This Exquisite Loneliness: What Loners, Outcasts, and the Misunderstood Can Teach Us About Creativity

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In This Exquisite Loneliness, poet and critic Richard Deming pens an arresting and piercing analysis of the experience of profound aloneness and isolation from others. Deming excavates his own experiences in exploring both discontent and creative fervor as he examines the lives of six phenomenal figures, including writer Zora Neale Hurston, psychoanalyst Melanie Klein, Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling, and artist Egon Schiele. Part memoir and part character study, the author brings us to the recesses of his struggles with drug and alcohol addiction and relates his bouts with intense abandonment to the known lived experiences of other creatives

Deming pieces together information from autobiographies, interviews, and writings to formulate a coherent study of the extraordinary experience of transcending isolation and despair to create the most original and innovative works of art and writing. We learn that his connection to each of his subjects is deeply personal. For example, he writes about discovering Schiele’s haunting self-portraits as a teenager and Hurston’s works during a pivotal time of transition. Deming often wanders in the territory of an armchair psychologist, and his analysis could sometimes be a stretch. While passages that transition quickly into the author’s self-reflections about his own demons can be quite jarring, I recognize that this book would not be possible without a keen sense of introspection.

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Author Richard Deming
Star Count 3.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher Penguin Publishing Group
Publish Date 03-Oct-2023
ISBN 9780593492512 Buy this Book
Issue December 2023
Category Biographies & Memoirs