Friday, January 26, 2007

Now reading . . .

The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst -- I'm about midway through this 2004 Booker Prize winner (I'll catch up eventually) and thoroughly enjoying Hollinghurst’s way with sentences. He navigates the world of privileged Thatcherites with sinuous dexterity, weaving through the main character’s affairs with various men of the society. The gay sex scenes might put off some people I know, but they’re not the types I would recommend this book to anyway (I wouldn’t call the scenes graphic necessarily, but explicit).

Hollinghurst discusses Hogarth's aesthetic principles, particularly regarding the S-curve, the line of beauty of the title. I had to look it up (I'm not the art expert here). Hogarth felt that the beauty of the curved line should be used to represent objects that are alive and the straight line, whose variations are limited to length and thickness, should be used for dead objects.

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