Death-Devoted Heart: Sex and the Sacred in Wagner's Tristan and Isolde


Roger Scruton - 2003
    While critics have lauded Wagner's Tristan and Isolde for the originality and subtlety of the music, they have denounced the drama as a "mere trifle"--a rendering of Wagner's forbidden love for Matilde Wesendonck, the wife of a banker who supported him during his exile in Switzerland.Death-Devoted Heart explodes this established interpretation, proving the drama to be more than just a sublimation of the composer's love for Wesendonck or a wistful romantic dream. Scruton boldly attests that Tristan and Isolde has profound religious meaning and remains as relevant today as it was to Wagner's contemporaries. He also offers keen insight into the nature of erotic love, the sacred qualities of human passion, and the peculiar place of the erotic in our culture. His argument touches on the nature of tragedy, the significance of ritual sacrifice, and the meaning of redemption, providing a fresh interpretation of Wagner's masterpiece. Roger Scruton has written an original and provocative account of Wagner's music drama, which blends philosophy, criticism, and musicology in order to show the work's importance in the twenty-first century.

The Sound Effects Bible: How to Create and Record Hollywood Style Sound Effects


Ric Viers - 2008
    The book covers topics such as microphone selection, field recorders, the ABCs of digital audio, understanding Digital Audio Workstations, building your own Foley stage, designing your own editing studio, and more.

Swan Lake


Lisbeth Zwerger - 2002
    Hans Christian Andersen Medal-winner Lisbeth Zwerger brings her singular vision to a glorious picture-book adaptation of the haunting story of an enchanted swan princess. She has based her version on Tchaikovsky's original 1877 ballet, which had a happy ending, unlike the later, better-known, 1893 version. Her illustrations, luminous, lyrical, filled with grace and beauty, evoke the brilliance of the ballet and the universal appeal of this beloved fairy tale.

How to Read Nietzsche


Keith Ansell-Pearson - 2005
    How to Read is a new sort of introduction--a personal master class in reading--that brings you face to face with the work of some of the most influential and challenging writers in history. In lucid, accessible language, these books explain essential topics such as Nietzsche's thinking on beauty, truth, and memory.Nietzsche's thinking revolves around a new and striking concept of humanity—a humanity that has come to terms with the death of God and practices the art and science of living well, free of the need for metaphysical certainties and moral absolutes. How, then, are we to live? And what do we love?Keith Ansell Pearson introduces the reader to Nietzsche's distinctive philosophical style and to the development of his thought. Through a series of close readings of Nietzsche's aphorisms he illuminates some of his best-known but often ill-understood ideas, including eternal recurrence and the superman, and he brings to light the challenging nature of Nietzsche's thinking on key topics such as beauty, truth, and memory. Extracts are taken from a range of Nietzsche's work, including Human, All Too Human; The Gay Science; Thus Spoke Zarathustra; and On the Genealogy of Morality.

Ballet for Dummies


Scott Speck - 2003
    Ballet is among the most beautiful forms of expression ever devised: an exquisite mix of sight and sound, stunning, aesthetics, and awesome technique. Ballet For Dummies is for anyone who wants to enjoy all that the dance forms offers - as an onlooker who wants to get a leg up on the forms you're likely to see or as an exercise enthusiast who understands that the practice of ballet can help you gainMore strength Greater flexibility Better body alignment Confidence in movement Comfort through stress reduction Infinite grace - for life From covering the basics of classical ballet to sharing safe and sensible ways to try your hand (and toes) at moving through the actual dance steps, this expert reference shows you how toBuild your appreciation for ballet from the ground up. Choose the best practice space and equipment. Warm up to your leap into the movements. Locate musical options for each exercise. Look for certain lifts in a stage performance. Tell a story with gestures. Picture a day in the life of a professional ballet dancer. Identify best-loved classic and contemporary ballets. Speak the language of ballet. Today you can find a ballet company in almost every major city on earth. Many companies have their own ballet schools - some for training future professionals, and others for interested amateurs. As you fine-tune your classical ballet technique - or even if you just like to read about it - you'll become better equipped to fully appreciate the great choreography and many styles of the dance. Ballet For Dummies raises the curtain on a world of beauty, grace, poise, and possibility!

The Transparent Society


Gianni Vattimo - 1989
    I do not think anyone comes close to Vattimo in his ability to correlate complex philosophical issues and arguments, such as those of Heidegger or Benjamin on such topics as 'the origin of the work of art' or technology and artistic production, with current social and cultural-political issues." -- Hayden White.

Handbook of Inaesthetics


Alain Badiou - 2002
    What characterizes the century that has just come to a close is that, while it underwent the saturation of these three schemata, it failed to introduce a new one. Today, this predicament tends to produce a kind of unknotting of terms, a desperate dis-relation between art and philosophy, together with the pure and simple collapse of what circulated between them: the theme of education.Whence the thesis of which this book is nothing but a series of variations: faced with such a situation of saturation and closure, we must attempt to propose a new schema, a fourth type of knot between philosophy and art.Among these “inaesthetic” variations, the reader will encounter a sustained debate with contemporary philosophical uses of the poem, bold articulations of the specificity and prospects of theater, cinema, and dance, along with subtle and provocative readings of Fernando Pessoa, Stéphane Mallarmé, and Samuel Beckett.

The Great Comet: The Journey of a New Musical to Broadway


Steven Suskin - 2016
    The musical is based on a dramatic 70-page slice of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Profusely illustrated, the book also includes an annotated script and a special CD with three songs from the Off-Broadway production and two all-new recordings for the Broadway production featuring Josh Groban with a 25-piece orchestra.

Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture


Philip Auslander - 1999
    This provocative book tackles some of the enduring 'sacred truths' surrounding the high cultural status of the live event.

The Tristan Chord: Wagner and Philosophy


Bryan Magee - 2001
    The enduring fascination with his works arises not only from his singular fusion of musical innovation and theatrical daring, but also from his largely overlooked engagement with the boldest investigations of modern philosophy. In this radically clarifying book, Bryan Magee traces Wagner's intellectual quests, from his youthful embrace of revolutionary socialism to the near-Buddhist resignation of his final years. Magee shows how abstract thought can permeate music and stimulate creations of great power and beauty. And he unflinchingly confronts the Wagner whose paranoia, egocentricity, and anti-Semitism are as repugnant as his achievements are glorious.At once a biography of the composer, an overview of his times, and an exploration of the intellectual and technical aspects of music, Magee's lucid study offers the best explanation of W. H. Auden's judgment that Wagner, for all his notoriety, was "perhaps the greatest genius that ever lived."

Changeling: The Autobiography of Mike Oldfield


Mike Oldfield - 2007
    His first album Tubular Bells went on to sell fifteen million copies worldwide and catapulted him into a stardom he was ill equipped to cope with.From growing up with an alcoholic mother, to his feelings of alienation and struggles with depression, this book takes Mike from his early years, through his staggering fame, his broken marriages, years as a recluse and to his rebirth experience at a controversial Exegis seminar. Mike Oldfield has been on a journey few of us could ever imagine, and offers a message of hope to anybody who feels they live on the edge of society.

Politics and the Arts: Letter to M. d'Alembert on the Theatre


Jean-Jacques Rousseau - 1960
    Besides containing some of the most sensitive literary criticism ever written (especially of Moli�re), the book is an excellent introduction to the principles of classical political thought. It demonstrates the paradoxes of Rousseau's thought and clearly displays the temperament that led him to repudiate the hopes of the Enlightenment.

The Relevance of the Beautiful and Other Essays


Hans-Georg Gadamer - 1986
    The principal text included is 'The Relevance of the Beautiful', Gadamer's most sustained treatment of philosophical aesthetics. The eleven other essays focus particularly on the challenge issued by modern painting and literature to our customary ideas of art, and in turn revitalize our understanding of it. Gadamer demonstrates the continuing importance of such concepts as imitation, truth, symbol, and play for our appreciation of contemporary art, and thereby establishes its continuity with the Western tradition. The essays here are not technical and are readily accessible to the beginning student and the general reader. The collection as a whole serves to illustrate the practice of hermeneutics and to introduce Gadamer's thought. Robert Bernasconi provides an introduction clarifying the central aims of the essays and their relations to Gadamer's major work, Truth and Method, and to the philosophy of art since Kant. A bibliography of Gadamer's writings available in English is also included.

No Such Thing as Silence: John Cage's 4'33"


Kyle Gann - 2009
    A meditation on the act of listening and the nature of performance, Cage’s controversial piece became the iconic statement of the meaning of silence in art and is a landmark work of American music.In this book, Kyle Gann, one of the nation’s leading music critics, explains 4'33" as a unique moment in American culture and musical composition. Finding resemblances and resonances of 4'33" in artworks as wide-ranging as the paintings of the Hudson River School and the music of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, he provides much-needed cultural context for this fundamentally challenging and often misunderstood piece. Gann also explores Cage’s craft, describing in illuminating detail the musical, philosophical, and even environmental influences that informed this groundbreaking piece of music. Having performed 4'33" himself and as a composer in his own right, Gann offers the reader both an expert’s analysis and a highly personal interpretation of Cage’s most divisive work.

Fashion - A Philosophy


Lars Fredrik Händler Svendsen - 2004
    Lars Svendsen dives into that world in Fashion, exploring the myths, ideas, and history that make up haute couture, the must-have trends over the centuries, and the very concept of fashion itself.Fashion opens with an exploration of all the possible meanings encompassed by the word “fashion,” as Svendsen probes its elusive place in art, politics, and history. Ultimately, however, he focuses on the most common use of the term: clothing. With his trademark dry wit, he deftly dismantles many of the axioms of the industry and its supporters. For example, he points out that some of the latest fashions shown on runways aren’t actually “fashionable” in any sense of the word, arguing that they’re more akin to modern art works, and he argues against the increasingly prevalent idea that plastic surgery and body modification are part of a new wave of consumerism. Svendsen draws upon the writings of thinkers from Adam Smith to Roland Barthes to analyze fashion as both a historical phenomenon and a philosophy of aesthetics. He also traces the connections between the concepts of fashion and modernity and ultimately considers the importance of evolving fashions to such fields as art, politics, and philosophy.Whether critiquing a relentless media culture that promotes perfect bodies or parsing the never-ending debate over the merits of conformity versus individual style, Lars Svendsen offers an engaging and intriguing analysis of fashion and the motivations behind its constant pursuit of the new.