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Artful As author of theWeidenfeld Lectures on Comparative Literature, Smith finds inspiration in Miloszs conviction that The purpose of poetry is to remind us how difficult it is to remain just one person Indeed, Smith daringly splits herself into two captivating voices that of a Dickens loving bibliophile and that of her former lovers ghost Because that ghost shares the bibliophiles passion for literature, the dialogue evolves into a wide ranging reflection on how novelists invent reality, how poets cross fertilize the literary flowers of their predecessors, how filmmakers transform the screen into a dream that absorbs their audience As unpredictable as an undead vagrant, this scintillating conversation showcases Smiths own gifts as a creative writer But it also reminds readers of how great literatureof Shakespeare, Lawrence, Hopkins, Ovid, Plath, Rilke, and Flaubertrequires them to reorient their line of vision NothingSmith shows her readerforces such reorientationthan violating conventional boundaries, often in dangerous ways These most unlecture like of lectures deliver the thrill of perilous border crossings Bryce ChristensenOne of the marvelous things about this book is its reconciliation of the seriousboth in the form of this crumbling, smelly guest and in its ardent advocacy of artand light Smith, whose love of words and skill at wordplay has already been made apparent in her stories and novels, performs dodge after dodge after dodge What Smith has done with Artful is to invent a new form apart from form, to build a kind of Frankensteins monster inside the act of art Los Angeles Review of Books The New York Times Smith adds complexity and meaning to the book through her narration Her soft but inviting voice seduces listeners and keeps their attention throughout Publishers Weekly AudioFile Like no lectures youve ever encountered Part ghost story, part love story, part mystery, part ode, they weave a narrative that feelsurgent,naked than academia commonly allows This is good Good because exciting it hooks us And good because in taking this approach, Smith goes a long way toward restoring the arid subject of comp lit to itsrightful state, something vital and raw The New York Times Library Journal Author Ali Smiths narration is practiced, with well thought out timing and emphasis AudioFileThere is a moving intimacy to Ali Smiths narration Readers of serious literature and poetry will find this a rich, worth listen Library Journal

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