Dime-Store Alchemy: The Art of Joseph Cornell (New York Review Books Classics)

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In Dime-Store Alchemy, poet Charles Simic reflects on the life and work of Joseph Cornell, the maverick surrealist who is one of America’s great artists. Simic’s spare prose is as enchanting and luminous as the mysterious boxes of found objects for which Cornell is justly renowned. 

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About the Author:

Charles Simic is a poet, essayist and translator. He has published twenty collections of his own poetry, five books of essays, a memoir, and numerous of books of translations. He has received many literary awards for his poems and his translations, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Griffin Prize and the MacArthur Fellowship. The Voice at 3 A.M., his selected later and new poems, was published in 2003 and a new book of poems My Noiseless Entourage came out in the spring of 2005. His new ebook from New York Review Books is titled Confessions of a Poet Laureate.

From Publishers Weekly:

It's hard to do justice to the charm and power of Joseph Cornell's boxes. His reliance on collage, indifference to technical display, and Surrealist mining of private obsession make him very much a modern artist, yet his work also brings to mind bourgeois parlors, the tidy vitrines of collectors, and the odds and ends children carry around for comfort and distraction. It is an art at once hermetic and matter-of-fact, sophisticated and simple. Appropriately, this study is neither a straightforward critical account of Cornell's art nor a merely literary embellishment of it, but rather a parallel text: written by Simic ( Hotel Insomnia ), one of our best poets, it includes his own poems and reminiscences, as well as quotations from a variety of other writers. Simic mingles biography and critical discussion with selections of writings from the artist's notebooks. The book emerges as a piece of writing constructed along the enigmatic lines of Cornell's art. And that art, as Simic sees it, gathers from the scattered pieces of the American past a new, redeeming reality; at heart, this art is a religious practice. Only seemingly random, Simic's approach develops both the plain detail of Cornell's life and illuminates the nature of his work. Illustrations.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780880013031: Dime-Store Alchemy: The Art of Joseph Cornell

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ISBN 10:  0880013036 ISBN 13:  9780880013031
Publisher: Ecco Pr, 1992
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9781590171707: Dime-Store Alchemy: The Art of Joseph Cornell (New York Review Books Classics)

NYRB C..., 2006
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9780880013482: Dime Store Alchemy: The Art of Joseph Cornell

Ecco P..., 1994
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