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The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women & the Artists They Inspired (original 2002; edition 2003)
The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women & the Artists They Inspired by Francine Prose (2002)
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060555254, Paperback)In The Lives of the Muses, Francine Prose writes a spirited and enlightening exposé of nine women who fired the imaginations of some of the most inimitable artists and thinkers of the 19th and 20th centuries. With wicked wit, she shows how these women were both exemplars of their times and iconoclasts struggling to assert their own identity within the unconventional relationships they formed with these men. In doing so, she undertakes an examination of the concept of the muse in all its permutations--from the static nine Muses of classical Greek mythology, through Dante's oft-recycled Beatrice, to its ironized figuration in contemporary popular culture.
In addition to Alice Liddell, Prose looks at the following women: Hester Thrale, a long-suffering brewer's wife whose romantic friendship allowed the depressive Dr. Samuel Johnson to continue writing; the tormented Elizabeth Siddal, an opium-addicted artist who became Beatrice to Pre-Raphaelite painter and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti; Lou Andreas-Salome, who captivated and aroused a triumvirate of original thinkers: Friedrich Nietzsche, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Sigmund Freud; the "imperious" Gala Dali, who continued to sleep with her ex-husband, poet Paul Eluard, even as she transformed herself into a phenomenal marketing machine for surrealist Salvador Dali; Lee Miller, a model who mastered the techniques of Man Ray and others, and became a talented photographer; Suzanne Farrell, a ballerina who incarnated, animated, and was inspired to great heights of artistry by the compositions of choreographer George Balanchine; Charis Weston, one in a long line of the erotically restless Edward Weston's cast-off art wives and lovers; and the infamous Yoko Ono, who fought fiercely for recognition as an avant-garde artist as she sought to subserve John Lennon into the role of muse.
Prose draws on photographs, diaries, correspondence, memoirs, and original works of art that reveal the complexity of these artist-muse relationships, and that direct her readers to other books should their curiosity be piqued (as it undoubtedly will). Author Prose has a talent for writing provocative, invigorating prose that engages and excites the reader, inspiring them to undertake wider reading. --Diana Kuprel, Amazon.ca
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:34 -0400)
"The victims are always the same: beautiful, successful, and blond. Someone was able to coax these intelligent and confident women away from safety. Someone was able to gain their trust long enough to do the unthinkable. Their shocking murders have terrified the inhabitants of a small, peaceful town where such heinous crimes are simply not supposed to happen. Police Chief Rafe Sullivan knows he has to find answers fast before another woman is lured to her death - but Sullivan literally doesn't have a clue. And when the FBI sends one of their top profilers to help, he's more than a little surprised that his new partner is nothing like the straight-by-the-book "suit" he expects." "Special Agent Isabel Adams is tough, fearless, determined, and every bit Sullivan's equal. She's also psychic." "And blond.". "Skeptical of his new partner's ability to get inside the mind of a killer, Sullivan can't deny that Isabel has tuned in to the killer's wavelength, is following the twisted thoughts of a murder obsessed with stalking, seduction, and death. But in getting so close, Isabel has set herself up as the next victim. Now, with time running out, she and Rafe will find themselves forced to take the greatest risk of all, because this psychopath is playing for keeps and Isabel is the perfect trophy." "Unable to turn back, Isabel may have already gone too far. Smart, savvy, and confident, she may find that the very qualities that have kept her alive could turn out to be her undoing. For Isabel has entered the world of a cold-blooded monster who kills without mercy and eludes every sense but one...the sense of evil."--BOOK JACKET.
(summary from another edition)
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