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 Ameri­can writer Stephen Crane (immortalized by The Red Badge of Courage); British art­ist Dora Carrington (called “the most ne­glected 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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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

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Contents

1 First Acts
1
2 Stephen Crane
27
3 Dora Carrington
72
Photos
117
4 George Gershwin
118
5 The Beginner
163
Conclusion
187
Back Matter
196
Back Flap
207
Back Cover
208
Spine
209
Copyright

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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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