The Art of Cruelty

"This book asks different questions. It asks whether there are certain aspects or instances of the so-called art of cruelty – as famously imagined by French dramatist and madman Antonin Artaud – that are still wild and worthwhile, now that we purportedly inhabit a political and entertainment landscape increasingly glutted with images – and actualities – of torture, sadism, and endless warfare." In her book, The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning (W.W. Norton)author Maggie Nelson asks vital questions about violence in art in a society where violence is ubiquitous and thus not intellectually viable for a balanced social order. Nelson elucidates her inquiries by drawing upon the thoughts and teachings of philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, thinkers such as Antonin Artaud, and painter Francis Bacon.  When is enough enough?