For the Love of it : Amateuring and Its Rivals
Why would anyone spend free hours and weekends on a demanding practice that promises no payoff in money, fame, or power? Is it true that anything worth doing is worth doing only if you can get credit for doing it really well? Why do amateurs do what they do? Wayne Booth found himself enticed by these questions after taking up the cello at age 31 and then experiencing decades not just of unforeseen struggle but of comic and humiliating disasters - followed by hours of astonishing bliss playing chamber music. This book tells the story not only of this intimate struggle between man and cello but also of the larger struggle between a society obsessed with success and payoff and individuals who choose challenging hobbies that yield no payoff except the love of it. This fundamental opposition leads Booth into diverse meditations on how amateuring relates to all other loves and pleasures. In his celebration of how the amateur's labouring can blossom, he thus joins a long line of thinkers who have puzzled over the meanings of "fun", "work" and "love."
- Hardback | 246 pages
- 158.2 x 234.7 x 22.4mm | 552.39g
- 28 May 1999
- The University of Chicago Press
- University of Chicago Press
- Chicago, IL, United States
- 2nd ed.
"This book serves as a running commentary on the nature and depth of this love, and all the connections it has formed in his life. . . . The music, he concludes, has become part of him, and that is worth the price."--Clea Simon "Boston Globe " "The book will be read with delight by every well-meaning amateur who has ever struggled. . . . Even general readers will come away with a valuable lesson for living: Never mind the outcome of a possibly vain pursuit; in the passion that is expended lies the glory."--John von Rhein "Chicago Tribune " "Hooray for amateurs! And huzzahs to Wayne Booth for honoring them as they deserve. "For the Love of It" celebrates amateurism with genial philosophizing and pointed cultural criticism, as well as with personal reminiscences and self-effacing wit."--James Sloan Allen "USA Today " This book serves as a running commentary on the nature and depth of this love, and all the connections it has formed in his life. . . . The music, he concludes, has become part of him, and that is worth the price."--Clea Simon "Boston Globe "" "If, in truth, Booth is an amateur player now in his fifth decade of amateuring, he is certainly not an amateur thinker about music and culture. . . . Would that all of us who think and teach and care about music could be so practical and profound at the same time." --Peter Kountz "New York Times Book Review "
About Wayne C. Booth
Wayne C. Booth (1921 2005) was the George Pullman Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. His many books include "The Rhetoric of Fiction," " A Rhetoric of Irony," " The Power and Limits of Pluralism," "The Vocation of a Teacher," and "For""the Love of It," all published by the University of Chicago Press."
Table of contents
Contents Acknowledgments Overture: What Is an Amateur--And Why Amateuring Matters First Movement: The Courtship 1 : Getting It into My Bones 2 : Seduced by the Cello 3 : Amateuring and Rival Pleasures Second Movement: The Marriage 4 : The Zen of Thumb Position Maintenance 5 : Teaching the Love 6 : Meditations of an Aging Pupil Interlude: The Amateur Writer Quarrels with the Amateur Player Third Movement: The Love Fulfilled 7 : Amateur Hours: Disastrous, Not Too Bad, and Just Plain Glorious 8 : Hearing with Your Body: How Playing Transforms Listening 9 : The Three Gifts Fourth Movement: Rising Dissonance, Resolved to Heavenly Harmony 10 : "Making It," Selling Out, and the Future of Amateuring 11 : The Music of the Spheres--But What Spheres? Glossary Bibliography Index