The introduction of this book reads, “Beauty, like every other quality — courage, fear, ugliness, trust, truth, wisdom — is a part of us and apart from us, inside us and outside us, personal and impersonal. Beauty invites us to build bridges and make connections between the senses and the soul, between contemplation and expression, between ourselves and the world.” In this wide-ranging and deeply felt book, artist and writer J. Ruth Gendler invites us to reclaim and celebrate the often misunderstood quality of beauty as one of the most profound and essential forces in our lives. Drawing upon observations from art and mythology, science and nature, contemporary culture and personal experience, the author looks at her subject in its most generous implications — not simply as a reflection of surface and image, but as a pathway to wholeness, integrity, coherence, and ultimately, to love. Written with curiosity, courage, a discerning eye and a lyrical sensibility, and illustrated with evocative line drawings by the author, Notes on the Need for Beauty displays the strong personal voice that has made her previous book, The Book of Qualities so beloved. It is a work to savor and to share.
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