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The Art of Cruelty

A Reckoning

Maggie Nelson

Paperback

List Price: 16.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (7/11/2011)
MP3 CD (2/21/2017)
Compact Disc (2/21/2017)

Description

"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.





Praise For The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning

An important and frequently surprising book… could be read as the foundation for a post-avant-garde aesthetics… Nelson, who is also a poet, is such a graceful writer that I…just sat back and enjoyed the show.
— Laura Kipnis

[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

A lean-forward experience, and in its most transcendent moments, reading it can feel like having the best conversation of your life.
— Rachel Syme

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

[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

W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393343144, 304pp.

Publication Date: August 13, 2012



About the Author

Maggie Nelson, a MacArthur Fellowship recipient, is the author of several books of poetry, autobiography, and criticism. She teaches at CalArts and lives in Los Angeles, California.