Sunday, October 17, 2010

(Book #35) Rollo May - The Courage To Create

Rollo May's 'Courage To Create', is another one of those books that has been sitting on the shelf for about ten years. I was expecting it to be along the same lines as 'Art & Fear', which it was, but it provided more of a psychological look at certain aspects of art and creativity as a part of human nature. I really connected with a few chapters in this book, but felt really detached from others. This was not so much about the content of what was written more than the format. There was very little flow between some of the ideas and it felt like a collection of essays rather than one cohesive book. Despite that, there was still some really compelling material in there, particularly about the notion of "encounter" as an act of creativity or a prelude to it. No matter what our medium is, when a person makes art they must grapple with an idea or have a moment of vision or clarity with an object, it is through this encounter that creation occurs; something new born into existence from a coupling of self and non self.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

(Book #34) H.G. Wells - The Invisible Man

H.G. Wells' 'The Time Machine' has probably been on my bookshelf since about the 8th Grade, ever present in the "to-read" pile. This being the perfect opportunity, I actually read through this one pretty quick and enjoyed it. Having seen several variations of the Invisible Man in movie form, I was surprised to find that the story still felt original, particularly in the form of the storytelling. The book starts in a small town that is visited by a mysterious stranger, a man always hidden in clothes and with a face covered in bandages. It is not until after this man starts going insane that the story unfolds and we find out who this person is and how he came to be invisible. Wells writes a story that tries to grapple with the human reaction to one of life's whimsical questions, "What could I do if I were invisible?" and provides a human and compelling answer. The story can be considered a classic in the sci-fi/horror genres and even though it’s a little bit dated, it's still worth the read. It also goes a long way in helping to forget that horrible Kevin Bacon movie.