Monday, January 3, 2011

Denis Dutton

I just recently read that Denis Dutton had died at the far too early age of 66 (only 6 years my elder).  I had recently been introduced to Mr. Dutton by a friend, Jeff Purdue, and found his book The Art Instinct, an investigation of the role of evolution in the artistic process and appreciation.  The book was terrifically well-written, and threw out numerous hypotheses.  It was not Mr. Dutton's self-identified task to conclude anything, but rather open doors of inquiry, something he did masterfully.  I also became aware of his website, Arts & Letters, a virtual collage of reviews, opinions, and at times, madness.  Men of his honesty, directness and charm will be missed.

On other notes, recommended reads include the South African author J.M. Coetzee's (a new author for me) Boyhood: Scenes from a Provincial Life, a memoir of sorts about growing up in South Africa.  This is a marvelous and at times searing book.  I am looking forward to his next two in the series: Youth: Scenes from a Provincial Life II & Summertime.

And a highly recommended movie: The Social Network.  A must see!

1 comment:

borneman said...

I always meant to get a copy of that book! You're right, the website is great.

Hadn't heard that he'd become dust in the wind. Sad.

Hi, Paul!