Friday, December 19, 2008

Book: Spalding Gray’s America

From Limelight (Publisher):
Spalding Gray’s America is a thoughtful study of Spalding the artist, taking readers from his early days with the Performance Group and Wooster Group all the way through his entire career. It’s a lively and accessible evaluation of Gray's career, nicely illustrated. We definitely recommend it for all Spalding Gray fans! Here are a few lines from the introduction to give you an idea of the author’s point of view:“Gray the consummate storyteller offered honest, usually hilarious, and often poignant confessions that bear witness to a world that has generated ever more frequent moments of isolation, self-doubt, and despair. Gray was willing to deal with such moments. But in a spirit that is almost uniquely American, he never allowed us to wallow in the misery that often accompanies those times of doubt, desperation, and panic. Optimism pervaded his performances, even as he recounted dark times when a positive attitude seemed more like foolhardiness. But then, isn’t that what America is all about? Gray’s perspective on life in our world always took on an absurdly funny luster that penetrated his audience and offered us all a sense that, whatever our particular woes, we’re all in it together. And that is a good thing. Of course, Gray was doing far more than just talking. He worked hard at his craft, elevating his talent as a storyteller to an art form rarely (if at all) recuperable by the most ambitious of imitators. One felt that there was something intense and very significant going on when we were in Spalding’s presence, despite his disarming affability.”

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