My Life

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Overview

A remarkable account of a wildly artistic life, finally restored to its unexpurgated form, with a revealing new introduction by Joan Acocella.
The visionary choreographer and dancer Isadora Duncan (1877–1927) not only revolutionized dance in the twentieth century but blazed a path for other visionaries who would follow in her wake. While many biographies have explored Duncan’s crucial role as one of the founders of modern dance, no other book has proved as critical—as both ...

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LIBRARY BINDING New 0781281156 **New** copy, unmarked EXCELLENT condition; ships USPS with delivery confirmation in US 377II.

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My Life (Revised and Updated)

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Overview

A remarkable account of a wildly artistic life, finally restored to its unexpurgated form, with a revealing new introduction by Joan Acocella.
The visionary choreographer and dancer Isadora Duncan (1877–1927) not only revolutionized dance in the twentieth century but blazed a path for other visionaries who would follow in her wake. While many biographies have explored Duncan’s crucial role as one of the founders of modern dance, no other book has proved as critical—as both historical record and vivid evocation of a riveting life—as her autobiography. From her early enchantment with classical music and poetry to her great successes abroad, to her sensational love affairs and headline-grabbing personal tragedies, Duncan’s story is a dramatic one. My Life still stands alone as “a great document, revealing the truth of her life as she understood it, without reticence or apology or compromise” (New York Herald Tribune). Now, in this fully restored edition, with its risqué recollections and fervent idealism, My Life can be appreciated by a new generation.

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Editorial Reviews

NY Herald Tribune
"Her memoirs constitute a great document, revealing the truth of her life as she understood it, without reticence or apology or compromise."
NY Times Book Review
"Sensational reading."
New York Times
“Fascinating, even sensational reading.”
Agnes de Mille
“Isadora was a wild voluptuary, a true revolutionary. She flouted every tradition. . . . She alone and unhelped changed the direction of her entire art.”
Megan O’Grady - Vogue.com
“For dance aficionados, Isadora Duncan’s memoir My Life, with an introduction by Joan Acocella, completes the portrait of one of the twentieth century’s most unforgettably Dionysian figures by restoring the bits originally deemed too spicy for print.”
Kirkus Reviews
The legendary autobiography, with all the naughty bits restored. Actually, even the expurgated version of modern-dance pioneer Duncan's account of her life, loves and art was frank enough to make it a scandalous success in 1927, the year she died at age 50. The passages deleted generally featured the names of people still alive or practices then considered beyond the pale, such as homosexuality or masturbation. (The sentences left in about unabashedly lesbian dancer Loie Fuller are often as obviously indicative of her sex life as the ones that were omitted.) The inclusion of this material doesn't substantively change the nature of Duncan's book, which remains one of the great documents of early-20th-century bohemianism and radicalism. She despised marriage, money and the bourgeoisie; she lived for Art (always with a capital A). Duncan's unashamed self-love would have been absurd if she hadn't expressed the same enthusiasm for other artists: Fuller, Eleanora Duse and Cosima Wagner are among the strong-minded women for whom she voices vivid appreciation; actors Henry Irving and Jean Mounet-Sully are among the men. The author's portrait of visionary theatrical designer Gordon Craig, father of her first child, rings with fervent admiration for his genius as it unforgettably captures the domineering personality Duncan had to flee. Dance critic Joan Acocella's surprisingly grudging introduction focuses on Duncan's admitted solipsism and "willed naïveté," somewhat at the expense of her groundbreaking impact as a dancer and a free woman. Yes, it was ridiculous of Duncan to think she had the right to teach modern Greeks how to dance and sing in the manner of their ancestors, and, yes, her endless recitations of the accolades showered on her get wearisome. But Isadora's sublime faith in herself as a genius was the force that drove her life, and it gives her memoir its marvelous flavor. A welcome new edition of a classic.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780781281157
  • Publisher: Reprint Services Company
  • Publication date: 10/28/1991
  • Series: American Biography Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Isadora Duncan was one of the primary founders of modern dance. Born in California, she lived throughout Europe from the age of twenty-two until her death at fifty

Joan Acocella, author of Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints, is the dance critic for The New Yorker.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2009

    WOW

    Isadora Duncan was, well, WOW! She had many tragedies in her life. Isadora had her own opinions on things- from dance to romance. There aren't many dates as Isadora tells her story, but the book was okay overall.

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