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The Letters and Journals Paperback – 31 Dec 1998
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
In this provocative and intimate work, an exceptional woman shares her gifts, but also her fears, challenges and vulnerabilities. I can feel her childlike joy and unbridled spirit as I read her accounts at the various high and low times of her life. I can also sense her immense passion for her work -- work that was only fully appreciated after her death. Reading like a diary that one opens in stolen moments of guilty pleasure, this is a complete portrayal of the real Paula Modersohn-Becker, in all her glory and shadow. Striving to be her fullest self, but struggling with her need to belong, she documents an Everywoman journey that will live on, compelling readers to find their truest voices apart from the noise of societal expectation and collective morality.
A must-read for women of the postmodern era.
This is the first complete edition of PMB's letters and journals. Also included are letters from her family and friends. It's a very thorough representation of her life as an emerging artist.
The editors did exhaustive research for this edition and the entries are heavily annotated at the back of the book. I enjoy flipping back to read the explanations for certain names that are mentioned or how the original, and extremely incomplete edition, of her writings compares. I have to say that the editors have not approached their subject with any sense of sentimentality, which I appreciate. They tell it like it is and let her words speak for themselves (unlike the original, abbreviated edition of her writings).
What also makes it so enjoyable is Paula herself. She's an excellent writer - very lyrical and at times poetic. She's overly romantic, but her descriptions are excellent.
I highly recommend this book along with the one mentioned above for a thorough take on this talented woman whose life was cut so short at the age of 31.
(By the way, this book does include b&w reproductions of some of PMB's work, but they are a waste of space - really bad copies. Again, I recommend the Gillian Perry book to see her work).
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