Laura Marcus

A History of the Human Heart

Art Objects: Essays on Ecstasy and Effrontery


Jonathan Cape 128pp £9.99 order from our bookshop

The ten essays on art and the role of the artist which make up Art Objects are a manifesto written for the turn of the new century which echoes the tenets and the manifesto-making of High Modernism. Jeanette Winterson calls upon the artist to ‘make it new’ (Pound), elaborates the metaphor of the artist as one whose role is to renew the worn currency of language (Victor Shklovsky), and endorses T S Eliot’s theories of the ‘impersonality’ of art, its transcendence of subjective and individual experience. Winterson’s aesthetic touchstone and, she tells us, her collector’s items are the works of early twentieth-century Modernists: Roger Fry, T S Eliot, D H Lawrence, Gertrude Stein, Virginia Woolf and Robert Graves.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Moser’s book offers such a gripping account of a profoundly damaged human being, trapped in a cycle of repetition,… ,
    • 'Ideas that I’d thought were set down in full continue to smoulder ... this book is only a snapshot of some larger… ,
    • 'Full of invention which, at its most pedestrian, is eminently Victorian, and at its most unrestrained wildly imagi… ,
    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,
    • RT : One of my favourite literary magazines is celebrating 40 years this year. Here is the September edition of… ,
    • 'Now that the Thames is too fast-flowing to freeze, its spirit’s devotees ... have found other climes for their pri… ,
    • 'Bythell glowers past his till at a world in slow free fall.' on the travails of a second-hand book… ,