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Artful “A stimulating combination of literary criticism essay and fiction” The New Yorker from the incomparable Ali Smith Artful is a celebration of literature’s worth in and to the world—it is about the things art can do the things art is made of and the uicksilver nature of all artfulness A magical hybrid that refuses to be tied down to either fiction or the essay form Artful is narrated by a character who is haunted—literally—by a former lover the writer of a series of lectures about art and literature Ali Smith’s heady powers as a novelist and short story writer harmonize with her keen perceptions as a reader and critic to form a living thing that reminds us that life and art are never separate

About the Author: Ali Smith

Ali Smith is a writer born in Inverness Scotland to working class parents She was raised in a council house in Inverness and now lives in Cambridge She studied at Aberdeen and then at Cambridge for a PhD that was never finished In a 2004 interview with writing magazine Mslexia she talked briefly about the difficulty of becoming ill with chronic fatigue syndrome for a year and how it for

10 thoughts on “Artful

  1. says:

    All of it? I sayLucky for you the ands are ampersands you sayYou are calling my bluff of course I call yours back I take the book to the tattoo parlour down Mill Road and come home after several sessions with exactly this tattoo I choose to have it done in deep blue the colour of your eyes It costs me a fortune It hurts like ironyI see you again only when it's finished and my skin settled downYou're unreal you say when you see itYou're the real unreal thing all rightLess than a month after this

  2. says:

    An extended Smith short story wrapped like bacon around the sausage of her illuminating Oxford lectures makes up this debut non fiction collection from the Best Living Scottish Novelist caps mean cred Her trope of using the second person to address an absent presence in this case Smith is the one being addressed by her partner returns fortunately intermittent between the otherwise un tampered with content of her brief lectures Not unlike Adam Thirlwell’s grandiose Miss Herbert in its weaving of narra

  3. says:

    There are books which through the softness of their sound their words dipping into portals unseen that uiver upon memory and a haze of further meanings set me into a mode of creative inuiry A different state of being finding anything else an intrusion while seeking seclusion The book has become a place I seek; wordless and serene The early morning flower cupping the first rays of sunA sensitive mind filled with graceful thought faces the devastation of loss through her readings of literature its forms and iss

  4. says:

    155 stars While I liked the concept of this book which is that it is based on 4 different university lectures given my Ali Smith and while some passages were thought provoking and interesting this just wasn't a book for me I have to say that I actually found it a bit pretentious It's a long piece of work on thoughts and digressions on amongst other things time and form and these thoughts connect with a lot of literature too much of it to be consistent and make sense in my eyes You would have to be really interested

  5. says:

    Reading this book of lectures made me want to reread Oliver Twist and since I'm not likely to do that anytime soon I looked in my copy to see if Mudfog is mentioned or not mentioned in the very first paragraph and wondered if at the time I read it I noticed that the Artful Dodger has dodged the summation of the last chapterAli Smith is a genius but not one of those geniuses who makes things hard to understand dare I mention The Sense of an Ending Studies in the Theory of Fiction; instead she makes things easy with humor ge

  6. says:

    My review will be just two uotes lifted out of this amazing book All the time I read this book I felt it was feeding me And We do treat books surprisingly lightly in contemporary culture We’d never expect to understand a piece of music on one listen but we tend to believe we’ve read a book after reading it just onceEnough said 5 stars Straight to the top of my To Be Reread list

  7. says:

    JanFeb 2015 45 Truly Madly Deeply x The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas fragments of essays on literature ArtfulJust lovely I got it because it was my favouritest book cover I’d seen in ages as said elsewhere I don’t like many recent covers The content wasn’t what I expected but was if anything even nicer I daresay some friends have also had the experience that if something external makes you miserable whilst you’re reading a particular book it often isn’t the right book any But this was Not least because I find lost love p

  8. says:

    A rather odd book fusing notes from a series of lectures on the arts that the author gave at Oxford with a meditation on grieving for a lost partnerI wondered why the author chose to render this book as a work of fiction Why not present the lectures in their final form for us to digest? As they are the individual subjects hit chords that resonate but are not presented as a cohesive whole The dead arts professor a proxy for Smith I take it is memorialized by the narrator lover who is a botanist by trade and an amateur literateur who can only ma

  9. says:

    I saw you last night though you are now far away I saw you and you saw what I was reading You said you'd seen these lectures delivered You looked appalled when I said that I really wasn’t enjoying them and you chided me for my ignorance before asking why As I rifled through the pages of the book looking for examples another old friend came in and said what a great book it was My frustration grew as I found it impossible to focus on the words impossible to find anything at all in this much less anything I objected to True story A dream but no less t

  10. says:

    Me before starting Artful hmm I’m not really sure how much I’ll enjoy a book that’s a fusion of essay literature lecture and fictionAli Smith Hold my beerTruly I didn’t think I’d enjoy this one and while there were some parts that went over my head classic Ali Smith tbf for the most part I was reading in sheer awe This is Smith’s love letter to literature She explores the myriad of ways literature can impact us change our view of the world the ways it can be read and reread and different meanings extracted from itA uote from a critic on the back

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