Wednesday, March 14, 2007

 

Letters to a Young Artist

I was at the library the other day and replenished my reading supply. The book I'm reading now is Julia Cameron's Letters to a Young Artist: Building a Life in Art. Ever since Rainer Maria Rilke wrote his Letters to a Young Poet, there's been an explosion of Letters to a Young So-and-So (insert what you like to replace So-and-So). Letters to a Young Lawyer, Letters to a Young Catholic, Letters to a Young Mathematician, Letters to a Young Contrarian. Google "Letters to a Young" and you'll see what I mean. In fact, there's even another Letters to a Young Artist, this one written by Anna Deavere Smith.

I've never read Letters to a Young Poet as I've never considered myself a poet. I attempted Letters to a Young Contrarian by Christopher Hitchens, as I am something of a contrarian (Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary), but can't recall whether I got through it. I am flying through Letters to a Young Artist, however. Julia's writing is a breeze, so conversational and easy. If you've read her book The Artist's Way, the information she imparts in Letters to a Young Artist will be familiar, however the change in format is a pleasure. (Not that there was anything wrong with The Artist's Way - I loved the book . . . it sits on my shelf . . . but the difference between the two books might make them appealing to different audiences.) It's definitely inspirational and worth a read if you've reached a creative slump.

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