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The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning Paperback – August 13, 2012
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"This is criticism at its best." ―Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
Writing in the tradition of Susan Sontag and Elaine Scarry, Maggie Nelson has emerged as one of our foremost cultural critics with this landmark work about representations of cruelty and violence in art. From Sylvia Plath’s poetry to Francis Bacon’s paintings, from the Saw franchise to Yoko Ono’s performance art, Nelson’s nuanced exploration across the artistic landscape ultimately offers a model of how one might balance strong ethical convictions with an equally strong appreciation for work that tests the limits of taste, taboo, and permissibility.
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― Laura Kipnis, New York Times Book Review
"[Nelson’s] critiques of individual artists are delightfully fierce without being mean spirited… Fascinating and bracingly intelligent…The Art of Cruelty’s prose is often gorgeous."
― Troy Jollimore, Boston Globe
"A lean-forward experience, and in its most transcendent moments, reading it can feel like having the best conversation of your life."
― Rachel Syme, NPR Books
"I hope that critics, and aspiring critics, and those who are interested in the relationship between art and ethics, read [The Art of Cruelty]."
― Susie Linfield, New Republic
"[Nelson] dexterously, and creatively, manages to hold a mirror to our culture’s fascination with cruelty and invites us to reflect on our personal reasons for indulging it."
― Eleni Theodoropoulos, Literary Hub
About the Author
- Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (August 13, 2012)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0393343146
- ISBN-13 : 978-0393343144
- Item Weight : 8.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #84,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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Nelson lays it all out, but leaves the judgment to us.
That said, I enjoyed every perspective it gave; and perspectives are the entirety of this book. It's very open about criticisms and attacking the author's own initial beliefs. Nelson does a great job remaining unbiased, or if she's biased, to address it and explain it.
There's numerous critiques of common perspectives, but most of this book is regarding art which the common person might not know of, providing a new ground for understanding.