Art Objects

Art Objects : Essays on Ecstasy and Effrontery

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These interlocking essays uncover art as an active force in the world - neither elitist or remote, present to those who want it, affecting even those who don't. Winterson's own passionate vision of art is presented here, provocatively and personally, in pieces on Modernism, autobiography, style, painting, the future of fiction, in two essays on Virginia Woolf, and more intimately in pieces where she describes her relationship to her work and the books that she more

Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 128 x 192 x 16mm | 140.62g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0099590018
  • 9780099590019
  • 71,571

Review quote

"Courageous... Her writing is spirited and insouciant in its fusing of love of words and sensual desire" Scotsman "Winterson is in fine form in these essays about art" Observer "Flashes of sly wit have an epigrammatic power... On Joyce, Woolf, Conrad, Dickens and the development of English literature she is acute and always interesting...covetable, infuriating, stimulating" Independentshow more

Review Text

A self-important grab bag of essays on art, sex, and writing by one of England's preeminent literary talents. Despite her professed admiration for Modernist giants such as Virginia Woolf, Winterson's (Art and Lies, p. 105, etc.) vision is essentially a Romantic one, tricked up with a few stylistic gimmicks to give it a high-gloss experimental veneer. Following in a long, proud tradition from Wordsworth to Eliot, Winterson uses these essays to propound aesthetic theories that, stripped to their essence, are nothing so much as celebrations and justifications of her own work. Still there is something both noble and fussily quaint about her high regard for art and "the artist," her faith that they still hold an overwhelming importance: "If we say that art, all art is no longer relevant to our lives, then we might at least risk the question 'What has happened to our lives?' "When she neglects her self-conscious stylings and self-preoccupation, when she doesn't try so hard for ecstasy and effrontery, Winterson can be a fine writer. These essays are decorated throughout with sensitive perceptions and beautifully nuanced phrasings (consider the title's subtle pun), but sooner or later she feels the need to be a WRITER again and begins stomping recklessly about her carefully arranged china shop. While we can't usually choose our intellectual influences, Winterson also reflects a particularly insular British kind of parochialism that does not seem to recognize any literature west of the Liffey and later than 1945. Strange for a writer who so strenuously - at least in these essays - rejects realism and blindly following tradition: "If prose-fiction is to survive it will have to do more than to tell a story. Fiction that is printed television is redundant fiction." Despite their occasional glimmerings, few of these essays measure up to even the briefest paragraphs from one of Winterson's novels. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

About Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette Winterson OBE is the author of ten novels, including The Passion, Sexing the Cherry and Written on the Body, a book of short stories, The World and Other Places, a collection of essays, Art Objects as well as many other works, including children's books, screenplays and journalism. Her writing has won the Whitbread Award for Best First Novel, the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize, the E. M. Forster Award and the Prix d'argent at Cannes Film Festival. Visit her website at www.jeanettewinterson.comshow more