Agnes Martin, Untitled (1979), pencil and ink on paper, 105 x 105 in.
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
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?
My preliminary conclusion is: partially
|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|
|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|