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The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone (2016)

por Olivia Laing

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1,1553217,633 (3.95)29
"You can be lonely anywhere, but there is a particular flavor to the loneliness that comes from living in a city, surrounded by thousands of strangers. The Lonely City is a roving cultural history of urban loneliness, centered on the ultimate city: Manhattan, that teeming island of gneiss, concrete, and glass. What does it mean to be lonely? How do we live, if we're not intimately involved with another human being? How do we connect with other people, particularly if our sexuality or physical body is considered deviant or damaged? Does technology draw us closer together or trap us behind screens? Olivia Laing explores these questions by travelling deep into the work and lives of some of the century's most original artists, among them Andy Warhol, David Wojnarowicz, Edward Hopper, Henry Darger and Klaus Nomi. Part memoir, part biography, part dazzling work of cultural criticism, The Lonely City is not just a map, but a celebration of the state of loneliness. It's a voyage out to a strange and sometimes lovely island, adrift from the larger continent of human experience, but visited by many - millions, say - of souls"--… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 32 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
DNF at 51%. I liked how the author wrote and how she integrated her experiences in NYC into the story. I also thought the audiobook narrator was fantastic and kept me listening probably longer than I would have had I read the paper version. But beyond Edward Hopper, his wife and Andy Warhol, I just couldn't get into the other artists. ( )
  Tosta | Jun 19, 2024 |
I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy this book, but it was excellent. A really good Yom Kippur read, all about the constant struggle to connect, the inevitable pain and damage of failing to be understood, the beauty of trying anyway, the healing power of art, and the universality of decline, death, and grief. IDK I'm not a writer, Laing is though. I highlighted so many passages that I want to return to. Highly recommend. ( )
  caedocyon | Mar 6, 2024 |
It just didn't work for me, it wasn't what I wanted. The book spends a lot of time on four men who symbolize loneliness in different ways. Maybe this would have been interesting if I'd had an interest in any of them, but I didn't. The author did talk about her own encounter with loneliness, which was exactly what I was wanting, but too little of the book was given over to it. I had to concentrate intensely on each sentence to make a connection with it, and by page 75 my eyes were sliding down through the paragraphs, picking up a few sentences and not caring one way or another. This book was not for me.
  blueskygreentrees | Jul 30, 2023 |
Being alone may of may not mean being lonely. Feeling lonely doesn't necessarily mean we are alone. Laing explores all of this. ( )
  mykl-s | Jul 24, 2023 |
I did not expect to enjoy this book; it seemed a depressing choice for this time of year. Olivia Laing writes about her sense of loneliness in New York by examining the work of (mostly) New York artists, writers and musicians whose work and lives have been informed by a sense of isolation and aloneness.

Some of her subjects are well-known; the work of Edward Hopper and Andy Warhol are familiar to most, but the likes of David Wojnarowicz and Henry Darger were completely new to me. Laing is clearly enamoured with the political art of Wojnarowicz, but I found Darger's life story and work wholly fascinating and bizarre, and the great find of reading this book. I still don't know what to make of him and his paintings of cherubic children being tortured by evil aliens.

This leads me to the key weakness I found in this book. Laing goes into great detail describing pictures or photos, but leaves the reader to imagine what she is talking about, or go scurrying to Google to find the piece that she's discussing. This book would have been a whole lot better with some plates showing the works that she is dissecting. Other than that, a really absorbing and fascinating read. ( )
  gjky | Apr 9, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 32 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
This daring and seductive book — ostensibly about four artists, but actually about the universal struggle to be known — raises sophisticated questions about the experience of loneliness, a state that in a crowded city provides an “uneasy combination of separation and exposure.”
adicionada por pbirch01 | editarNew York Times, Ada Calhoun (Mar 19, 2016)
 
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"You can be lonely anywhere, but there is a particular flavor to the loneliness that comes from living in a city, surrounded by thousands of strangers. The Lonely City is a roving cultural history of urban loneliness, centered on the ultimate city: Manhattan, that teeming island of gneiss, concrete, and glass. What does it mean to be lonely? How do we live, if we're not intimately involved with another human being? How do we connect with other people, particularly if our sexuality or physical body is considered deviant or damaged? Does technology draw us closer together or trap us behind screens? Olivia Laing explores these questions by travelling deep into the work and lives of some of the century's most original artists, among them Andy Warhol, David Wojnarowicz, Edward Hopper, Henry Darger and Klaus Nomi. Part memoir, part biography, part dazzling work of cultural criticism, The Lonely City is not just a map, but a celebration of the state of loneliness. It's a voyage out to a strange and sometimes lovely island, adrift from the larger continent of human experience, but visited by many - millions, say - of souls"--

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