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Painted Word Hardcover – Jan 1977


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam USA; New edition edition (Jan 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553025023
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553025026
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 10.7 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,892,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tom Wolfe was born in 1931. He has written for The Washington Post and The New York Herald Tribune and is credited with the creation of 'New Journalism'. Between 1984 and 1985 Wolfe wrote his first novel The Bonfire of the Vanities in serial form for Rolling Stone magazine. The novel was published in 1987. It was number one of the New York Times bestseller list for two months and remained on the list for more than a year. He is the author of sixteen books, among them such contemporary classics as The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, and I Am Charlotte Simmons. He lives in New York City.

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Synopsis

The author derails the great American myth of modern art in a scathing, witty, uncompromising critique of American art from the 1950s through the 1970s. Reprint. NYT. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By psychothriller on 6 May 2013
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This is a wonderful essay on the fraud of modern art. I really don't know how I've missed out on it for so long. I would say it is essential reading for anyone with an interest in art. Basically, he is saying that theory drives the art, rather than the other way around.

I'd love to see a book on the same kind of theme - the influence of literary theory on literature. Now that literature is criticised using Marxian theory, feminist theory, psychoanalytic theory, how much do these theories influence the writing of novels?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By bbk on 5 Oct 2012
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The Painted Word is brief and to the point. That's also its only failing: too short for its hungry audience. I wanted more fun pocked (3-4 thick volumes) at this overly-pompous wankery called Art Theory.

One of the interesting aspects it touches upon is the quandary of the artist when faced with success = immortality. Among other bad ideas, we should blame he Romantic period for equating the artist with the quintessential anarchist. It's amazing how this mentality has stuck with generation after generation of art students since then. But what if the dreaded bourgeoisie were to accept your genius and offer you sex, drugs and rock'n'roll? Who's strong enough to reject luxury? And should anyone? Doesn't everybody really want the sweet lull of success and recognition (let alone drugs and sex) when all is said and done? Wolfe makes it all sound very funny, but when you're an earnest 18 year old just off the bus in the big city it's not. The irony of the situation is quite heavy handed but at the time it's pretty hard to catch. You can very earnestly be serious about "aht" while at the same time not even secretly hope for fabulous success. The joke on the artist is that the critic comes first. Any youngin with a bit of wit might as well skip the tedious artist step and jump to critic.

What Wolfe has to say in the Epilogue about the legacy of theory versus art itself is certainly spot on if you step into any museum these days. The walls adjacent to the artwork are covered in text and "the tourists", as he calls them, dutifully read it before even glancing at the artwork. If you're lucky, you can also - ahem - see "artwork that is only visible in the mind of its creator". Good fun had by all and money well spent...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jon Hatfull on 19 Feb 2013
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No antidote this to the malaise of the apparent domination of critical theory over fine art practice, but rather a mild pain-killer. Evidently skilful in the journalist's art of not really saying anything in an entertaining way, Tom Wolfe's fervour promises much and yet somehow left me only a little wiser - and that from the historical details. It seems, at the end of the day that the great theorists still had to follow the great artists, rather than what the book seems to propose ( though no doubt many jumped on the bandwagon). This book is nice and short, and a good, quick read, and makes some cute and acute observations about the nature of the art scene, but I was hoping for some sharp discussion of intellectualisation of art, and this 'snack' of a book left me hungry.
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my title tells it all... As my husband is an artist, he read it first, and then me. We both liked it, certainly helps if you have some art history knowledge...
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By Fionamobi on 3 Sep 2013
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For anyone interested in selling their work this book is a must have! Its informative easy to digest and doesn't take that long to read.
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