Taking inspiration from writers and thinkers as diverse as Homer, Plato, Marcel Proust, Simone Weil, and Iris Murdoch, as well as her own experiences, Scarry writes an elegant, passionate manifesto for the revival of beauty in our intellectual work as well as our homes, museums, and classrooms. 7 line illustrations.
From the Back Cover
With exemplary clarity, Elaine Scarry argues that admiring the beautiful is nothing to be ashamed of; that on the contrary beauty fosters the spirit of justice. A brave and timely book. --J.M.Coetzee Here is a writer almost magically summoning up the world through words and ideas, in a new way, and so guiding the reader, lovingly, to receive the treasures and accept the pleasures of this book as naturally as breathing. Here is a book so measured in words and yet so exciting in ideas, a book that explains the world, even as it is explaining itself. This writer, Elaine Scarry, always leading us to consider justice, has given us a book that is beautiful and inspiring to such a degree that after truly reading it, the reader cannot help but be changed. --Jamaica Kincaid Among a restorer's solvents, imagine one so marvelous that what it repaired, what it returned to sparkling freshness, was not some beautiful object, but our damaged perception of Beauty itself. Elaine Scarry's imagination works just this wonder: potent enough to dissolve our every grimy resentment, yet so delicate that in Beauty's renewed radiance we discern, long invisible, the subtle outline of an ethics. --D. A. Miller, Columbia University