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Reviewed in the United States on September 17, 2019
I'm annoyed I had to read it for a class. I'm an artist, and a lot of the comments the author made rubbed me the wrong way. Waste of money for someone who thinks it's unwise to buy a bouquet of flowers when you're struggling to buy even food.
I stumbled on his previous book quite by chance and loved it. I had to get this one to see if the writing grabbed my attention like the previous book. I was not disappointed. He writes beautifully and thoughtfully on the intersection of art, faith and the act of creating culture and community. Timely messages for our fragile world.
I have mixed feelings about this book. I gave it four stars because just the chapter on Emily Dickenson and Vincent Van Gogh, and their relationship with society and the church was well worth the price to me. The book has other strengths, too. Fujimura does seem to be a bit elitist, as he thinks we should rely on experts from the arts and social sciences to teach us how to understand the arts, including literature and music. I think we could do without that, thank you very much. I did enjoy the sample of his work shared in the beginning of the book. He does lovely art work himself, and he is insightful insofar as the dreadful consequences of the materialistic, utilitarian philosophy that has deluged our culture and the church. As he points out, it's high time we got it together.
Culture resides in our hearts but i found can feed my soul ( inarticulately speaking) just reading about it in this book . i am moving from San Marcos, CA because i realize something is missing in this area.....i need more lofty experiences than having a cup of coffee and this book helped me realize there is something to that aspiration.........
Fujimura addresses many issues facing artists, their potential roles in society, evaluates what might or might not be important, and puts forth creative suggestions from principle and his experience. I made a lot of highlights in the book and took notes and will certainly incorporate some of his insights into my life.