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Learning to Love You More Paperback – September 20, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Prestel (September 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3791337335
  • ISBN-13: 978-3791337333
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this selection of art and personal stories from their website, learningtoloveyoumore.com, artists Fletcher and July (author of the short story collection No One Belongs Here More than You) present a jumble of the poignant and slapstick. Founded in 2002, the website provides its visitors with arty "assignments" and asks that participants post their responses online. Assignments range from the straightforward (#9: "Draw a constellation from someone's freckles") to the absurd (#1: "Make a child's outfit in an adult size...and wear it as much as possible") to the heart-wrenching (#31: "Spend time with a dying person"). The resonance of the work submitted and displayed on the easily navigated website is sadly diminished in book form, where a willing lack of organization often isolates contributions from the same assignment; though it's probably the authors' way of encouraging readers to slow down and browse a bit, the awkward format doesn't do the lively, carefully crafted contributions justice. A more conventional presentation (including, say, an index) would have gone a long way toward making the most of both contributors' works and readers' time. More compelling is a complete list of assignments in the final pages, which offers many points of departure for the inspired browser. 160 color illustrations.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Sometimes it is a relief to be told what to do," the authors of this wonderful, strange photo book explain. "We are two artists who are trying to come up with new ideas every day. But our most joyful and even profound experiences often come when we are following other people's instructions. When we are making crepes from a recipe, attempting to do a handstand in yoga class, or singing someone else's song." With this in mind, Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July started a website in 2002 called Learning to Love You More. In it they provided assignments: Take a picture of your parents kissing; reread your favorite book from fifth grade; write your life story in less than a day; take a flash photo under your bed; and many others. The responses came thick and fast (more than 5,000 and still coming) from all over the world. The authors' favorites are here reproduced, and they are wildly beautiful, imaginative, complex, funny, sad and simple. --L.A. Times--September 26, 2007

Miranda July is a multitalented artist with a larky sense of humor, an entrepreneurial streak, a keen sense
of story, and a flair for collaboration. Her work has appeared in two Whitney Biennials; her indie film, Me
and You and Everyone We Know, garnered prizes at Sundance and Cannes; and her short-story collection,
No One Belongs Here More Than You (2007), won the Frank O Connor Award. In 2002, July and artist
Harrell Fletcher launched an interactive Web site that attracted thousands of participants all around the
world. The premise is disarmingly simple and exponentially fertile. July and Fletcher post assignments on
their site Take a flash photo under your bed ; Reread your favorite book from fifth grade ; Draw the
news. Participants complete the task and send in a report. Fletcher and July then selected the most
playful, heartfelt, funny, cutting, and brilliant photographs, drawings, writings, and constructions to create
this ebullient and trenchant volume, testimony to our inherent creativity, the fire in our minds that fuels our
love of, and need for, expression and connection.
Donna Seaman --Booklist--November 2007

Somewhere along a Los Angeles freeway, a couple have a tense conversation about hamburgers. In Southwick, Mass., three women allow their hair to be braided together, and a Houston resident writes the eventful story of her life in a day. In a bedroom in Sydney, Australia, the dress a young woman wore the day she lost her virginity is laid out on the floor, along with the shoes that, she notes, stayed on for the duration. A sign goes up in a patch of parkland near Penn State detailing the markings and habits that distinguish the common raven from the American crow.
The pages of Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July's Learning to Love You More are filled with such earnest explanations, recorded interactions, humble creative feats, and scraps from memory or fantasy or some complicated combination all of them compiled from the thousands of audio, visual, and textual contributions to Fletcher and July's Web site of the same name.
Begun in 2002, the project was launched with the goal of offering concrete creative inspiration to any and all comers in the form of detailed assignments: to make an encouraging banner or an educational public plaque, to start a lecture series or compose the saddest song, to write down a recent argument or make a neighborhood field recording, to spend time with a dying person or heal oneself.

The past is a minefield and thus ripe for artistic endeavor, and here the weight of memory brings a charge to mundane objects like those clothes laid flat on the floor. So does the weight of regret, as in "Assignment 53: Give advice to yourself in the past," which provokes Wendy in North Carolina to tell her 15- and 16-year-old iterations, "Please eat.You are not 'fat.'"
This and other conversations produce some of the most poignant and painful and pleasurable moments such as Assignment 52's "phone call you wish you could have," which produces two siblings catching up across the mortal coil barrier and a mutual coming-out and profession of love between friends, punctuated by phrases that progress from "Hey, wuddup fool?" to "Fine! I'm gay!" to "I love you too much to hate you." The insubstantial nature of the person on the other end of the line is affecting, whether they're beyond the grave or simply unlikely to answer.
As was Fletcher and July's hope, their project offers the humbling, heart-expanding experience of recognizing that the globe is dotted with original and inventive humans, busy thinking and suffering and wondering about love and making work that turns the world into a more recognizable and yet more startling place when it's seen. * --San Francisco Bay Guardian Online--Wednesday, October 31, 2007 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Buy the book and then come up with your own multitude of reasons to love it more.
Amazon enthusiast
This book is really cool, it has a lot of interesting tasks and let's you take a peek into lives of ordinary people.
Paris
I loved her movie and her book of short stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories.
Debra Kaufman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Debra Kaufman on May 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because I am a fan of Miranda July's. I loved her movie and her book of short stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories. This book has none of July's original artwork. It is a collection of work done by other people based on a list of assignments she wrote. The assignments range from the quirky (create an object from your youth using only construction paper and tape) to the profound (spend time with someone who is dying and then write about it). July's brilliance lies in her ability to bring out creativity using specific assignments and rules. As a teacher, I can really appreciate the value of a good assignment. I also love her on-going theme of "it's not about you". Her assignments often remind artists to stick to the rules instead of being creative. Still, this book is an inspiration to be more creative: to create more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Origai on April 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
Miranda July is great! This book invites us to create more art, in ways that connect us more to each other. Her movie and short story collections are also really beatiful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this book for my Boyfriend of seven years. We had just relocated to a VERY rural part of Texas from a VERY Urban setting in Chicago. I was afraid we would have nothing to do. A friend showed me this book and I knew i had to get it. I love love love this book. It has given my boyfriend and I so much to do when we had nothing but four walls to look at. I would say that this book has helped us transition into our new lives in Texas as well as helped to build a stronger relationship between us. Thanks to the Authors for this new hope!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Lobo on September 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
Good overview of the "learningtoloveyoumore.com" project. I like the initiative based on the idea of making a public project, one that crowdsources the activity and gathers it under a common umbrella. Unfortunately the process seems to be dedicatedly repetitive, and while some of the approaches to domesticity are quite commendable they seem to offer a single point of entry and run from whimsical to predictable, to the point that one hopes that the initiative will go elsewhere or offer a new approach and commentary, but it doesn't.

What the book contains is mostly present at the website, and new proposals, and possible critical approaches may happen there. Unless, one has an intrinsic interest to have the project documented in book form it feels far more relevant to leave it aside and resort to the website, or to other projects that are daring to go beyond the stopping point of Learning to Love you More. It still remains an important initiative and it is useful to have it recorded in one volume although I feel it could be expanded more richly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Anya Blau, author, THE WONDER BREAD SUMMER on September 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
I stood in Atomic Books in Baltimore and read the whole thing. Seriously. My knees almost buckled. They had four copies on the table. I bought them all, took them home, wrapped them and handed them out as Christmas presents. I didn't get one for myself. (But doesn't that make my gift of the book the best present, as it was the thing I wanted most but instead passed on to someone else?!) I hope someone gives it to me for Christmas this year as I'd love to look at it all over again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paris on November 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is really cool, it has a lot of interesting tasks and let's you take a peek into lives of ordinary people. The stories in here are pretty interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary Katherine Bush on July 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorites in my art book collection. The project was super inspiring. I just wish there was more room for more examples of what people made!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Genevieve Burgess on March 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
this book made an awesome valentines present ((compared to the typical cards and flower alternative!))....it's a very fun, sentimental and thought-provoking book that makes you wanna slow down and take notice of all the small beautiful and day-to-day thinks in life!
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