Living Artfully

Eric Booth, Author Sourcebooks $18.95 (300p) ISBN 978-1-57071-192-3
In a volume that is part self-help book, part philosophical treatise, Booth goes to great lengths to convince readers that there is art in practically every aspect of the ordinary, that there is beauty and symmetry in everything we do, no matter how mundane. An actor and teacher at Julliard, Stanford and New York University among other institutions, Booth urges readers to incorporate beauty into their lives by noticing and ""yearning"" for more depth and color everywhere. Too often, we glimpse the outlines of a scene and fail to notice the details that fill it in, making it truly interesting and unique. Without that, Booth asserts, we can't think, feel or live fully. Careful not to reduce this to a book about life-as-art, Booth also pursues the difficult goal of showing what an enthusiasm for art, any art, brings to a full life. It's a worthy object and the author culls draws from theater, music and visual arts in his effort to teach readers how to improve their perception of everyday life. If Booth occasionally loses himself in tangents or in the anodyne, comforting tone of self-help books, his thesis and program are far more interesting than most. This is an engaging look at a different aspect of art and aesthetics. As Booth says, quoting Gertrude Stein, "" `Art isn't everything. It's just about everything.' "" (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Nonfiction
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