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My Faraway One: Selected Letters of Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz: Volume One, 1915-1933 (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library) Hardcover – June 21, 2011
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And glowed like burnin' coal
Pourin' off of every page
Like it was written in my soul from me to you
When Bob Dylan wrote these lines in his song "Tangled Up In Blue," he was probably referring to the love poetry of Dante or Petrarch, but he could just as easily have been describing the magic swirling rush of white-hot prose in "My Faraway One: Selected Letters of Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz," one of the most beautiful and surprising books I have ever read - and definitely one of the sexiest: D.H. Lawrence and Henry Miller - eat your hearts out!
When I first heard about this book my hopes were high - but I was also more than a little dubious: Hadn't these two people already expressed themselves best through their art - O'Keeffe in her paintings, Stieglitz in his photographs? Well, yes - they both said a great deal in their art, but they clearly had much, much more to say about the world, about themselves, and about each other, and the proof is in this book. The biggest surprise of all is what wonderful writers they both were.
Stieglitz certainly knew how to express himself in bold polemics and manifestos ("I was born in Hoboken. I am an American. Photography is my passion. The search for truth my obsession.") but the word "subtlety" had no place in his public vocabulary, and he would seem to be ridiculously ill-suited to writing a tender love letter. This book reveals, however, that the exact opposite is true.Read more ›
By turns supportive, turbulent, cutting, caring, but always mutually-creative, Stieglitz and O'Keeffe shared 25,000 pages of correspondence from 1915 through 1946, when Stieglitz died. They would frequently write several letters per day to each other, some up to 20-30 pages long (they both had flowing handwriting and used lots of space!). These letters were sealed, by request of O'Keeffe (with a few exceptions) until 20 years after her death. She personally asked Ms. Greenough to edit and compile them and the result is over 800 pages (Volume 1, with one more to come), which illuminates their incredible partnership.
O'Keeffe first visited Stieglitz's avant-garde 291 gallery as an art student in NYC. He was already a famous photographer and art impresario. She was intimidated by his fame and his strong personality but attracted by them as well, knowing that his opinions were of utmost importance. A friend showed Stieglitz some of her drawings and he was so enthralled that it began a relationship that would last until he died, making her into one of the most famous American artists along the way. He was also attracted to her independent personality and disarming candor, rare in a young woman of that time. She was 23 years younger than Stieglitz and her attention and obvious charms led their letters to become increasingly intimate. She, at his insistence moved to NY, he left his wife and daughter to move in with her. They eventually married, after living together for six years out of wedlock while he was still married to his first wife.Read more ›
I came to know Georgia the young girl, the immature one who on the one hand did silly things, on the other hand is aware of and describes the beauty around her in such detail, that I felt I was right there with her.
I came to know Steiglitz the lover, the romantic, the more mature person, learned of his environment and of what mattered to him.
As the corrospondance continued I was able to slowly witness the maturing Georgia who became a woman, still fragile but knowing herself and her needs.
No Biography can compare to the riches of these letters. The author chose well, knew how to weave the important letters that brought to the reader a well formed tapestry of the lives of these two artists.
I am waiting for the second volume.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book was listed as in good condition but wasn't It should have been listed as in fair condition..some wear and tear with the cover. I had planned to give it as a gift.. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Yellow Rose
Better than "like new" ... love adding this book to my collection and more than pleased with service & value !!!Published 18 months ago by annie harper
I love Georgia O'Keeffe and it is great to hear her history in her own words. It is a great way to not only know more about their extraordinary lives and works but of the whole... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Carlos A. Padilla
This book was amazing just to look at.
The cover is beautifully done and it feels like it weighs as much as an encyclopedia! Read more
looking forward to working on this book for my PhD... my dream would be translating it into Italian! And I love the way Georgia wrote.Published on January 11, 2013 by cristiana
Great insight into the relationship of prolific painter Georgia O'Keeffe and Arthur Stieglitz. Very interesting relationship. What a complex set of individual. Read morePublished on September 3, 2012 by ArtKitecturehound
You really need to know a great deal about O'Keefe and Steigletz to understand the thread of the letters. Read morePublished on April 12, 2012 by MF Minnis