Richard Woolheim: GERMS A MEMOIR OF CHILDHOOD Z44 [2005] paperback


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'This is a book like no other. It is the work of a philosopher who was also an imaginative writer, and whose philosophy was sustained by a devotion to aesthetics and psychoanalysis. Richard Wollheim died in 2003, not long after the completion...

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'This is a book like no other. It is the work of a philosopher who was also an imaginative writer, and whose philosophy was sustained by a devotion to aesthetics and psychoanalysis. Richard Wollheim died in 2003, not long after the completion of the book, which he felt to be his 'best piece of work'. An earlier book, A Family Romance, the portrait of a terrified manhood, shares some of its concerns. Germs, which traces a passage from childhood to youth, is a recovery of the past that is rich in sensation and in exposure to the world. It opens with the anxious somnambulism of a child's exploring steps, pierced by a thorn, the child is placed against the starched apron of a woman's breast. Soon he is the boy who brushes against the 'horse-like' bodies of back-stage ballerinas: further brushes of the kind were to be long deferred. His father is a fastidious impresario, a friend of Diaghilev's and the incarnation of an Old Europe. His mother is a figure commandingly comic in her absurdities: a vexation and a fascination.
Wollheim's 'Confessions' tells the story of a wrestle for meaning with an environment wonderfully evoked, of an ordeal in the dark wood of experience which is both moving and funny, and which has the origins of an adult sexuality and of adult encounters with works of art. Hypersensitivity, and idiosyncrasy, are made a pleasure, and a version of the human condition. Once read Germs will not be forgotten.' - Karl Miller
  • Publisher Name:Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Product Format:Paperback
  • ISBN: 9780552773140
  • Author:Woolheim, Richard
  • Publication Date:2005-07-04

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