"It is encouraging to have this utterly original blast for beauty now from the Harvard English department, where Scarry is a professor. It is not too late. Scarry, unlike her great 19th-century predecessors, does not preach, and in her short book does not even lecture. In a light and allusive and gentle and unpolemical style, she insinuates that we might learn to look and to listen better and to attend more closely to shapes and forms in art and nature, and to protect any beautiful things that we haphazardly encounter as we stumble along under the growing weight of the dull and indifferent things, which are always supposed to support us and which we are to take seriously. Ms. Scarry makes a strong case for concentrating seriously on Matisse and colors...and ferns and feathers.Scarry, Elaine is the author of 'On Beauty and Being Just' with ISBN 9780691048758 and ISBN 0691048754.