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Lastingness : the art of old age
Nicholas Delbanco
Adult Nonfiction BF724.85.C73 D45 2011

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Why do so many creative minds become more productive and flourish with age? Delbanco (The Beaux Arts Trio), one of America's most influential literary writers and critics, tackles this question, brushing aside the national obsession with youth to measureÅmature artists hitting their stride while meeting the demands of old age. WhetherÅin the concert hall, on canvas, or onÅthe page, the qualityÅof lastingness-the ability to endure and hone one's talents despite advanced age or illness-is not guaranteed to all artists. Quoting Cyril Connolly, Delbanco writes, "the best thing that can happen for a writer is to be taken up very late or very early. " He approaches the theme of constancy and durability with wit and colorful detail, listing the talents who have thrived in old age: Herman Melville, Doris Lessing, Harriet Doerr, Georgia O' Keeffe, Alice Munro, Alice Neel, Philip Roth, and William Trevor. Delbanco presents a balanced, informed dialogue that never bores or gets long-winded. In the end, the skillful artist adapts to meet challenges in life and renews his or her creative impulses. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Prolific scholar and novelist Delbanco (Spring and Fall) applies his sound literary skills to this study of geniuses-as they aged-in the fields of literature, music, and the visual arts. Delbanco focuses on the fascinating question of why some people's creative talents flourish with age, while others' fade. He explores and explains our general societal conflict about our elders and the question of when to expect them to step aside. His profiles include Claude Monet, Giuseppe Verdi, W.B. Yeats, and Alice Neal, among others, all of whom lived until 70 or older and remained productive. Delbanco goes on to inquire into the essence of aging in America today and how creativity can actually increase with age, sharing his personal journey of discovery about his own achievements as he approaches age 70. VERDICT This erudite examination of growing old while continuing to make a difference will appeal to more learned, older readers with an interest in the arts and humanities.-Dale Farris, Groves, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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