The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning

The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning

by Maggie Nelson


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393343144
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 08/13/2012
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 343,404
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)

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.

Table of Contents

Styles of Imprisonment 3

Theaters of Cruelty 15

Great to Watch 31

Captivity, Catharsis 53

Everything is Nice 66

They're Only Dolls 91

The Golden Rule 105

Nobody Said No 119

The Brutality of Fact 131

Who We Are 162

A Situation of Meat 175

Precariousness 191

Inflicted 205

Face 227

Rings of Action 239

Rarer and Better Things 262

Acknowledgments 271

Bibliography 273

Index 279

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