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TWENTY-EIGHT ARTISTS AND TWO SAINTS: ESSAYS - Rare Fine Copy of The First Hardcover Edition/First Printing: Signed by Joan Acocella - ONLY SIGNED COPY ONLINE

Acocella, Joan

Published by New York City, NY: Pantheon Books, 2007
ISBN 10: 0375424164 / ISBN 13: 9780375424168
/ Condition: As New / Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: New York City, NY: Pantheon Books, 2007

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: As New

Dust Jacket Condition: As New

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: 1st Edition.


1st Printing. Signed. 524 pages. Published in 2007. Retrospective collection of essays. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Joan Acocella's "Twenty-Eight Artists And Two Saints". Thirty-one full-length essays by the resident dance critic and essayist/contributor of The New Yorker Magazine. The title is an allusion/tribute to Virgil Thomson's great opera, "Four Saints in Three Acts". By now, it should be obvious that Acocella is the finest dance critic right now since Arlene Croce retired and Edwin Denby died. She will probably be regarded as the third member of just such a triumvirate. What sets her apart from her great predecessors is that Joan Acocella has also written about literature, the visual arts, and as the title suggests, even iconic religious figures. "Acocella's deep knowledge of dance infuses her fleet-footed and witty prose. Like a dancer, she makes her art look easy, which it certainly is not, and what poise and range she evinces. Accompanied by superb photographs of the artists, Acocella's portraits bring into focus such complex figures as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Martha Graham, Bob Fosse, Marguerite Yourcenar, Dorothy Parker, Philip Roth, M. F. K. Fisher, and Susan Sontag as well as Mary Magdalene and Joan of Arc. So much fun to read, they feel like indulgences rather than writings that do no less than enrich and sustain culture" (Donna Seaman). In her essay on the tough-minded yet at the same time, surprisingly vulnerable Sontag, Acocella writes that an essential function of criticism is "that of introducing readers to strange work, things they wouldn't ordinarily encounter". Loyal readers of The New Yorker Magazine can quote many of Acocella's one-liners from memory, and here is just one of them: "The less she knows, the more she tells us" (on the Stanford scholar Carol Shloss and her dreary feminist biography of Lucia Joyce, James Joyce's daughter, who aspired to be a great dancer). Two of Joan Acocella's previous books are the best of their kind: A book-length account on Willa Cather and the first biography on Mark Morris. Here is her debut collection of essays, a great critic's inexhaustible and indispensable writings on the experience called ecstasy, which Vladimir Nabokov once described as the aim of all art. An absolute "must-have" title for Joan Acocella collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black pen on the title page by Joan Acocella. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. This title is a contemporary classic. As far as we know, this is the only such signed copy of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Most copies available online are subsequent printings. A rare signed copy thus. One of the most brilliant American writers of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER JOAN ACOCELLA TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 0375424164. Bookseller Inventory # 11804

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Synopsis: From one of our most admired cultural critics (?A marvelous, canny writer???Terry Castle, London Review of Books), thirty-one essays on some of the most influential artists of our time??writers, dancers, choreographers, sculptors??and two saints of all time, Joan of Arc and Mary Magdalene. Among the people discussed: Italo Svevo, Stefan Zweig, Simone de Beauvoir, Marguerite Yourcenar, Joseph Roth, Vaslav Nijinsky, Lincoln Kirstein, Jerome Robbins, Martha Graham, Bob Fosse, H. L. Mencken, Dorothy Parker, Susan Sontag, and Philip Roth.

What unites the book is Acocella?s interest in the making of art and in the courage, perseverance, and, sometimes, dumb luck that it requires.

Here is Acocella on Primo Levi, a chemist who, after the Nazis failed to kill him, wrote Survival in Auschwitz, the noblest of the camp memoirs, and followed it with twelve more books . . . Hilary Mantel, the aspiring young lawyer stuck on a couch with a chronic and debilitating illness, who asked herself, ?What can one do on a couch?? (well, one could write) and went on to become one of England?s premier novelists . . . M. F. K. Fisher, who, numb with grief over her husband?s suicide, dictated to her sister the witty and classic How to Cook a Wolf . . . Marguerite Yourcenar, the victim of a ten-year writer?s block, who found in an old trunk a draft of a forgotten novel and finished the book: Memoirs of Hadrian . . . George Balanchine, who, after losing his family at age nine, survived the Russian Revolution, escaped from the Soviet Union at twenty, was for five years house choreographer for Diaghilev?s Ballets Russes, came to the United States with the promise that he could set up a ballet company, and had to wait another fifteen years before being able to establish his extraordinary New York City Ballet . . . And Acocella on Mary Magdalene and Joan of Arc reminds us that saints in the service of their visions?like artists in the creation of their art?draw power from the very blows of fortune that might be expected to defeat them.

About the Author: Joan Acocella is a staff writer for The New Yorker, where she covers dance and books. She has also written for The New York Review of Books and The Wall Street Journal. She is the author of the critical biography Mark Morris; Creating Hysteria: Women and Multiple Personality Disorder; and Willa Cather and the Politics of Criticism. She edited the unexpurgated Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky and, with Lynn Garafola, André Levinson on Dance. Acocella was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in New York.

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Store Description: Modern Rare is exclusively an online bookstore. Our physical address is 124 N. California Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60612, U.S.A. The main contact person is Salvador L. Cortes. He can be reached at 312-376-5000 during regular business hours, Monday to Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Chicago/Midwestern Standard Time. Email is usually the best way to reach us: We will respond to your email query within 24 hours. We are exclusively an online bookstore because we believe this is the best way to satisfy our customers' expectations. Unlike an open bookstore, where books are routinely handled and may deteriorate, we guarantee the condition of our books as described. We specialize in modern firsts, photography, the arts, and erotica. You will also find a fine selection of signed copies, Limited Editions, and memorabilia because our ultimate goal is to deepen the pleasure of collecting books. We carry titles that we ourselves like and believe in -- books that we think will excite, enchant, and endure. Please note: Payment needs to be made directly through ABEBooks. If you wish to make any other payment arrangement, please get in touch with us before placing your order. Thank you and happy collecting!