lineage

Agnes M 3

I would like my work to be recognized as being in the classical tradition (Coptic, Egyptian, Greek, Chinese), as representing the Ideal in the mind. Classical art cannot possibly be eclectic. One must see the ideal in one’s own mind. It is like a memory – an awareness of perfection.

—Agnes Martin

no. 7

I’m not a systematic person, I never have been – and my guess is: I never will be … I work by chance (some of us call it synchronicity). Finishing book no. 7 on my reading-list first, is therefore definitively in line with my disposition.

World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down

by Christian McEwen

To be honest I would prefer to call Christian McEwan’s book a compendium, an amalgam of thoughts and ideas collected from different cultural traditions and historical eras. This is both a strength and a weakness; strength because she collect many important ideas and present them for us in a clear way, a weakness because many of us will know a lot about the stuff she is writing about, and I’m not always sure if she adds very much, except for personal anecdotes, to what has already been said – what is already known.

My review might be a bit harsh on McEwan’s project, aren’t we all walking in the footsteps of our heros? Maybe this is how it has to be? I’m not sure – if you are acquainted with Buddhism, if you have read say for example Jon Kabat-Zinn, Pema Chodron or Jack Kornfield, or if you have read any of the creativity gurus, you will recognize most of the ideas presented in McEwan’s book.

Mindfulness and slow-living are hot trends on the market these days. The question one therefore has to ask is this: Is Christian McEwan’s book different & original enough as to qualify as a great read?

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My preliminary conclusion is: partially

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Updated reading-list:

Author Title
1. Julian Barnes Keeping an Eye Open: Essays on Art
2. Heidi Julavits The Folded Clock: A Diary
3.  Sarah Manguso Ongoingness: The End of a Diary
4. Frances Morris,

etc

Agnes Martin
5. Nancy Princenthal Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art
6. Sally Mann Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs
8. Mark Doty Still Life with Oysters and Lemon: On Objects and Intimacy