The Art of Cruelty

  • by Maggie Nelson
  • Narrated by Tavia Gilbert
  • 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Today both reality and entertainment crowd our fields of vision with brutal imagery. The pervasiveness of images of torture, horror, and war has all but demolished the 20th-century hope that such imagery might shock us into a less alienated state, or aid in the creation of a just social order. What to do now? When to look, when to turn away? Genre-busting author Maggie Nelson brilliantly navigates this contemporary predicament, with an eye to the question of whether or not focusing on representations of cruelty makes us cruel.
In a journey through high and low culture (Kafka to reality TV), the visual to the verbal (Paul McCarthy to Brian Evenson), and the apolitical to the political (Francis Bacon to Kara Walker), Nelson 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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wonderful book, mediocre narration

The narrator mispronounces so many terms, artists, and theorists to the point of being distracting.
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- Melina

Hugely powerful

Maggie Nelson is extraordinary Russia. The range of references is very broad and also very deep. The only negative I had was the new races voice I found it
too staccato and mannered. Nonetheless, the material was compelling enough that I listened to the end I have now ordered the book so that I can read it in hardcopy. It warrants that kind of attention.
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- joseph berry

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-21-2017
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio