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    WEIDENFELD & NICOLSON; First Edition edition (2006)
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    320 pages
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Start by marking Creators: From Chaucer to Walt Disney as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

Start by marking Creators: From Chaucer to Walt Disney as Want to Read: Want to Read savin.

Paul Johnson's "Creators" is just such an experience, but I'm pretty sure that he gets no commission from his excellent .

3 people found this helpful. Johnson (whom I personally like after having read several of his books) ostensibly claims that "Creators" is a study into the creative process by examining 17 individuals who best exemplify this faculty.

In his book INTELLECTUALS (1988) Paul Johnson asked whether intellectuals were morally fit to. .Walt Disney and Christian Dior did this in their own way as surely as Chaucer or Shakespeare, William Morris or Turner.

In his book INTELLECTUALS (1988) Paul Johnson asked whether intellectuals were morally fit to give advice to humanity (no, was the usual answer). In contrast, this book is about the creative and heroic side of outstanding individuals. There are many themes but no typical creator. Courage is always required, and self-confidence.

Finding books BookSee BookSee - Download books for free. Creators: From Chaucer and Durer to Picasso and Disney. The Unofficial Guide: The Color Companion to Walt Disney World (Unofficial Guides). 934 Kb. Bob Sehlinger, Len Testa.

Creators: From Chaucer to Walt Disney. 320pp, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £20. In his book The Intellectuals Paul Johnson settled scores with the intelligentsia by undercutting their high philosophy with their low behaviour

Creators: From Chaucer to Walt Disney. In his book The Intellectuals Paul Johnson settled scores with the intelligentsia by undercutting their high philosophy with their low behaviour. The glee of the gossip afflicts his new book, but its aim is loftier. He has chosen a total of 17 creators: poets, painters, playwrights, novelists, composers, fashion designers and, as an afterthought, scientists.

In this book Intellectuals, Paul Johnson asked whether intellectuals were morally fit to give advice to humanity. There are many themes but no typical creator

In this book Intellectuals, Paul Johnson asked whether intellectuals were morally fit to give advice to humanity. Some never lacked recognition or sales, like Turner and Victor Hugo, Picasso and Durer.

Автор: Johnson Paul Название: Creators: From Chaucer and Durer to.

Paul Johnson's brilliant and powerful reading of Jesus' life at once captures his transfiguring message and his historical complexity.

Paul Johnson now meets the charge with this companion volume of essays on outstanding and prolific creative spirits. He looks at writers from Chaucer and Shakespeare to Mark Twain and T. S. Eliot, artists like DA?rer, and architects such as Pugin and Viollet-le-Duc. He explains the different ways in which Jane Austen, Madame de Stael, and George Eliot struggled to make their voices heard in the masculine hubbub.

Items related to CREATORS: From Chaucer to Walt Disney. johnson-paul CREATORS: From Chaucer to Walt Disney. ISBN 13: 9780297851233. CREATORS: From Chaucer to Walt Disney. In 13 biographical sketches covering six centuries, he describes the masters of literature (Shakespeare), painting (Dürer), music (Bach) and adornment (Tiffany).

Risky Strong Dromedary
Kurt Vonnegut encouraged anyone dabbling in the act of creativity: “To practice art, no matter how well or badly, is to make your soul grow. So do it.” Accordingly, the art of creation is a noble act of finding a meaning of life in which man searches for his freedom of will and will to meaning by translating the principles of sentiments and reason that are universal in humankind to various forms of creativity, ranging from writing and painting to music and dance, and to even gardening and making people laugh. Such act of making something out of nothing requires Herculean feats of courage and spirit that serves as a sovereign remedy for the existential ills of everyday life, however ordinary or exceptional. Paul Johnson’s Creators, which looks into the bright side of clever, talented individuals contrary to his previously published Intellectuals in which he recounted the hypocrisy of historically famous intellectuals, presents his thesis: that we all have creative traits in us is our divine prerogative of humanity; and to produce works of the arts involves prodigies of courage as well as talent that is sublimated to the aesthetic expression of intellect and beauty, such as to be in the cases of luminous artists whose oeuvres marked their standing in literature, painting, and music.

Each chapter on each different artist draws up on the artist’s unyielding courage and creativity, which is a quintessential element of creative originality of outstanding quality. Johnson admits that an artist tends to be egotistical due to his extravagant faculty of creativity into which the artist pours out everything that is in him. An unusual degree of courage that is akin to physical courage of a soldier on the front is demanded of the artist unless he bows to the final enemy of creativity, such as age or increasing debility. Take Beethoven’s struggling against his deafness by using a toothbrush in his mouth to feel the tonality of each piano key while composing his immortal symphonies. Great impressionist painter Toulouse-Lautrec’s inherited disabilities and grotesque deformities as a result of hereditary inbreeding could not stop him from producing beautiful paintings with his triumphant willpower and courage until his death at the age of thirty-seven. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote incessantly despite his chronic illness due to his weak and unreliable lungs that eventually killed him in his early forties. Emily Dickinson wrote poetry without encouragement and public response, while David Hume failed to receive public recognition upon publishing Human Understanding. So did Anthony Trollope of The Macdermots of Bally Cloran that was neither reviewed nor sold of a single copy.

The life of an artist is full of peculiar aspects and strange satisfaction often spurred on by personal weaknesses, such as in the cases of Jane Austen and George Eliot whose real name was Mary Ann Evans. Both of the women led lonely and lugubrious lives without experiencing felicities of love and adulations by men despite their brilliant spirits and ingenious minds. Surely beauty was in their time and still is only skin-deep, but their plainlisness left them in spinsterhood and forced themselves to spur loneliness on writing that was the solace in which they could fall in love with the men they desired. In effect, the reader will learn that it was the courage to express their spirits and feminine aspiration to be loved that fed on their creativity. Also, self-awareness, careful nursing, and restricting of the talents and subject matters, rather than audacious rampant criticism of society in general in undisciplined tempest of words, were added to the wings of their creative spirits.

In light of the above, art is not genius but a work born of love and labor of its creator whose Herculean degree of courage and desire of expressing imaginations and intellect perform a painful but delightful feat of ingeniousness. Johnson avows that rational and professional methods of using skills, experiences, creative industriousness, and self-confidence are the ingredients to create the work of art. Also, he affirms the reader that there is no need to make a pact with the devil or perform a magical ceremony to invoke a creative spirit because inspiration comes from within. It is how to find it and reveal it like a hidden diamond in its most radiant luminance. Written in common words devoid of academic locutions and once again his usual consummate narrative skills, this is Johnson’s another scintillating book to be acquainted with the human face of geniuses whose works have produced pleasure in our senses and minds.
This is a companion volume to Intellectuals (first published in 1988) in which Johnson focuses on a number of prominent as well as diverse intellectuals who include Rousseau, Shelley, Ibsen, Brecht, and Sartre. He proceeds in the same manner in Creators with his focus on an equally diverse group whose members include Chaucer, Bach, Austen, Eliot, and in Chapter 14, Picasso and Disney. Most of those who have already read one or more of Johnson's other works probably disagree with several of his opinions but no one can (or at least should) question the scope and depth of his erudition. Of course, the appeal and value of this book will depend almost entirely on each reader's own interests but I presume to suggest that this book be read in its entirety because several lesser known people (A.W.N. Pugin and Viollet-le-Duc, for example) are far more interesting than I (at least) anticipated.

The title of the first chapter (i.e. "The Anatomy of Creative Courage") could well have served as the book's subtitle. Each of the 17 whom Johnson rigorously examines demonstrated throughout their lives and careers extraordinary courage when pursuing their visions despite all manner of barriers. "What can be said is that creation is always difficult. If it is worth doing at all, we can be sure it is hard to do. I cannot think of any instance in which it is accurate, let along fair, to use the word `facile.'" Johnson also suggests that "courage and creativity are linked, for all creation requires intellectual courage." Also when overcoming physical disabilities, as well as severe poverty, alienation, voluntary or involuntary isolation (often resulting in severe loneliness), and constant awareness of hardships which one's loved ones have been forced to share and endure. "All the same," Johnson concludes, "creation is a marvelous business, and people who create at the highest level lead a privileged life, however arduous and difficult it may be. An interesting life, too, full of peculiar aspects and strange satisfactions. That is the message of this book."

Please keep in mind that this volume does not consist of 17 mini-biographies, although there is a wealth of biographical information provided. Nor is it a definitive critical analysis of what each of the subjects created, although their major achievements are acknowledged. Nor is it a cultural history, although Johnson briefly but deftly correlates a number of cross-generational themes. Granted, he could well have devoted an additional chapter to each of several others such as Vermeer, Mozart, Richard Wagner, Caravaggio, Mary Cassatt, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Emily Dickinson. (He does briefly discuss them in the first chapter.) I think it is important to realize what this book is not so that it can be properly understood and appreciated for what it is: what an uncommonly intelligent, eloquent, and erudite historian has found most interesting and informative in the lives and careers of 17 creators. "Creativity, I believe, is inherent in all of us. We are the progeny of almighty God...He created the universe, and those who inhabit it; and in creating us, he made us in his own image, so that his personality and capacities, however feebly, are reflected in our minds, bodies, and immortal spirits. So we are, by our nature, creators as well...and [because ] we are all made in God's image, there is creativity in all of us, and the only problem is how to bring it out. A farmer is creative -- none more so -- and so is a shoemaker."

I presume to suggest, however, paraphrasing George Orwell, that all human beings are creative but some are more creative than others.
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The first chapter, on Chaucer, was brilliant and illuminating; the details of his life here were not mentioned when I was in college, and the analysis of his genius made me want to go back and look at "The Canterbury Tales" all over again. And this is where the "dangerous" part comes in: I wound up ordering the original Middle English for my Kindle, and a good translation in paperback.

The next chapter, on Albrecht Durer, was equally fascinating, and I wound up ordering a couple books of Durer's drawings and woodcuts! More danger! :-)

I survived the chapter on Shakespeare undamaged, since I already have everything Shakespeare wrote.

But the fascination (and the "danger") go on and on. I have so far resisted the idea of ordering any more of Bach's music, but I do want to investigate the work of a man named Pugin, whom I had never heard of before. Jane Austen and George Eliot deserve a more thorough review, and so on.

So I am reminded of a term I heard from the book-trade: "Mrs. X is one of the best hand-sellers in the business." What's a "hand-seller?" Well, this is basically a person who reads widely and loves books, and will engage customers in conversation, dropping in things like, "Oh, so you like Dickens, do you? Have you ever read anything by Trollope?" And she puts a copy of "The Warden" in your hand. "Oh, you follow the career of Freud, do you? Have you read this latest book?" -- and another book is plopped into your hand. When you finally reach the check-out counter, you may be holding four or five books you had not even contemplated buying, but are now eager to read.

Paul Johnson's "Creators" is just such an experience, but I'm pretty sure that he gets no commission from his excellent work!! :-)