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4.0 out of 5 stars Poets & Artists explain Inspiration, 17 Sep 2013
By 
Christopher H (Keilor, Australia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Demon and the Angel: Searching for the Source of Artistic Inspiration (Paperback)
This book forms a long rambling discussion upon the way that poets, writers and artists attempt to explain inspiration. The author fixes upon those creators who have claimed that they have been visited by a 'force' or spiritual entity beyond themselves, often describing this as a form of 'demon' or 'angel'. Academics might argue that these writers are inventing a myth about their creativity; but Hirsch delivers fascinating insights into how major writers feel that creativity controls or possesses them, rather than they being in control of their creativity.

Many key figures are touched upon - Keats, Yeats, Rilke - although all hinges upon the initial pithy discussion of Federico Garcia Lorca, and Spanish ideas about the creative 'Duende'. Really, this is an examination of other creators refracted through the lens of Lorca and his views. (Rimbaud's ideas about the poet-as-seer are discussed, but the section is brief, and it becomes a comparison with Lorca's outlook.)

Hirsch organises his book into many chapters of 3 to 5 pages in length, each of them fixing on one author, or a specific work by a major poet. There is some stimulating interpretative criticism in these pages. This is a book of ideas you very much want to discuss with people interested in the creative act.
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