The Art of Cruelty

The Art of Cruelty : A Reckoning

4.28 (1,548 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


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.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 142 x 211 x 20mm | 257g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0393343146
  • 9780393343144
  • 11,531

Review quote

"[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 "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 "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 "[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 "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 - New York Times Book Review
show more

About Maggie Nelson

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.
show more

Rating details

1,548 ratings
4.28 out of 5 stars
5 48% (744)
4 37% (568)
3 12% (188)
2 2% (35)
1 1% (13)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X