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Monday, December 01, 2008

Two Book Reviews

Two Great Books I've Read over Thanksgiving:

Annie Liebovitz: At Work

Generally speaking I avoid photography books because I don't want to fill my brain with other peoples ideas of what is good and bad. I'm fearful that would erase my natural joy in photography. However, I love this book because it actually strips away all of my excuses and insecurities about my photography and art in general. Its written in an engaging style and gives the stories behind some of her most famous photos. Also, it has great paper quality; I love turning the soft luscious pages to find another awesome photo on the next page.

The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell

This book was recommended to me years ago by a friend who I sometimes really like and sometimes detest. He is a white handsome guy who is horribly entangled in the boys club. After a particularly frustrating sexist experience I asked him to read "Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" to which his response was "I don't buy it." Ugh. But this same guy would also give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. So I couldn't read the book he recommended for a while because it reminded me of him and made me feel pissed off. Well, I got over that and am now about halfway through the book. I'm really enjoying it. Its refreshing to read a book about mythology that includes Christianity. One of the basic ideas so far is that all life exists because of death - even plants get thier energy from a dying star. And that humans have developed myths and rituals to help us deal with that pain and guilt we feel about perpetually killing to remain alive. Another big point is that life on earth, with space and time, is essentially a mental state of being aware of opposites (life/death, god/human, man/woman, good/evil, etc.) and that before we are alive and after we die we re-enter Eden/heaven by melding into an unfathomable sense of oneness. Its an interesting read.


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17 November, 2009  

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