The Demon and the Angel by Edward Hirsch
Searching for the Source of Artistic Inspiration

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Synopsis

A work of art, whether a painting, a dance, a poem, or a jazz composition, can be admired in its own right. But how does the artist actually create his or her work? What is the source of an artist's inspiration? What is the force that impels the artist to set down a vision that becomes art?
In this groundbreaking book, poet and critic Edward Hirsch explores the concept of duende, that mysterious, highly potent power of creativity that results in a work of art. It has been said that Laurence Olivier had it, and so did Ernest Hemingway, but Maurice Evans and John O'Hara did not. Marlon Brando had it but squandered it. Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith had it, and so did Miles Davis.
From Federico García Lorca's wrestling with darkness as he discovered the fountain of words within himself to Martha Graham's creation of her most emotional dances, from the canvases of Robert Motherwell to William Blake's celestial visions, Hirsch taps into the artistic imagination and explains, in terms illuminating and emotional, how different artists respond to the power and demonic energy of creative impulse.
A masterful tour of the minds and thoughts
of writers, poets, painters, and musicians, including
Paul Klee
Federico García Lorca
Robert Johnson
Miles Davis
Billie Holiday
Louis Armstrong
T. S. Eliot
Ezra Pound
Wallace Stevens
Charles Baudelaire
Herman Melville
Nathaniel Hawthorne
William Blake
Rainer Maria Rilke
Arthur Rimbaud
Walter Benjamin
Mark Rothko
Robert Motherwell
Anthony Hecht
Benny Goodman
Ella Fitzgerald
William Meredith
Sylvia Plath
Jackson Pollock
 

About Edward Hirsch

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Edward Hirschis the author of many books, including five books of poetry. He also writes a weekly poetry column for theWashington Post Book World. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Book Critics Circle award, the Prix de Rome, and a MacArthur Fellowship. He is president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and lives in New York City.
 
Published March 26, 2002 by Harcourt. 336 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Education & Reference, Arts & Photography, Literature & Fiction, Law & Philosophy. Fiction

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an erotic form of dark inspiration.” For Rilke, a poem sometimes unfolded like a dream, or simply “burst out of him.” Miles Davis had the restless gift for improvisation about which the great alto sax player Charlie Parker said, “If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.” And again, G...

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Book Reporter

During the Q&A session, a young student engaged Hirsch in a conversation about an article the student had read by Hirsch dealing with Lorca's duende.

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