In Passionate Pursuit (Hardcover)
George Braziller, 9780807615232, 240pp.
Publication Date: October 1, 2004
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Overflowing with passion for her work as a scholar and teacher, Alessandra Comini romps through six decades as an unconventional art historian in this illustrated memoir. The author of award-winning books on Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, and Ludwig van Beethoven, Comini reflects on the formation and flowering of her distinguished career. Beginning with her colorful background as a refugee from Franco's Spain, then Mussolini's Italy, she describes her music-loving family's adjustment to a World War II Texas. A series of fortuitous experiences lead to what would ultimately be a turning point in both her life as well as in Schiele scholarship: the discovery, half a century after Schiele's incarceration in a provincial Austrian jail, of the actual cell in which he had been imprisoned. Comini invites readers to join her in the same zestful pursuit of cultural history that has repeatedly earned her the honor of being voted "outstanding professor," first by her students at Columbia University, then later at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Her research and quests take the reader around the world and back. From the islands of Corfu, Madeira, Rugen, and Tahiti, and the cities of Lisbon, Rome, Oslo, and St. Petersburg, Comini pursues such diverse and distinctive personalities as Rosa Bonheur, Edvard Munch, Gustav Klimt, Vaslav Nijinsky, Egon Schiele, Isadora Duncan, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Kathe Kollwitz. For those who wonder what academics do besides teach and publish, Alessandra Comini's memoir will inspire readers with its compelling account of an extraordinary life and career still passionately in progress. 30 black-and-white illustrations.
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