The Harold Letters, 1928-1943: The Making of an American Intellectual

Overview

Candid, breathless, arrogant, ambitious—here, in his own words, is Clement Greenberg, a young man of limitless intellectual appetite on his way to becoming the twentieth century's greatest art critic.

Clement Greenberg was, and remains, America's most perceptive, prescient, and influential art critic. More alive than any of his contemporaries to the genius of art in his time, it was Greenberg who, in the 1940s and '50s, charted and celebrated the rise of Abstract Expressionism. ...

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The Harold Letters, 1928-1965: The Making of an American Intellectual

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Overview

Candid, breathless, arrogant, ambitious—here, in his own words, is Clement Greenberg, a young man of limitless intellectual appetite on his way to becoming the twentieth century's greatest art critic.

Clement Greenberg was, and remains, America's most perceptive, prescient, and influential art critic. More alive than any of his contemporaries to the genius of art in his time, it was Greenberg who, in the 1940s and '50s, charted and celebrated the rise of Abstract Expressionism. The authority of his aesthetic judgment, and the force and clarity of his arguments, went far to establish those artists whose work he championed—Pollock, de Kooning, Hans Hofmann, David Smith.

Before all that, however, he was a young man burning to become an intellectual, to make what he called "Important Discoveries" about art and life. His confidant during these early years was Harold Lazarus, a classmate at Syracuse University and a future professor of English. From 1928, when both were nineteen, until 1943, when they went their separate ways, the two exchanged honest, funny, deeply personal letters. Greenberg's side of the correspondence, here collected by his widow, Janice Van Horne, is the intellectual memoir Greenberg never wrote, the chronicle of a great tastemaker forming his own taste among the social, political, and cultural turbulence of the early twentieth century.


About the Author:
Clement Greenberg (1904-1994) was a lifelong New Yorker. His works include Art and Culture and the four-volume Collected Essays and Criticism, 1939-1969.

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Editorial Reviews

Helen Frankenthaler
What makes The Harold Letters so appealing is how fresh the letters are—vividly personal yet often universal, [Clem's personality] unfolding as in a novel.
Partisan Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582432397
  • Publisher: Counterpoint Press
  • Publication date: 8/5/2003
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 5.26 (w) x 7.84 (h) x 0.64 (d)

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