An Emergency In Slow Motion

An Emergency In Slow Motion

The Inner Life Of Diane Arbus

Book - 2011
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Diane Arbus was one of the most brilliant and revered photographers in the history of American art. Her portraits, in stark black and white, seemed to reveal the psychological truths of their subjects. But after she committed suicide in 1971, at the age of forty-eight, the presumed chaos and darkness of her own inner life became, for many viewers, inextricable from her work.

In the spirit of Janet Malcolm's classic examination of Sylvia Plath, The Silent Woman, William Todd Schultz's An Emergency in Slow Motion reveals the creative and personal struggles of Diane Arbus. Schultz veers from traditional biography to interpret Arbus's life through the prism of four central mysteries: her outcast affinity, her sexuality, the secrets she kept and shared, and her suicide. He seeks not to diagnose Arbus, but to discern some of the private motives behind her public works and acts. In this approach, Schultz not only goes deeper into Arbus's life than any previous writer, but provides a template with which to think about the creative life in general.

Schultz's careful analysis is informed, in part, by the recent release of some of Arbus's writing and work by her estate, as well as by interviews with Arbus's psychotherapist. An Emergency in Slow Motion combines new revelations and breathtaking insights into a must-read psychobiography about a monumental artist-the first new look at Arbus in twenty-five years.

Publisher: New York, NY : Bloomsbury, c2011
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9781608195190
1608195198
Branch Call Number: B ARBUS
Characteristics: 247 pages :,illustrations ;,22 cm

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Lucchesa
Oct 11, 2012

Probably better for readers already somewhat familiar with Arbus' life/work. There are no illustrations (the Arbus estate is famous for refusing permission), so you must read this at a computer & look up the images he discusses as you go along. But Schultz's insights are worth the extra work, & the book turns into a meditation on the connections between dark art, mental illness and suicide.

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