lingered over "The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning," for a while. With every book Nelson writes I am making lists of artists, writers, and films to visit or revisit. The questions that Nelson raises are not only fascinating, but necessary for me as a writer. Delving into the human experience of violence, trauma, and what it is to survive the every day existence is absolutely focal to the artists she includes in this panorama of carnival rides. How much can one take? Are you ready for the slaughterhouse in Wender's film? Asphyxiation? Mutilation? Human as meat on the canvas and on stage? "Francis Bacon was one of those who insisted that humans will always suffer, no matter how just their circumstances, and that to argue otherwise is to deny a fundamental aspect of the human condition." YES! Nelson asks us to "think of pain of being poor, of being raped, of being enslaved, of being gay-bashed, of being forced into exile, of losing everything in a natural disaster, of suffering from an illness such as HIV or cancer (or any illness, especially if one does not have access to health care to treat it): such experiences swirl all kinds of human-made and primordial sufferings together."
Nelson lays it all out, but leaves the judgment to us.
- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: WW Norton & Co; Reprint edition (13 August 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393343146
- ISBN-13: 978-0393343144
- Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 2 x 21.1 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 249 g
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- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 288,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)