Synopses & Reviews
In this society in which the essential is generally considered incidental (which is reflected in the unbearable dullness of the contemporary man), Catherine David picks the essence from inconspicuous corners where it has been gathering dust and shows us how she uses it to unlock the gates leading to inner beauty. In this remarkable series of 26 linked meditations, The Beauty of Gesture, subtitled "The Invisible keyboard of Piano and T'ai Chi," the French journalist Catherine David explores the analogies between playing the piano and practicing t'ai chi chu'an. A serious pianist and student of martial arts, David draws on a wide familiarity with literary and philosophical texts to evoke the intellectual and spiritual world of her imagination. "A beautiful act is an island of absoluteness in an ocean of chance," she writes, and her essay reminds us that the world vibrates with possibilities, necessities, and poetry for those who can focus attention.
Translated from an award-winning French edition, this unique work explores the aesthetic resonances between playing the piano and t'ai chi ch'uan - each an art of the "beautiful gesture". The author draws on memory, reflection, works of philosophy, art, and literature, and her own parallel practice of piano and t'ai chi in a lyrical meditation on discipline as the gateway to freedom and gesture as the expression of spirit in action.
About the Author
Born and raised in Paris by her American mother and French father, Catherine David is a journalist and literary critic for the news magazine Le Nouvelle Observateur, writing on a range of topics including fiction, poetry, film, philosophy, biology, psychology, and history. She is the author of a novel, L'Ocean miniature, and a personal biography of the great actress, Simone Signoret ou la Memoire partagee.