A well-researched skeleton key with which to unlock some of Dalí’s many mysteries.

THE DALÍ LEGACY

HOW AN ECCENTRIC GENIUS CHANGED THE ART WORLD AND CREATED A LASTING LEGACY

A bright, accessible biography that connects the dots between Salvador Dalí’s surrealist masterpieces and their visual references.

“The secret of my influence has always been that it remained secret,” Dalí once said, as if to tempt writers like Brown and Isbouts to attempt to crack his enigmatic body of work. Here, the authors aim to divine the “root of Dalí’s enduring popularity,” proposing that the artist’s appreciation of baroque and old master paintings has solidified his timelessness. Dalí developed a construct called the “paranoiac-critical method,” a term he used to describe his exploration of the “hidden visuals” of his subconscious. The authors address dormant erotic themes that haunt the artist’s paintings, but they also frame classical visual motifs as being similarly embedded in the artist’s mind. Just as a contorted, fleshy figure may signify the artist’s sexual hang-ups, two figures from an 1850s Jean-François Millet painting reappear throughout Dalí’s oeuvre like a recurring obsession. He understood that in order to excel as a surrealist, he would need to master the real. “While all of his contemporaries moved forward into the mists of an uncertain abstract future,” write the authors, “Dalí remained wedded to realism, to the palette and technique of the Old Masters as well as 19th-century academic artists.” Though his “allegiance to the realism of the Old Masters” is often obvious, the authors develop each connection with an informed depth that renders their subject as a deeply academic painter interested in more than just melting clocks, flying tigers, and burning giraffes. Two essays by Brown at the end of the biography offer wild new interpretations of Dalí paintings, as the author superimposes Dalí iconic motifs onto masterpieces by da Vinci, Michelangelo, and others. These claims are captivating but convoluted and feel incongruous with the rest of the book. Perhaps the authors work better as a pair.

A well-researched skeleton key with which to unlock some of Dalí’s many mysteries.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 2021

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Apollo Publishers

Review Posted Online: Dec. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

GREENLIGHTS

All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.

“This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13913-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

more