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On Late Style: Music and Literature Against the Grain (Vintage)

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On Late Style: Music and Literature Against the Grain (Vintage) Cover

ISBN13: 9780375726330
ISBN10: 0375726330
Condition: Standard
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Publisher Comments:

In this fascinating book, Edward Said looks at the creative contradictions that often mark the late works of literary and musical artists.

Said shows how the approaching death of an artist can make its way into his work, examining essays, poems, novels, films, and operas by such artists as Beethoven, Genet, Mozart, Lampedusa, Euripides, Cavafy, and Mann, among others. He uncovers the conflicts and complexity that often distinguish artistic lateness, resulting in works that stood in direct contrast to what was popular at the time and were forerunners of what was to come in each artist's discipline–works of true genius. Eloquent and impassioned, brilliantly reasoned and revelatory, On Late Style is Edward Said's own great last work.

Synopsis:

US

Synopsis:

In his fascinating last book, Edward Said looks at a selection of essays, poems, novels, films, and operas to determine what late style may explain about the evolution of the creative life. He discusses how the approaching death of an artist can make its way "with anachronism and anomaly" into his work. Eloquent and impassioned, brilliantly reasoned and revelatory, ON LATE STYLE is Edward Said's own great last work.

About the Author

Edward W. Said was the author of more than twenty books; a regular contributor to newspapers in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East; and music critic for The Nation. He was also an accomplished pianist who collaborated with Daniel Barenboim and Yo-Yo Ma. Born in Jerusalem, he lived most of his adult life in New York City. He died in 2003.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Andrew Daily, May 16, 2009 (view all comments by Andrew Daily)
It is fitting that Edward Said's long-promised meditation on "late work" - works of art produced in the twilight of an artist's career - is itself a "late work," uncompleted before his untimely death in 2003. What we have then is only fragments - appropriately, fragments are what Said is most interested in in this book.

Taking Theordor Adorno's essays on late-period Beethoven as a starting point, Said attempts to theorize some properties of the late work of art: it is discordant; it is fragmented, in that it does not achieve a total, holistic, coherent unity; it is produced primarily for the interest of the artist, with little care for the work's reception; and it is often "late" in that is is ahead of its time.

Said offers as an example the way in which certain moments in Beethoven's 9th Symphony and late sonatas constitute an uncanny glimpse at what Mahler and Schoenberg would explore almost a century later.

Said continues his discussion across a number of artists - including Thomas Mann, Benjamin Britten, Lampedusa, Visconti, Mozart, Richard Strauss and Jean Genet, among others.

It is a fascinating little book, and a break from many of Said's more familiar works in that it lacks any immediate political import. The Palestine/Israel struggle, on which Said wrote extensively, is almost totally absent from this return to aesthetic reflection. It is as if Said returns full-circle to his early critical work in "Beginnings."

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in music, film and literature, particularly in those late works of famous artists, those "catastrophes" as Adorno said, that both recap a life and point forward to future lives. It can be read in an afternoon.

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Product Details

ISBN:
9780375726330
Author:
Said, Edward W
Publisher:
Vintage Books USA
Introduction by:
Wood, Michael
Introduction:
Wood, Michael
Foreword by:
Said, Mariam C.
Foreword:
Said, Mariam C.
Author:
Said, Edward W.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Regional, Ethnic, Genre, Specific Subject
Subject:
History & Criticism - General
Subject:
History & Criticism *
Subject:
American
Subject:
Anthologies-Essays
Subject:
music;literature;criticism;literary criticism;non-fiction
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage
Publication Date:
20070431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8.00x5.28x.53 in. .50 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Theory and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Music » History and Criticism
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » Literary and Cultural Studies

On Late Style: Music and Literature Against the Grain (Vintage) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 208 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780375726330 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , US
"Synopsis" by , In his fascinating last book, Edward Said looks at a selection of essays, poems, novels, films, and operas to determine what late style may explain about the evolution of the creative life. He discusses how the approaching death of an artist can make its way "with anachronism and anomaly" into his work. Eloquent and impassioned, brilliantly reasoned and revelatory, ON LATE STYLE is Edward Said's own great last work.
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