including Zemlinsky, d’Albert, Schreker, and Strauss. For decades after Wagner’s death, Daub writes, these composers continued to grapple with his ideas and with his overwhelming legacy, trying in vain to write their way out from Tristan’s shadow.


The Naked Truth

The Naked Truth

The Naked Truth

Author: Alys X. George

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Isbn 10: 022669500X

Category: History

Number of Pages: 328

Number of Views: 1341

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Viennese modernism is often described in terms of a fin-de-siècle fascination with the psyche. But this stereotype of the movement as essentially cerebral overlooks a rich cultural history of the body. The Naked Truth, an interdisciplinary tour de force, addresses this lacuna, fundamentally recasting the visual, literary, and performative cultures of Viennese modernism through an innovative focus on the corporeal. Alys X. George explores the modernist focus on the flesh by turning our attention to the second Vienna medical school, which revolutionized the field of anatomy in the 1800s. As she traces the results of this materialist influence across a broad range of cultural forms—exhibitions, literature, portraiture, dance, film, and more—George brings into dialogue a diverse group of historical protagonists, from canonical figures such as Egon Schiele, Arthur Schnitzler, Joseph Roth, and Hugo von Hofmannsthal to long-overlooked ones, including author and doctor Marie Pappenheim, journalist Else Feldmann, and dancers Grete Wiesenthal, Gertrud Bodenwieser, and Hilde Holger. She deftly blends analyses of popular and “high” culture, laying to rest the notion that Viennese modernism was an exclusively male movement. The Naked Truth uncovers the complex interplay of the physical and the aesthetic that shaped modernism and offers a striking new interpretation of this fascinating moment in the history of the West.


House of Music

House of Music

House of Music

Author: Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Isbn 10: 1786078457

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Number of Pages: 304

Number of Views: 1381

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‘Riveting, taking in prejudice as well as sacrifice. There are 4.30am starts, lost instruments, fractured wrists, all captured with vivid flourishes. A paean to camaraderie.’ Observer Seven brothers and sisters. All of them classically trained musicians. One was Young Musician of the Year and performed for the royal family. The eldest has released her first album, showcasing the works of Clara Schumann. These siblings don’t come from the rarefied environment of elite music schools, but from a state comprehensive in Nottingham. How did they do it? Their mother, Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason, opens up about what it takes to raise a musical family in a Britain divided by class and race. What comes out is a beautiful and heartrending memoir of the power of determination, camaraderie and a lot of hard work. The Kanneh-Masons are a remarkable family. But what truly sparkles in this eloquent memoir is the joyous affirmation that children are a gift and we must do all we can to nurture them.


My Autobiography of Carson McCullers: A Memoir

My Autobiography of Carson McCullers: A Memoir

My Autobiography of Carson McCullers: A Memoir

Author: Jenn Shapland

Publisher: Tin House Books

Isbn 10: 1947793292

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Number of Pages: 296

Number of Views: 1059

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FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction How do you tell the real story of someone misremembered—an icon and idol—alongside your own? Jenn Shapland’s celebrated debut is both question and answer: an immersive, surprising exploration of one of America’s most beloved writers, alongside a genre-defying examination of identity, queerness, memory, obsession, and love. Shapland is a graduate student when she first uncovers letters written to Carson McCullers by a woman named Annemarie. Though Shapland recognizes herself in the letters, which are intimate and unabashed in their feelings, she does not see McCullers as history has portrayed her. Her curiosity gives way to fixation, not just with this newly discovered side of McCullers’s life, but with how we tell queer love stories. Why, Shapland asks, are the stories of women paved over by others’ narratives? What happens when constant revision is required of queer women trying to navigate and self-actualize in straight spaces? And what might the tracing of McCullers’s life—her history, her secrets, her legacy—reveal to Shapland about herself? In smart, illuminating prose, Shapland interweaves her own story with McCullers’s to create a vital new portrait of one of our nation’s greatest literary treasures, and shows us how the writers we love and the stories we tell about ourselves make us who we are.


Wagner and the Erotic Impulse

Wagner and the Erotic Impulse

Wagner and the Erotic Impulse

Author: Laurence Dreyfus

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Isbn 10: 067426309X

Category: Music

Number of Pages: 288

Number of Views: 1696

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Though his image is tarnished today by unrepentant anti-Semitism, Richard Wagner (1813–1883) was better known in the nineteenth century for his provocative musical eroticism. In this illuminating study of the composer and his works, Laurence Dreyfus shows how Wagner’s obsession with sexuality prefigured the composition of operas such as Tannhäuser, Die Walküre, Tristan und Isolde, and Parsifal. Daring to represent erotic stimulation, passionate ecstasy, and the torment of sexual desire, Wagner sparked intense reactions from figures like Baudelaire, Clara Schumann, Nietzsche, and Nordau, whose verbal tributes and censures disclose what was transmitted when music represented sex. Wagner himself saw the cultivation of an erotic high style as central to his art, especially after devising an anti-philosophical response to Schopenhauer’s “metaphysics of sexual love.” A reluctant eroticist, Wagner masked his personal compulsion to cross-dress in pink satin and drench himself in rose perfumes while simultaneously incorporating his silk fetish and love of floral scents into his librettos. His affection for dominant females and surprising regard for homosexual love likewise enable some striking portraits in his operas. In the end, Wagner’s achievement was to have fashioned an oeuvre which explored his sexual yearnings as much as it conveyed—as never before—how music could act on erotic impulse.


Beethoven

Beethoven

Beethoven

Author: Laura Tunbridge

Publisher: Penguin UK

Isbn 10: 0241987458

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Number of Pages: 288

Number of Views: 739

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**WINNER of Presto Books' Best Composer Biography** NINE WORKS OF BEETHOVEN, NINE WINDOWS INTO THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF A MUSICAL GENIUS. 'We are doubly blessed that Beethoven should have led such an extraordinary life. Laura has combined the two - the genius of his music and the richness of his experiences - to shine a revealing light on our greatest composer' John Humphrys _________________________ Ludwig van Beethoven: to some, simply the greatest ever composer of Western classical music. Yet his life remains shrouded in myths. In Beethoven, Oxford professor Laura Tunbridge cuts through the noise. With each chapter focusing on a period of his life, piece of music and revealing theme - from family to friends, from heroism to liberty - she provides a rich insight into the man and the music. Revealing a wealth of never-before-seen material, this tour de force is a compelling, accessible portrayal of one of the world's most creative minds and it will transform how you listen for ever. _________________________ 'Tunbridge has come up with the seemingly impossible: a new way of approaching Beethoven's life and music . . . profoundly original and hugely readable' John Suchet, author Beethoven: The Man Revealed 'This well researched and accessible book is a must read for all who seek to know more about the flesh and blood tangible Beethoven.' John Clubbe, author of Beethoven: The Relentless Revolutionary 'This book is really wonderful! ... However many books on Beethoven you own, find the space for one more. This one' Stephen Hough, pianist, composer, writer 'In a year when everyone's looking for a new take on Beethoven, Laura Tunbridge has found nine. Fresh and engaging' Norman Lebrecht, author of Genius and Anxiety 'Remarkable . . . she captures the essence of his genius and character. I'll always want to keep it in easy reach' Julia Boyd, author of Travellers in the third Reich


The Song of the Lark

The Song of the Lark

The Song of the Lark

Author: Willa Cather

Publisher: Random House

Isbn 10: 1473559405

Category: Fiction

Number of Pages: 496

Number of Views: 839

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The second novel in Willa Cather’s Great Plains trilogy, is a lyrical coming-of-age story charting the struggles of an artists life. 'Lingers long in the memory' Joyce Carol Oates Thea Kronberg, gifted with a beautiful voice, defies her humble beginnings in Colorado and finds success far from her small hometown. But her achievements come with painful drawbacks. As the distance between Thea and her roots increases, she must fight to find her inner strength and reach her full potential. WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY PENELOPE LIVELY


Marvels

Marvels

Marvels

Author: Kurt Busiek

Publisher: Marvel Entertainment

Isbn 10: 1302507044

Category: Comics & Graphic Novels

Number of Pages: 248

Number of Views: 959

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Collecting Marvels #0-4. Within the Marvel Universe, heroes soar high in the skies, ready to battle the villains who threaten their world. Yet living in the shadow of these extraordinary icons are ordinary men and women who view the “MARVELS” with a mixture of fear, disbelief, envy and admiration. Among them is Phil Sheldon, a New York City photojournalist who has dedicated his career to covering the exploits of the Marvels and their effect on humankind. Written by Kurt Busiek and masterfully illustrated by Alex Ross, Marvels presents a richly painted historical overview of the entire Marvel Universe, spanning from the 1939 debut of the Human Torch to the fearsome coming of the world-devouring Galactus — and culminating in the shocking death of Gwen Stacy, Spider-Man’s first love.


Wagnerism

Wagnerism

Wagnerism

Author: Alex Ross

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Isbn 10: 1429944544

Category: Music

Number of Pages: 784

Number of Views: 1151

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Alex Ross, renowned New Yorker music critic and author of the international bestseller and Pulitzer Prize finalist The Rest Is Noise, reveals how Richard Wagner became the proving ground for modern art and politics—an aesthetic war zone where the Western world wrestled with its capacity for beauty and violence. For better or worse, Wagner is the most widely influential figure in the history of music. Around 1900, the phenomenon known as Wagnerism saturated European and American culture. Such colossal creations as The Ring of the Nibelung, Tristan und Isolde, and Parsifal were models of formal daring, mythmaking, erotic freedom, and mystical speculation. A mighty procession of artists, including Virginia Woolf, Thomas Mann, Paul Cézanne, Isadora Duncan, and Luis Buñuel, felt his impact. Anarchists, occultists, feminists, and gay-rights pioneers saw him as a kindred spirit. Then Adolf Hitler incorporated Wagner into the soundtrack of Nazi Germany, and the composer came to be defined by his ferocious antisemitism. For many, his name is now almost synonymous with artistic evil. In Wagnerism, Alex Ross restores the magnificent confusion of what it means to be a Wagnerian. A pandemonium of geniuses, madmen, charlatans, and prophets do battle over Wagner’s many-sided legacy. As readers of his brilliant articles for The New Yorker have come to expect, Ross ranges thrillingly across artistic disciplines, from the architecture of Louis Sullivan to the novels of Philip K. Dick, from the Zionist writings of Theodor Herzl to the civil-rights essays of W.E.B. Du Bois, from O Pioneers! to Apocalypse Now. In many ways, Wagnerism tells a tragic tale. An artist who might have rivaled Shakespeare in universal reach is undone by an ideology of hate. Still, his shadow lingers over twenty-first century culture, his mythic motifs coursing through superhero films and fantasy fiction. Neither apologia nor condemnation, Wagnerism is a work of passionate discovery, urging us toward a more honest idea of how art acts in the world.


Songbooks

Songbooks

Songbooks

Author: Eric Weisbard

Publisher: Duke University Press

Isbn 10: 147802139X

Category: Music

Number of Pages: 552

Number of Views: 1961

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In Songbooks, critic and scholar Eric Weisbard offers a critical guide to books on American popular music from William Billings's 1770 New-England Psalm-Singer to Jay-Z's 2010 memoir Decoded. Drawing on his background editing the Village Voice music section, coediting the Journal of Popular Music Studies, and organizing the Pop Conference, Weisbard connects American music writing from memoirs, biographies, and song compilations to blues novels, magazine essays, and academic studies. The authors of these works are as diverse as the music itself: women, people of color, queer writers, self-educated scholars, poets, musicians, and elites discarding their social norms. Whether analyzing books on Louis Armstrong, the Beatles, and Madonna; the novels of Theodore Dreiser, Gayl Jones, and Jennifer Egan; or varying takes on blackface minstrelsy, Weisbard charts an alternative history of American music as told through its writing. As Weisbard demonstrates, the most enduring work pursues questions that linger across time period and genre—cultural studies in the form of notes on the fly, on sounds that never cease to change meaning.