Falling upwards by Lee Siegel
essays in defense of the imagination

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Sex and the City, Saul Bellow, Eyes Wide Shut, Dante and the American self, Barbara Kingsolver, acting in Hollywood, Soviet painting in Soho, Angels in America, Jane Austen in the present, J.K. Rowling--nothing escapes Lee Siegel's incandescent eye. Siegel possesses an intellectual range and independent perspective unmatched by his peers, and Falling Upwards brings together the best of his essays, all of them rich with the trades mark wit and intelligence that have won him many friends and a few enemies. In these essential writings, Siegel deftly uses the occasion of a book, film, painting, or television show not merely to appraise it, but to make sense of life in a way that is more defiant of impoverished cultural "norms" than most contemporary artistic expression. Guided by the belief that a calculating self-interest in art-making diminishes the prospects for the imagination in life, Siegel celebrates authentic sensibilities and lambasts manufactured sentiments. With uncanny insight, yet also with incomparable logic and analytical rigor, he has invented a new idiom in which the language of criticism embodies the playful, creative, synthesizing power that has been largely abdicated by the arts in our time. In writing about works of culture, Siegel has created a standard by which to judge them.

About Lee Siegel

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Lee Siegel writes about culture and politics for a wide variety of publications, including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and is a recipient of the National Magazine Award. He is the author of three books: Falling Upwards: Essays in Defense of the Imagination; Not Remotely Controlled: Notes on Television; and Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife and two children.
Published April 27, 2009 by Basic Books. 364 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Arts & Photography, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Sep 05 2006 | Read Full Review of Falling upwards: essays in de...

The New York Times

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And if it isn’t true — if Siegel’s father never lost his job and Siegel had read only Barbara Kingsolver before he went to college — what would we think?

Oct 29 2006 | Read Full Review of Falling upwards: essays in de...

Publishers Weekly

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Is the increasingly permeable border between art and life leading to a world in which the arts can no longer create meaningful original experiences?

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The Daily Beast

The section, on page 425 of the bill, offers to pay once every five years for a voluntary, not mandatory, consultation with a doctor, who will not blatantly tell the patient how to end his or her life sooner, but will explain to the patient the set of options available at the end of life, includi...

Aug 11 2009 | Read Full Review of Falling upwards: essays in de...

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