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In The Lives of the Muses, Francine Prose writes a spirited and enlightening exposé of 9 women who fired the imaginations of some of the most inimitable artists and thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. With wicked wit, she reveals how these women have been every exemplars of their events and iconoclasts struggling to say their very personal id inside the unconventional relationships they formed with these men. In doing so, she undertakes an examination of the concept of the muse in all its permutations–from the static 9 Muses of classical Greek mythology, by way of Dante's oft-recycled Beatrice, to its ironized figuration in trendy widespread custom.
Together with Alice Liddell, Prose seems at the following women: Hester Thrale, a long-struggling brewer's partner whose romantic friendship allowed the depressive Dr. Samuel Johnson to proceed writing; the tormented Elizabeth Siddal, an opium-addicted artist who turned Beatrice to Pre-Raphaelite painter and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti; Lou Andreas-Salome, who captivated and aroused a triumvirate of distinctive thinkers: Friedrich Nietzsche, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Sigmund Freud; the "imperious" Gala Dali, who continued to sleep collectively together with her ex-husband, poet Paul Eluard, while she reworked herself into an impressive promoting machine for surrealist Salvador Dali; Lee Miller, a model who mastered the strategies of Man Ray and others, and have turn into a gifted photographer; Suzanne Farrell, a ballerina who incarnated, animated, and was impressed to good heights of artistry by the compositions of choreographer George Balanchine; Charis Weston, one in a long line of the erotically careworn Edward Weston's cast-off paintings wives and lovers; and the infamous Yoko Ono, who fought fiercely for recognition as an avant-garde artist as she sought to subserve John Lennon into the place of muse.
Prose attracts on footage, diaries, correspondence, memoirs, and distinctive works of paintings that reveal the complexity of these artist-muse relationships, and that direct her readers to totally different books should their curiosity be piqued (as it undoubtedly will). Author Prose has a experience for writing provocative, invigorating prose that engages and excites the reader, inspiring them to undertake wider learning. –Diana Kuprel, Amazon.ca
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