We have all heard the commonly made observation that opposites attract, but what does it really mean? And how does this apparently universal fact play out in our everyday lives?
Many great films, musical compositions, scientific ideas, and even works of art were created by talented partners who, in working relationships, succeeded in melding their artistic temperaments although they did not get along personally. Some speculate that such conflicts even yielded better shared work. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do: Creative Partnerships Made In Hell will examine the mysteries of the cooperative process in a variety of famous 20th-century creative partnerships, including those in music, film, popular comedy, theatre, literature, science, dance, and art.
This book looks into the cultural world to examine the musical "dinergy" of Lennon and McCartney for instance, along with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, as well as the principal players in the infamous pop soap opera known as Fleetwood Mac. The author explore the cinematic partnerships of Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder, as well as Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski, Alfred Hitchcock and David Selznick. He delves into the equally mystifying relationships of philosophers such as Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, or of visual artists such as Pablo Picasso and George Braque, or writers such as Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, or Henry Miller and Anais Nin, among many, many others.
The results are as startling as they are revealing, not to mention vastly entertaining, and as an additional bonus to the curious, open and porous mind, many of these competitive teams remain as engaging and inspiring today as they were when they first arrived on the global cultural stage. This is largely because of the permanently satisfying proportional harmonies that are the signature styles of each creative member taken in tandem, and is further evidence of the perennial nature of this mysterious but blatantly obvious binary code.
On a personal note, the Author is related distantly to one of the most famous subjects in a partnership, film writer-producer Charles Brackett with director Billy Wilder, he has first hand background and behind the scenes documentation of the stormy relationship which resulted in such Academy Award winning films as Ninotchka, Lost Weekend, and most notably, their last endeavour together, the classic Sunset Boulevard. His childhood growing up with the private stories of his relative's fiery creative relationship may have been the early trigger which helped clarify and focus the author's interest in cultural achievements which result from such talented turmoil.
Donald Brackett is an art/film critic, curator journalist and guest lecturer at various institution. He is the author of two books Fleetwood Mac: 40 Years of Creative Chaos" 2007 and Dark Mirror: The Pathology of the Singer-Songwriter 2008 both published by Praeger Press.