Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Five books to help you think like a visual artist

Myla Goldberg is the bestselling author of Feast Your Eyes, The False Friend, Wickett’s Remedy, and Bee Season, which was a New York Times Notable Book, winner of the Borders New Voices Prize, and a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN award, the NYPL Young Lions award, and the Barnes & Noble Discover award. It was adapted to film and widely translated. In addition to her novels, she has written an essay collection, a children’s book, and short stories that have appeared in Harper’s.

At LitHub Goldberg tagged five books to help you think like a visual artist, including:
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

The portrait at the center of this story is what usually grabs people’s attention, but while the book is developing its super-famous conceit, it’s also exploring the roots of artistic inspiration and the fraught power relationship between painter and muse as embodied by Basil Hallward, the painter in thrall to Dorian’s toxic charms. To what degree is the fullest realization of artistic genius dependent upon random factors, like who one happens to meet at a dinner party? Wilde uses Dorian’s story to address questions central to artistic identity. Once you read the book, check out the portrait Ivan Albright painted for the 1945 film adaptation.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Picture of Dorian Gray also appears on Emily Lloyd-Jones's list of five favorite books featuring deals you probably don’t want to make, Eric Berkowitz's list of five top books on sex and society, and John Mullan's lists of ten of the best locked rooms in literature, ten of the best mirrors in literature, ten of the best disastrous performances in fiction, and ten of the best examples of ekphrasis in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue