Lastingness

The Art of Old Age
By Nicholas Delbanco (Trade Paperback, 2012)
America grows older yet stays focused on its young. Whatever hill we try to climb, we're "over" it by fifty and should that hill involve entertainment or athletics we're finished long before. But if younger is better, it doesn't appear that youngest is best: we want our teachers, doctors, generals, and presidents to have reached a certain age. In context after context and contest after contest, we're more than a little conflicted about elders of the tribe; when is it right to honor them, and when to say "step aside"?

In LASTINGNESS, Nicholas Delbanco, one of America's most celebrated men of letters, profiles great geniuses in the fields of visual art, literature, and music-Monet, Verdi, O'Keeffe, Yeats, among others - searching for the answers to why some artists' work diminishes with age, while others' reaches its peak. Both an intellectual inquiry into the essence of aging and creativity and a personal journey of discovery, this is a brilliant exploration of what determines what one needs to do to keep the habits of creation and achievement alive.
  • Grand Central Publishing
    • Format: Trade Paperback

    • Price: $14.99 US/$16.50 CAN

    • ISBN-13: 9780446199650

    • On Sale Date: 01/11/2012

    • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

    • Imprint: Grand Central Publishing

    Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Electronic Book

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America grows older yet stays focused on its young. Whatever hill we try to climb, we're "over" it by fifty and should that hill involve entertainment or athletics we're finished long before. But if younger is better, it doesn't appear that youngest is best: we want our teachers, doctors, generals, and presidents to have reached a certain age. In context after context and contest after contest, we're more than a little conflicted about elders of the tribe; when is it right to honor them, and when to say "step aside"?

In LASTINGNESS, Nicholas Delbanco, one of America's most celebrated men of letters, profiles great geniuses in the fields of visual art, literature, and music-Monet, Verdi, O'Keeffe, Yeats, among others - searching for the answers to why some artists' work diminishes with age, while others' reaches its peak. Both an intellectual inquiry into the essence of aging and creativity and a personal journey of discovery, this is a brilliant exploration of what determines what one needs to do to keep the habits of creation and achievement alive.

Nicholas Delbanco has published twenty-four books of fiction and non-fiction. His most recent novels are The Count of Concord and Spring and Fall; his most recent works of non-fiction are The Countess of Stanlein Restored and The Lost Suitcase: Reflections on the Literary Life. As editor he has compiled the work of, among others, John Gardner and Bernard Malamud. Director of the Hopwood Awards Program at the University of Michigan, he has served as Chair of the Fiction Panel for the National Book Awards, received a Guggenheim Fellowship and, twice, a National Endowment for the Arts Writing Fellowship.
  • "From where else but the panoramic cultural erudition of Nicholas Delbanco could such a tour-de-force of artistic sensitivity have come? This book is an engaging course in 20th century Western humanities, a tribute to the talents of aging men and women of creative genius and a literary gift to its readers."

  • "Frequently surprising and always enlightening, LASTINGNESS has a style that mixes the eloquent and the rueful in about equal measure, and in all its paragraphs the book is both learned and wise."

  • "Nicholas Delbanco's LASTINGNESS provides a guided tour par excellence through some of the most interesting creative lives of the last several centuries. This book is a joy."

  • "Intimate, intuitive, profoundly instructive, Lastingness is a users manual for mere and aging mortals who traffic in creation." 

  • "Clearly, getting old and remaining supple-minded and even imaginative is a synaptical crapshoot: the body may be willing, but the mind lives its own devious life.  On this compelling subject Delbanco is highly readable, compassionate, learned and smart, and immensely informative." 

  • "Lucid, perceptive, and broad-ranging,  LASTINGNESS speaks to the greatest anxiety of the creative with wisdom-infused passion. This is a work to take gratefully to heart."

  • LASTINGNESS is witty, elegant, often very funny, full of brilliant aper├žus about life and art, witticisms that Oscar Wilde would have stolen. But it is also rich in wisdom and inspiration."

  • "Delbanco provides an old-fashioned disquisition, not a self-help book, so he offers no bullet list of the Ten Things We Can All Do to Remain Productive Geniuses. However, he does extract from his wide reading and capacious imagination a few principles, among them the "desire to capture what disappears, to fix in melody or line or language what otherwise is mutable...[Delbanco] shows that time's winged chariot can glisten brightly, even in the sunset."

  • "A rewarding journey through art and history."

Formats

Product Details

Lastingness
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Price: $14.99 US/$16.50 CAN
  • Pages: 272
  • Physical Dimensions: 5-1/4" x 8"
  • ISBN-13: 9780446199650
  • On Sale Date: 01/11/2012
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