Manual Mesmerized - Preview (Surreal Book 1)

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Or do you slowly savor it? This is the happy predicament I find myself in when approaching the work of Cherise Wolas. His beautiful, interesting, and seemingly perfect family is congregating to celebrate. In the span of less than two days, the story of their lives unravels and revelations occur. This brilliantly executed novel is filled with secrets, repressed memories, and unforgettable characters under a blazing California sun. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT.

The story revolves around a Bengali widow of means whose gay son was disowned; a young Bangladeshi man who has a job as a tour agent; and a young, white American woman who aspires to be an actress.

These three are united in the journey initiated by the widow to tour the U. Courage to face the unknown — whether it is a foreign country or questioning a previously held conviction — shapes the story and shows that we all have the potential to grow and change. I could not put this book down — simply fascinating. More than a missing persons story, The Reservoir Tapes is about the very universal and human struggle to find meaning and the sacrifices we have to make to feel safe, loved, and truly at home.

The Havana that serves as the backdrop for this story is as surreal, soaked in perspiration, and capitulated to ruin as the sense of loss that drives the novel. This is one not to be missed. A mesmerizing masterwork.


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Goodbye, Paris is a beautifully crafted, bittersweet tale of one woman who feels her world collapse, but with some help from friends picks herself up, dusts herself off, and discovers that she can become her best self. An engrossing and uplifting story that will appeal to readers of Elizabeth Berg, among others. I was impressed by the small kingdom of women Contreras builds, with violence always threatening to creep in, all seen through the eyes of Chula, the youngest daughter.

Contreras made her perspective believably cloistered while masterfully writing all the people around Chula in ways that made them feel real. What Contreras chooses not to write has as big an effect as what she does. This novel is a dynamic exploration of what is known and, sometimes willfully, what is left unknown.

Violence explodes, and the movement is destroyed. Or is it? Two FBI agents who are in the middle of everything — one in seclusion in the mountains and the other just barely having escaped an assassination attempt — must unite to find the real answers to this international conspiracy. A talking goat, a fierce warrior, a bumbling rogue, a wannabe dark wizard, and an enchanted bard set out on a quest full of adventure, mishaps, and lots of cheese.

I thought it was particularly interesting to learn that the community is conservative both religiously and politically, but their home is being swept away by rising sea levels thanks to climate change, which is usually a politically charged topic. Thoughtfully, lovingly, and intelligently done. An important read! For a book that seems to have a little of everything — unresolved trauma, untrustworthy characters, a mysterious typewriter, and a hefty dose of the paranormal — Barclay tells his story with a smooth ease that will pull you through the pages at a breakneck speed.

And, well, no spoilers, but the ending will blow your socks clean off. I read this in one evening and was completely overtaken by it. It is excellent. Tiffany Blues: A Novel by M.

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The men in her life are domineering and the women can be that way, too. Following advice from a friend of her father's, Serge Chermayeff, she enrolled as the first student in the Ozenfant Academy, a new venture by the two French painters and architects, Ozenfant and Le Corbusier. Ozenfant and Le Corbusier founded the Purism movement, an offshoot of Cubism. Purism intended to rid Cubism of any decorative or fantasy elements, concentrating on pure forms and clean lines, "subdued colour, sharp outlines, underlying grid structure and mechanical still-life subjects.

This instilled in her both a respect for the chemistry of everything used, and the discipline of work, countering her earlier penchant for dreaming and fantasising. She first became interested in Surrealism as an Art movement around the same time as becoming a reluctant debutante. She also read, and was profoundly influenced by, Herbert Read's new book, "Surrealism". A 20 year old Art student, Leonora not only fell in love with the paintings of Max Ernst, but when she happened to meet him at a party in London, in , she fell in love with the man himself. At 46, his marriage was failing, as his wife became more fanatical about Catholicism, and more disapproving of his explorations into Surrealism.

Leonora was increasingly disillusioned with what she saw as the stodgy Art world of London. Paris, and Max Ernst, called to her. She made the break and followed him there. This was the final straw for her parents. Her father promptly disowned her with the dramatic words, "My door will never be darkened by your shadow. Leonora Carrington had made a deliberate decision to remove herself from any influence her parents - or English society - could have over her in the future.

It was a clear statement of her own autonomy, both in intentions, and in artistic freedom. On her arrival in Paris, she was welcomed by the Surrealists, although she made it plain that she too was a working artist and nobody's "muse". Her stories were included in Surrealist publications and her paintings in their exhibitions.

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Of this period, Carrington has said, "I didn't have time to be anyone's muse I was too busy rebelling against my family and learning to be an artist. Her "Self-portrait Inn of the Dawn Horse " from marks a radical departure from all her earlier works. There are a host of symbols to be found in the painting, many of which recur over and over again in later works, and stylistically it has much in common with the other Surrealists with whom she was associating.

The paintings we recognise easily as being by Leonora Carrington are typical of this Surrealist style, with figurative elements, which are often symbolic, set within great expanses of space, thus focussing and directing the eye towards them. They socialised with other Surrealist artists and writers and collaborated on various projects, including a series of animal sculptures. The two created sculptures of guardian animals, such as Ernst's birds and Carrington's plaster horse's head. This fascination with both drawing and writing about horses began, as we saw, in her childhood.

Carrington additionally often used codes of words to dictate interpretation in her artwork. In , Carrington painted her now-famous portrait of Max Ernst. However World War II was looming. Max Ernst's position in France became increasingly precarious, and eventually he was arrested by the French authorities for being a "hostile alien". With help from influential friends, he was set free a few weeks later.

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However, his work was then considered to be "degenerate" by the Nazis, and on the outbreak of World War II he was arrested again, this time by the Gestapo. He managed to escape to the United States, leaving Leonora behind, and marrying Peggy Guggenheim, who was a sponsor of the arts. Leonora Carrington was devastated and fled to Spain.

She developed severe mental problems, becoming delusional and increasingly anxious until she eventually had a mental breakdown and was arrested by the police at the British Embassy in Madrid. She had apparently "threatened to murder Hitler and called for the metaphysical liberation of mankind. Her creative output never stopped during this unimaginably difficult period. She wrote short stories, and depicted her psychotic experiences in drawings and paintings.

Eventually, she managed to escape the asylum's treatments, with the help of a nurse, who took her to Lisbon. From there she appealed to the Mexican Embassy for refuge. From now on she was to adopt Mexico as her home. Max Ernst's marriage to Peggy Guggenheim had ended a few years later, but he and Leonora Carrington were unable to resume their relationship after all the dramas and separations during World War II.

She also gave expression to her experiences in the drawings "Portrait of Dr. Morales" and "Map of Down Below". She remarried and had two sons. Her life became less tumultuous, and her creativity expanded to include plays, sculptures and textiles. In she started to invent her own productions, such as "Penelope" , for which she designed sets and costumes, as well as performing as an actress.

She continued to live and work in Mexico after spending part of the s in New York. It is normally located in the museum for which it was painted, although at the time of writing it is in an exhibition in England. For the rest of her life, Leonora Carrington was at the centre of Mexican cultural life, whilst still maintaining her European connections.

Leonora Carrington's first Surrealist essay from , an odd work entitled "Jezzamathatics or Introduction to the Wonderful Process of Painting" , is included at the end of the book, before the bibliography and index. Leonora Carrington was a remarkable and prolific artist, who deserves to be better appreciated. This beautiful book includes a lot of helpful analysis, which serves as a guide to interpreting her cryptic works, which have often been informed by her life experiences and beliefs. View all 27 comments. This charming book on Surrealist artist and writer Leonora Carrington contained quite a bit of fascinating material: a biography, some rather haphazard analysis of her work, a fairly detailed look at her various influences, and, most importantly, reproductions of many of her brilliant paintings and other works of art.

The biographical material was informative and yet still fairly succinct, and included details about her childhood, schooling, relationship with Max Ernst, time spent in a Spanish This charming book on Surrealist artist and writer Leonora Carrington contained quite a bit of fascinating material: a biography, some rather haphazard analysis of her work, a fairly detailed look at her various influences, and, most importantly, reproductions of many of her brilliant paintings and other works of art.

In any case, what really impressed me was the wealth of high quality reproductions of her strange, arresting, unforgettable paintings. The prints were rich, vivid, and gorgeous, the subject matter often delightfully uncanny and intriguingly bizarre. View all 10 comments. Apr 02, Terri rated it it was amazing Shelves: art-book-club , art-general , art-surrealism , mexican-art , women-artists-biographies , british-art. The late English surrealist painter and sculptor is regarded as a national treasure in Mexico and she lived in her own fantastic universe.

She was also a writer who wrote witty and magical books. Lenora was one of the last surviving participants in the Surrealist movement in the 's. Her fantasy paintings are filled with half-animal, half-human creatures with benign soft faces. While her paintings in the book incorporated elements of Mexican culture —a Day of the Dead altar, she also painted her childhood.

She studied alchemy, the kabbalah and the Mayan writings. She always felt that Mexico was haunted with spirits. It was marvelous at times and horrifying at times. Ancient Mexican civilizations and the Celtic culture that she learned about from her mother started to blend in her mind. Mexico became a refuge for her. She was brought up in England, the only daughter of a wealthy mill owner and his Irish wife. She was a solitary, unhappy child who would rather draw than do her school work and she never felt she fit in with her family.

Her father was a dominating man who was a self-made industrialist and he had high expectations for his daughter. When she was kicked out of two private Catholic schools, her Victorian parents did not know what to do with her, but Leonora wanted to be a artist and study in London. After a disastrous Debutante Ball, that her father forced her to attend, she finally moved to London where she studied art and met Surrealist artist Max Ernst.

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He was married and twice her age but she was smitten with him. Leonora told her father that she was going to leave England and move to Paris to paint and live with Ernst. Her father blew up and told her if she left that she would be never welcomed in his home again. Leonora did go to Paris and she never spoke or saw her father again. Once in Paris, Leonora thrived and met some of the great surrealist artists of the day.

She refused to be anyone's muse and she started to paint. She and Max Ernst left Paris for the south of France countryside and there she painted her famous self-portrait in Later she told her family that it was the happiest time of her life. Then World War ll came and Ernst was arrested, first by the French for being German, then later by the Gestapo for his degenerate art. Leonora fell apart and her worried father sent her Irish nanny by submarine to get her out of France. They both escaped to Spain just days ahead of the Nazis and once there, her father decided to put Leonora in the mental hospital against her will.

This was the darkest period of her life and she never recovered or forgave her father. They gave her forced treatments including drug-induced epileptic shocks. Once she got out, she refused to go back to England and instead married a Mexican diplomat who took her to Mexico City. She would spend most of her adult life in Mexico despite the fact that her marriage didn't work out. She later married Emerico Weisz nickname "Chiki" , born in Hungary , a photographer and the darkroom manager for Robert Capra during the Spanish Civil war.

They had two sons together. A few of her paintings do reflect a deep sadness and suffering from her time in a mental institution. Her sons said that she inhabited her paintings and they became an extension of her life. Five Stars. This book is perfect for art lovers of surrealism. May 08, Cynda rated it really liked it Shelves: 20th-century , art , women , read , reading-mostly-nonfiction I see I have begun a journey. I still have much much to learn before feeling comfortable with Carrington's art. While I know that the point of surrealism to encourage discomfort as as the audience reaches for new understanding, I am so clueless that I felt as though to I were grasping at understanding reather than for understanding.

What I found most particularly helpful to understanding the artwork: 1. The stories in I see I have begun a journey. The stories inform the paintings. If I want to continue to gain an understanding of Carrington's work, I will have to eventually buy more of her short stories. Familiarizing myself with more imagery would help. I could start by reading books like Myths and Legends of Ireland various writers have compiled books with this title.

Books by this title are more popular, accessible, and serviceable. What will happen now that I have read this book? View 1 comment. May 31, Laura rated it it was amazing Shelves: art , biography-autobiography , favorites , non-fiction , own. This book is absolutely stunning! She had the confidence to blaze her own path and not bow down to conformity, and the strength to find her way through some dark times. Highly recommended!!

View all 5 comments. Jul 19, Amari rated it it was amazing Shelves: general-non-fiction. Part biography and part catalog, this book is quite a find. Carrington is a major imaginative force in both visual art and literature, and she deserves to be far more widely read. This text Aberth's, not Carrington's could have done with another round of editing; however, the reproductions of Carrington's artworks are impressively sharp and the colors practically shimmer.

The offering of a detailed personal history of the artist contributes hugely to one's ability to interpret these complex an Part biography and part catalog, this book is quite a find. The offering of a detailed personal history of the artist contributes hugely to one's ability to interpret these complex and often arcane works, as does the analysis offered within the text. Extremely worthwhile. I had always hoped to meet her in Mexico, but at least I can be happy that I read her book knowing she was alive and taking part in the zany existence of that extraordinary city.

View all 7 comments. Oct 03, Storyheart rated it it was amazing Shelves: art-and-painting , mexico , surreal , readwomen Excellent overview of Carrington's work and life. Even if the text for this by Susan Aberth had been shit it wasn't I'd still love this bk just for the repros of the paintings. I wdn't exactly call the writing 'inspired' but I'd give the author credit for certainly revealing plenty about Carrington.

I'd like to read a whole bk just about that - the one foto's very enticing. Was there music for it? If Even if the text for this by Susan Aberth had been shit it wasn't I'd still love this bk just for the repros of the paintings. If so, by whom? If Conlon Nancarrow did it unlikely I suppose that wd be enuf to push me over the edge. The paintings are utterly convincing that there's life behind life on top of life in parallel dimensions to life in death, in, in.. Many of the works are in private collections. If I had one of Carrington's paintings in my home I'm not sure I cd bear it.

It'd be almost impossible to not look at constantly, it's presence wd be so powerful that it might burn me out like a surge in an unprepared circuit. Looking at a Carrington painting, even in reproduction, is like finding what you didn't even know you were looking for during an acid trip.. Nonetheless, even having the experience at all is enuf to make a profound impression.

But, then, do you ever wonder? But then I wrote earlier "there's life behind life on top of life in parallel dimensions to life in death". A wo men. View all 14 comments. Jan 14, Callum McLaughlin rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , art-and-photography. As someone who loves Carrington's artwork and wanted to know more about her as a person, this book was ideal. Alongside high-quality images of many of her pieces, there's a great amount of text detailing Carrington's fascinating life. Getting this extra context whilst marvelling at her work was exactly what I wanted.

I'm now all the more excited to try some of her writing, and to continue to explore her art. I would say, the book tells us itself that Carrington was notoriously private, giving few As someone who loves Carrington's artwork and wanted to know more about her as a person, this book was ideal. I would say, the book tells us itself that Carrington was notoriously private, giving few details about her personal life and never wanting to reveal what her art was 'about', so as to preserve an element of mystique and the ability for viewers to form their own meaning which I really admire.

This means that the book does contain a fair amount of conjecture, particularly where the motivation or meaning behind specifically discussed pieces of her work are concerned. In that respect, it's not so much a dot-to-dot style biography and catalogue of work, and more an analysis and discussion, complete therefore with a small but nonetheless present personal touch the author wrote her dissertation on Carrington, so she's clearly a fan.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing it means there are some interesting opinions and points of thought put forth that add another layer of depth , I just think it's worth knowing where non-fiction is concerned, in case a complete lack of bias is important to you. It goes without saying that this book deserves 5 stars already for the pictures alone When it comes to the writing in it, I found it both informative and charming.

However, it did not live up to its subtitle I am thinking of the "Alchemy" part ; even though the author mentions Carrington's preoccupation with this theme quite often, the insights brought to light in this department were few. I think Aberth should either have focused solely on the art context, or to justify the title have col It goes without saying that this book deserves 5 stars already for the pictures alone I think Aberth should either have focused solely on the art context, or to justify the title have collaborated with someone a bit more well versed in esoteric matters.

That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and through following up on some of the other people and books mentioned therein, I made many new and pleasant discoveries. Time well spent, even if I had hoped to learn more about Carrington's alchemical research. Jun 15, Aimee rated it really liked it Shelves: art. The writing is deeply flawed in places, including the misuse of the word penultimate , and there isn't much biographical information for the last forty years of Carrington's life, but this is an insightful and well-illustrated introduction to her work.

Mar 29, Anima rated it it was amazing. Carrington was born on April 6, in Lancashire, and lived in Mexico City since the early s. In in France, she met Max Ernst, a German painter, who was 26 years her senior. Ernst left his wife and lived with her in the South of France, where he encouraged her to paint and write. Jul 24, Meg Gee rated it it was amazing.

One of my favorite painters and people for her feminist reimaginings of intersecting belief systems and folklore.