October 5, 2015

Big Magic

image source: http://www.elizabethgilbert.com/
Despite the copious amount of reading I do, I can't remember the last time I've been as enthusiastic about a book as I am about Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. And this is without even being certain that I agree with the central premise of the book. (To be honest, every rational fiber of my being rejects her premise. But here's the thing. Her premise is so lovely, I don't want to reject it. I want to believe it even though I don't.)  Granted, I am only on page 70 of 273, but I am absolutely in love with this book. I am smitten. I am in deep smit.  

I'll admit, the title is a big turn-off to me. But, rather than wait 8 years to read it like I did with Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love (another title turn-off for me), I pounced on Big Magic in the 14-day-loan section of the recently opened, expanded, new home of my public library. And I'm so glad I did. I cannot recommend this book enough.

No spoilers here, I don't want to reveal the central concept that challenges, to say the least, my practical mindset. But as the title insinuates, Gilbert's concept has to do with the nature of creativity, ideas, and inspiration. Rather than try to figure out what I think of her beliefs, I've decided to just embrace what she has to say. It doesn't matter if I agree with her or not. Her premise interests me and makes sense to me in the abstract, as a structure or organizing principle with which to think about and explain inspiration.

And then there's the example Gilbert relates to illustrate what she refers to as "Big Magic." The example involves Ann Patchett, another writer I adore, and is irresistible. I responded viscerally to it; my stomach clenched and did somersaults, tears sprang to my eyes, I guffawed and let out a whoop. Big Magic is a joyful, positive, buoyant read. 

If you have read it or are in the midst of it, I would love to know your thoughts. Please share in the comments.

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