At the Center of All Beauty by Fenton Johnson audiobook

At the Center of All Beauty: Solitude and the Creative Life

By Fenton Johnson
Read by Sean Runnette

Highbridge Audio 9780393608298
7.89 Hours 1
Format : Digital Download (In Stock)
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A profound meditation on accepting and celebrating one's solitude. Solitude is the inspirational core for many writers, artists, and thinkers. Alone with our thoughts, we can make discoveries that matter not only to us but to others. To be solitary is not only to draw sustenance from being alone, but to know that our ultimate responsibility is not only to our partner or our own offspring, but to a larger community. Fenton Johnson's lyrical prose and searching sensibility explores what it means to choose to be solitary and celebrates the notion that solitude is a legitimate and dignified calling. He delves into the lives and works of nearly a dozen iconic "solitaries" he considers his kindred spirits, from Thoreau at Walden Pond and Emily Dickinson in Amherst, to Bill Cunningham photographing the streets of New York, from Cézanne (married, but solitary nonetheless) painting Mt. St. Victoire over and over again, to the fiercely self-protective Zora Neale Hurston. Each character portrait is full of intense detail, the bright wakes they've left behind illuminating Fenton Johnson's own journey from his childhood in the backwoods of Kentucky to his travels alone throughout the world and the people he has lost and found along the way.

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice of the Week

A profound meditation on accepting and celebrating one's solitude.

Solitude is the inspirational core for many writers, artists, and thinkers. Alone with our thoughts, we can make discoveries that matter not only to us but to others. To be solitary is not only to draw sustenance from being alone, but to know that our ultimate responsibility is not only to our partner or our own offspring, but to a larger community.

Fenton Johnson's lyrical prose and searching sensibility explores what it means to choose to be solitary and celebrates the notion that solitude is a legitimate and dignified calling. He delves into the lives and works of nearly a dozen iconic "solitaries" he considers his kindred spirits, from Thoreau at Walden Pond and Emily Dickinson in Amherst, to Bill Cunningham photographing the streets of New York, from Cézanne (married, but solitary nonetheless) painting Mt. St. Victoire over and over again, to the fiercely self-protective Zora Neale Hurston. Each character portrait is full of intense detail, the bright wakes they've left behind illuminating Fenton Johnson's own journey from his childhood in the backwoods of Kentucky to his travels alone throughout the world and the people he has lost and found along the way.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“I love Fenton Johnson’s sensibility. It’s a joy and a balm to see the world through his eyes—and to rediscover solitude as our deepest and most powerful source of creativity and spirituality, even for people who are coupled.” Susan Cain, New York Times bestselling author
“After months of social distancing, making a case for isolation as a way of life may be a tall order. But Johnson presents a thoughtful defense, recognizing a dozen or so historical examples, from Emily Dickinson to Bill Cunningham, who removed themselves from enforced sociability to live fully.” New York Times Book Review
“In this stirring memoir and social critique, Johnson explores a life of solitude…[and] how race, celibacy, sexual orientation, or gender identity have informed many a solitary life…His musings on solitude deliver heady and abstract concepts with engaging clarity.” Publishers Weekly

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Fenton Johnson

Author Bio: Fenton Johnson

Fenton Johnson is an award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction. He teaches at the University of Arizona and Spalding University, contributes to Harper’s Magazine, and has been featured on Fresh Air.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography
Runtime: 7.89
Audience: Adult
Language: English