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“A stimulating combination of literary criticism, essay, and fiction” (The New Yorker) from the incomparable Ali Smith

Artful is a celebration of literature’s worth in and to the world—it is about the things art can do, the things art is made of, and the quicksilver nature of all artfulness. A magical hybrid that refuses to be tied down to either fiction or the essay form, Artful is narrated by a character who is haunted—literally—by a former lover, the writer of a series of lectures about art and literature. Ali Smith’s heady powers as a novelist and short story writer harmonize with her keen perceptions as a reader and critic to form a living thing that reminds us that life and art are never separate.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 22, 2012 – This contemplative, electrifying, and transformative book comes in four sections, originally delivered as lectures on comparative literature at St. Anne s College, Oxford. Readers, however, won t find themselves on the other side of the lectern. Instead, Smith (There but for the), writing in the first person but not necessarily as Ali Smith, opens with grief: the I-persona has recently lost her longtime love and, still in the throes of despair a year later, turns to the papers and research left on her beloved s desk, ostensibly for a series of talks on literature the substance of which becomes much of Smith s actual lectures. Through riveting reflections on the limitations and the limitlessness of stories, Smith considers four aspects of the endeavor of creation: on time, form, edge, and offer and reflection. Yet what Smith also provides is the I-persona s own journey, through her anguish, through her responses to her beloved s notes and ideas (which the reader also reads) and through some real life (visits with a therapist, some mentions of work, etc.). The results are redemptive for everyone, testifying with singular clarity and wit to the immutable necessity for art.
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  • $6.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Essays
  • Published: Jan 24, 2013
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 256 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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