Sunday, April 10, 2011

The long delayed review of In Search of Myself

I must apologize for taking so long to write this short review of In Search of Myself by Frederick Philip Grove. The overly simple reason is that this book is awful. If you want to read hundreds of pages of an author describing how brilliant and unappreciated he is, then this book is for you. If you feel that artistic ability should never be compromised by accessibility, then this book is for you.

If, on the other hand, like me, you find an arrogant artist complaining constantly to be insufferable, then I recommend that you read almost anything else.

Stylistically, Grove is quite talented, but the content of this book is nearly nauseating. The book is an autobiographical account of Grove's life and work. It mostly consists of evidence of his genius, followed by his complaints that it goes unrecognized. Interestingly, Grove is unwilling to write more accessible books for a mass audience; instead he seems to prefer his role as the unappreciated artist, which would be fine if he accepted it. Instead, he seems to feel that the fault lies with the public for not buying his work.

Overall, unless you too are an unappreciated genius, I recommend that you give this book a pass.

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