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The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

In this "reckoning," Nelson asks a vital question: why make (or consume) violent art? What good -- if any -- can it do? From the theatre of Artaud and Sade to modern horror movies, the topics addressed and issues raised make a compelling case for Nelson's own incisive art.


— Mairead


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.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780393343144
ISBN-10: 0393343146
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: August 13th, 2012
Pages: 288
Language: English