The Art of Youth: Crane, Carrington, Gershwin, and the Nature of First Acts

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 205 pages
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The Art of Youth is a moving inquiry into the nature of artistic prodigies who did their major work at an early age. Renowned novelist Nicholas Delbanco gives us a triptych of indelible portraits: the Ameri can writer Stephen Crane (immortalized byThe Red Badge of Courage); British art ist Dora Carrington (called "the most ne glected serious painter of her time"); and the legendary composer George Gershwin (Rhapsody in Blue, Porgy and Bess).
All three lived colorful, productive lives before dying early, at an average age of thirty-five. In this learned and elegant book, Delbanco discovers what it is we mourn in authors who pass away so young, and muses on his own life--one marked by both early success and longevity.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ChewDigest - LibraryThing

Premise was interesting, but the author was repetitive and full of pretension. He has the temerity to say that if Carrington had killed herself "just 3 weeks later" the sum total of the 3 subjects ... Read full review

THE ART OF YOUTH: Crane, Carrington, Gershwin, and the Nature of First Acts

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Delbanco (English/Univ. of Michigan) must have intended this as a bookend to his earlier study, Lastingness: The Art of Old Age (2011). Through a selection process that seems arbitrary, he focuses on ... Read full review

Selected pages


1 First Acts
2 Stephen Crane
3 Dora Carrington
4 George Gershwin
5 The Beginner
Back Matter
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Back Cover

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About the author (2013)

Nicholas Delbanco is the author of more than two dozen works of fiction and nonfiction-including, most recently, Lastingness: The Art of Old Age . He is the Robert Frost Distinguished University Professor of English at the University of Michigan, where he directs the Hopwood awards program and was for many years the director of the MFA program in creative writing.

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