224 pages, 9.4 × 7.75 × 0.75 in
May 15, 2014
Penguin Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1594631689
ISBN - 13: 9781594631689
Read from the Book
Make no mistake.I frown upon books about creativity.Too often they gather only formulas, point at Einstein and the Beatles butrarely at the author, propose exercises that mistake the mind for a gym machineand conclude each chapter with a recap worthy of fifth-graders. Inaiming at the universal—to satisfy the commonest denominator of humanthinking and behavior—most of these books miss all of the originality, thehumor, the serendipity, the grace, the exceptions to the rule, the idiosyncrasiesthat mold the way of art. So if I don’t believe in books about creativity, why am I writing one?Although the original idea for this book was not mine—it came from theoutside—its entire content comes directly from inside, from a life I havespent creating. I hope that my unconventional, insubordinate process ofcreativity will offer insight for anyone struggling to achieve his or herdreams. Born into the confines of rigid parenting, repressive schooling and the narrow-mindedness of a country busy manufacturing 365 types of cheeses,quite early I started to rebel against authority. I was not very good at following.I had to distance myself from the norm, to venture along solitary paths,to teach myself.At six, I taught myself magic; at fourteen, juggling; at sixteen, wire-walking.In the process, I was thrown out of five different schools. Regardless, I wouldnever have let my schooling get in the way of my education. Observation was my conduit to knowledge, intuition my source of power.I spent my d
From the Publisher
In the vein of The Creative Habit and The Artist’s Way, a new manifesto on the creative process from a master of the impossible.
Since well before his epic 1974 walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, Philippe Petit had become an artist who answered first and foremost to the demands of his craft—not only on the high wire, but also as a magician, street juggler, visual artist, builder, and writer. A born rebel like many creative people, he was from an early age a voracious learner who taught himself, cultivating the attitudes, resources, and techniques to tackle even seemingly impossible feats. His outlaw sensibility spawned a unique approach to the creative process—an approach he shares, with characteristic enthusiasm, irreverence, and originality in Creativity: The Perfect Crime.
Making the reader his accomplice, Petit reveals new and unconventional ways of going about the artistic endeavor, from generating and shaping ideas to practicing and problem-solving to pulling off the “coup” itself—executing a finished work. The strategies and insights he shares will resonate with performers of every stripe (actors, musicians, dancers) and practitioners of the non-performing arts (painters, writers, sculptors), and also with ordinary mortals in search of fresh ways of tackling the challenges and possibilities of everyday existence.
About the Author
Philippe Petit has performed on the high wire more than eighty times around the world; he is also a magician, street juggler, visual artist, builder, lecturer, and writer. A frequent contributor to TED and other national venues, he is the author and illustrator of several books, including To Reach the Clouds, the basis of the 2009 Academy Award–winning documentary Man on Wire. He lives in upstate New York.
Praise for Creativity: The Perfect Crime“Gleeful… Anyone involved in the performing arts will find Creativity useful. [A] kaleidoscopic manifesto …. as richly insightful as it is vaingloriously irreverent. Read it. Use it to cross whatever tightropes you happen to be perched on.” – Minneapolis Star Tribune“Anyone curious about Petit’s life and art, or hoping to draw inspiration for their own creative coup, will find ideas and insights in Creativity: The Perfect Crime.” --BookPage"Like all extraordinary artists, Philippe Petit's practice is founded in rigor, scrutiny, and dedication. What sets Philippe in a class all his own is his restless quest to conquer the greatest physical heights, achieving a precise balance of chaos and creativity. He is an inspiration to all who dare to dream of the seemingly impossible. Dear friend: I salute you!”--Mikhail Baryshnikov “A book as unique, open and inspiring as one would expect from its fundamentally revolutionary creator, a true original who does not accept accepted wisdom or take no for an answer. As I read, I kept underlining and thinking of friends I wanted to share it with---actors, writers, directors, anyone really. This book could be as powerful for kids as adults; I put a copy of it on each of my kids' nightstands and recommend you do the same.”--David Duchovny “If life itself is a walk on a wire, suspended between birth and death, in Creativity: The Perfect Crime Philippe Petit reminds us that the humble precision of every litt