EBOOK Artful By Ali Smith
All of it I sayLucky for you the ands
are ampersands you ampersands you sayYou are calling my bluff of course I call yours back I take the book to tattoo parlour down Mill Road and come home after several sessions with exactly this tattoo I choose to have it done in deep blue the colour of your eyes It costs me a fortune It hurts like ironyI see you again only when it s finished and my skin settled downYou re unreal you say when you see itYou re the real unreal thing all rightLess than a month after this we move in together and mix our books up I love this book Artful is the product of
sayyou are calling are calling bluff of course I call yours back I take the book to
four lectures Smith ave and combines a background story of coming to terms with death with a literary exploration of lectures Smith Anarchist Modernism: Art, Politics, and the First American Avant-Garde gave and combines a background story of coming to terms with death with a literary exploration of that deal with elements ofrieving time fragmentation etc Of course Smith delivers all of this in a discourse that is both full of wit There are books which through the softness of their sound their words dipping into portals unseen that uiver upon memory and a haze of further meanings set me into a mode of creative inuiry A different state of being finding anything else an intrusion while seeking seclusion The book has become a place I seek wordless and serene The early morning flower cupping the first rays of sunA sensitive mind filled with Betting on Ideas: Wars, Inventions, Inflation graceful thought faces the devastation of loss through her readings of literature its forms and issues of messages Grief melts the mind melts the actions only to be dipped into the odes of words and their patienceSaying the book is divided into four sections technically is correct she who works a job imparting her knowledge of trees comes upon her late husbands speech he was working on toive at the University It s been a year and a day since his death Yes the book is about division the untwining of souls the threads barely brushing by in a uiet nearing silence There is much in small saying oodbyes On this day after a year the book opens where she is moving the reading chair from the spot he insisted it to be to where she wanted it to stand Heavy she pushed it unworried about the scratching of the floorboard planks A move deserving of its own commemoration anniversaryA stillness pervades yet there is movement The stillness has its own movement A choir of whispers Its breath heeding a dissembling and a reassembling Forms reflections edges moving through time The coming apart and creating new structures a varied selfMuch of this is lifted risen from his speech the piles of paper bringing up memories from their life in books Not just a copious reader she is a sensitive reader with a wealth of works accessible in the brilliance of her mind Splendid works threading her moving tale together Closing the covers five o clock this morning I felt honored to witness this novel stranded together with filaments of fiction essays nocturnal memoirs dreaming Many edges respected while finding ways of fitting together Strands beginning to weave around each other into a completed whole Breathless I recommend this experience to slow purveyors of written thought and abiding wisdom Reading this book of lectures made me want to reread Oliver Twist and since I m not likely to do that anytime soon I looked in my copy to see if Mudfog is mentioned or not mentioned in the very first paragraph and wondered if at the time I read it I noticed that the Artful Dodger has dodged the summation of the last chapterAli Smith is a enius but not one of those Berlioz and His Century: An Introduction to the Age of Romanticism geniuses who makes things hard to understand dare I mention The Sense of an Ending Studies in the Theory of Fiction instead she makes things easy with humorenerosity and a loving spirit Her wordplay evokes a smile and sometimes even a chuckle of revelationHer interests and literary references are all over the map literally and to top it off her narrator s job much of this is a fictional short story is trees Ali Smith loves trees so we et some tree knowledge here as well For example I learned the leaves of a tree develop a sheen of protection and when it rains the pollution rolls right off them a lovely imageThough reminding myself that these are talks at first I did experience a little bit of frustration with the lack of attribution to some of her excerpts when I couldn t find them in the text permissions Plus there s one unattributed picture of what looks like a paper plate from Pompeii that I didn t remember and then couldn t find referenced in the text at all But after reading the wonderful last page I came upon Some sources used in the writing of these talks and not only was my curiosity satisfied except about that one image but I ot some Atlantic Double-Cross: American Literature and British Influence in the Age of Emerson great additional information as well As thehost of the narrator s loverspouse said Epomony JanFeb 2015 45 Truly Madly Deeply x The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas fragments of essays on literature ArtfulJust lovely I ot it because it was my favouritest book cover I d seen in ages as said elsewhere I don t like many recent covers. “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.
Ali Smith ´ 8 SUMMARYHave to be really interested in the literary
world as wellas well philosophy in order to appreciate this book and while those two subjects do interest me the overall messages of this book were hard for me to find and I found myself skimming the last pages because I wasn t interested any I do love Ali Smith s fiction though so in the future I ll probably just stick to that My review will be just two uotes lifted out of this amazing book All the time I read this book I felt it was feeding me And We do treat books surprisingly lightly in contemporary culture We d never expect to understand a piece of music on one listen but we tend to believe we ve read a book after reading it just onceEnough said 5 stars Straight
to the top of my To Be Reread list A rather odd book fusing notes from a series of lecturesthe top of my To Be Reread list A rather odd book fusing notes from a series of lectures the arts that the author ave at Oxford with a meditation on Edge of Venomverse grieving for a lost partnerI wondered why the author chose to render this book as a work of fiction Why not present the lectures in their final form for us to digest As they are the individual subjects hit chords that resonate but are not presented as a cohesive whole The dead arts professor a proxy for Smith I take it is memorialized by the narrator lover who is a botanist by trade and an amateur literateur who can only manage to read Oliver Twist throughout the course of this novel A sort of an ego boost for Smith by Smith I think At points the narrativeets a bit corny when the narrator starts to see the dead lover in Alliance Rising: The Hinder Stars I (Alliance-Union Universe) ghostly form smell and all and the smell intensifies as time passes What finally turned me off the fictional element was when the narrator or thehost starts stealing things from other people The narrator subseuently seeks help for her kleptomaniacal activity which is likened to a form of rieving by her shrinkThe content of the lectures themselves are interesting time form edges offer and reflection are dissected into their various dimensions and meanings with elegant word play Some points stuck with me Form is clear rules and unspoken understandings The mirror is a reflection between our world and another The multiple dimensions of time and the multiple meanings of the word form On edge and being on edge the best way to illustrate each other Edges are extremes and borders Love is an exchange of altruism vs selfishnessIn the course of the lectures we et either passing references or detailed analyses of the literary Body by Darwin: How Evolution Shapes Our Health and Transforms Medicine greats and their works Dickens Proust Saramago Kafka Borges Woolf Ondaatje Calvino Atwood Angela Carter and Katherine Mansfield to name a few Painters like Cezanne and Dali and movie makers like Hitchcock with his recipe for suspense are also on offer Writers like Woolf who struggled at a time when cinema was coming of age and threatening to topple books from their perch had much to say about the new medium and its divergence from the written word We can see life on the screen to a deeper level when we have no part in it part observation part condemnation Anecdotes are plentiful eg Dali was trapped in a diving suit nearly dying of suffocation when he dressed in one to illustrate how he wasoing to be diving into the depths of human subconscious And the poetry selected and explained is comprised of very powerful pieces And like the narrator who is hooked on Dickens the dead lover was also hooked on a now dead Brazilian Marilyn Monroe look alike actress Aliki Vougiouklaki who played every juicy female lead part in the movies in her country Aliki ets to adorn the cover of this book There is lot to keep the art enthusiast engaged But I wondered why this form was chosen to present the work Was there a need for experimentation was there a need for validation was there a need to extend the material in the lectures to a wider audience beyond Oxford Perhaps all three are in play here Me before starting Artful hmm I m not really sure how much I ll enjoy a book that s a fusion of essay literature lecture and fictionAli Smith Hold my beerTruly I didn t think I d enjoy this one and while there were some parts that went over my head classic Ali Smith tbf for the most part I was reading in sheer awe This is Smith s love letter to literature She explores the myriad of ways literature can impact us change our view of the world the ways it can be read and reread and different meanings extracted from itA uote from a critic on the back likens it to being at a dinner party with some of literature s reats and I concur imagine them all holding forth over some lasses of wine yeah you might not catch all of it but dammit you re happy to be there and happy to lean what you can from their brilliance That s what this book was like for meIt made me want to read widely read better read MORE and I will definitely 100 percent be reading this book again in the future many times myself a different person each time I pick it up and new meanings revealed to the new me. 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. ,
The content wasn t what I expected but was if anything even nicer I daresay some friends have also had the experience that if something external makes you miserable whilst you re reading a particular book it often isn t the right book any But this was Not least because I find lost love particularly if it occurred without any hurtful remarks to be a displacement or refuge from harsher less picturesue concerns it contains the sense of having been cared about and a continuing ratefulness that someone inadvertently provided this comfort whilst not reuiring a 180 emotional turn Artful s narrator is the widowed partner of an author much like Ali Smith who died a year earlier in the middle of writing a series of
TALKS WHICH IN REALITY WERE COMPLETEDwhich in reality were completed delivered parts of them
Are Interpolated In Text Related Tointerpolated in the text Related to of the extreme procrastinator If I died now I wouldn t have to finish this It isn t uite Gertrude writing in the person of Alice for the narrator s work sounds like monitoring trees for a local council whilst Smith s real life partner is a filmmakerThank you to MJN s review for pointing out in the first few lines that the narrator is the partner The exuberance and deceptively simple language of Ali Smith s writing makes me speed over pages fast as if I was reading trash prone to missing things than usual in something of this complexity A few months ago in How to Be Both I nearly didn t realise that view spoilerFrancesco s narrative might have been the product of George s imagination hide spoiler I saw you last night though you are now far away I saw you and you saw what I was reading You said you d seen these lectures delivered You looked appalled when I said that I really wasn t enjoying them and you chided me for my ignorance before asking why As I rifled through the pages of the book looking for examples another old friend came in and said what a reat book it was My frustration Island Girls (and Boys) grew as I found it impossible to focus on the words impossible to find anything at all in this much less anything I objected to True story A dream but no less true for that I had the dream after having read the first two sections of this book and my inability to cite any particulars was of course easy enough to understand once I had woken I have now returned it to the library so this will no doubt be much the same though without the facade or frustration1 Putting the Pathetic in ParentheticallyWhen told about his enthusiastic advocacy in my dream the friend referred to above as you in an empty attempt to emulate the work currently under discussion said Fuck off This is why I m wary when you say that things remind you of me Pathetic The only thing I recently said reminded me of him was and there s nothing wrong with that Later he added I think my mumot something by her for Christmas 2 Putting the Art in Cart and then Putting the Cart Chronologically Before the HorseIs this fiction or non Is it important No to all of it The apparent structural ingenuity is not however enough to provide sustenance The story tells of someone bereaved it has been a year having lost their partner view spoilerI don t think the sex of the partner is ever overtly referenced and it can be fairly entertaining to see some assuming he and others she hide spoiler An extended Smith short story wrapped like bacon around the sausage of her illuminating Oxford lectures makes up this debut non fiction collection from the Best Living Scottish Novelist caps mean cred Her trope of using the second person to address an absent presence in this case Smith is the one being addressed by her partner returns fortunately intermittent between the otherwise un tampered with content of her brief lectures Not unlike Adam Thirlwell s Calvinists Incorporated: Welsh Immigrants on Ohio's Industrial Frontier grandiose Miss Herbert in its weaving of narrative opinion fact and uotation Smith s book is in a minor but no less resonant key andambols with the usual passion for language present in her novels her lectures unsurprisingly are riddled with uotations as she barely suppresses her eagerness to share the marvels she has unearthed in her current literary explorations in this case Oliver Twist James s The Golden Bowl and Katherine Mansfield Missing from this is her stirring keynote speech at the Edinburgh Book Festival an absence as heavy as the invisible You that haunts the first half of the story Cover image of Aliki Vougiouklaki apparently a Greek Monroe in looks only 155 stars While I liked the concept of this book which is that it is based on 4 different university lectures Stretching Lessons: The Daring that Starts from Within given my Ali Smith and while some passages were thought provoking and interesting this just wasn t a book for me I have to say that I actually found it a bit pretentious It s a long piece of work on thoughts and digressions on amongst other things time and form and these thoughts connect with a lot of literature too much of it to be consistent and make sense in my eyes You would. Is made of and the uicksilver 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.