Beautiful Work: A Meditation on Pain (Hardback)
  • Beautiful Work: A Meditation on Pain (Hardback)
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Beautiful Work: A Meditation on Pain (Hardback)

(author)
£28.99
Hardback 128 Pages / Published: 09/06/2000
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The stories one tells about pain are profound ones. Nothing is more legible than these stories. But something is left out of them. If there were no stories, there might be a moment of innocence. A moment before the burden of the stories and their perceived causes and consequences. For Anna, the narrator of Beautiful Work, there were moments when it was not accurate to say in relation to pain "because of this'" or "leading to that." They were lucid moments. And so she began to hunger for storylessness.
In order to understand the nature of pain, Anna undertakes a meditation practice. We tend to think of pain as self-absorbing and exclusively our own ("my pain," "I am in pain"). In distinction, Sharon Cameron's Anna comes to explore pain as common property, and as the basis for a radically reconceived selfhood. Resisting the limitations of memoir, Beautiful Work speaks from experience and simultaneously releases it from the closed shell of personal ownership. Outside of the not quite inevitable stories we tell about it, experience is less protected, less compromised, and more vivid than could be supposed.
Beautiful Work brings to bear the same interest in consciousness and intersubjectivity that characterizes Cameron's other work.

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822325086
Number of pages: 128
Weight: 327 g
Dimensions: 242 x 139 x 16 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Beautiful Work employs the strategies of twentieth century modernism to satisfy its `hunger for storylessness,' but is a work of dazzling contemporanaeity. Poetry, fiction, autobiography, philosophy, and theology comfortably coexist and seamlessly merge in this delicate but fearless probing of the unanswerable questions that are the source of all serious writing. Cameron is a wonderful addition to the small choir of low, clear voices dedicated to the performance of the difficult and strange."-Janet Malcolm
"Beautiful Work is a remarkable book. It is the key that fits the lock-this is the possibility of living without pain turning into suffering, of freeing the body to heal in the heart."-Stephen Levine
"In Beautiful Work Sharon Cameron tries to locate the origin of pain, tries to free it from narrative, so that it can be known as something in itself. It is an obsessive yet disciplined search. Cameron's prose is lyrical, even incantatory, and its descriptive acuity carries the reader to the far reaches of consciousness, to a place where language both embodies sensation and moves beyond it, creating a delirium of awareness, a place where the presence of nothing (disembodied yet whole) and death are agents of illumination. Beautiful Work in itself is a beautiful work, a profound and original one."-Mark Strand

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