Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma
Publication Date 2023-04-25
Section New Hardcover - Nonfiction / Literary Crit & Biography
A passionate, provocative, blisteringly smart interrogation of how we make and experience art in the age of #MeToo, and of the link between genius and monstrosity. • From the author of the New York Times best seller Poser and the acclaimed memoir Love and Trouble
“Thrillingly sharp, appropriately doubtful, and more fun than you would believe, given the pressing seriousness of the subject matter.” —Nick Hornby, best-selling author of High Fidelity
In this unflinching, deeply personal book that expands on her instantly viral Paris Review essay, "What Do We Do with the Art of Monstrous Men?" Claire Dederer asks: Can we love the work of Hemingway, Polanski, Naipaul, Miles Davis, or Picasso? Should we love it? Does genius deserve special dispensation? Is male monstrosity the same as female monstrosity? Does art have a mandate to depict the darker elements of the psyche? And what happens if the artist stares too long into the abyss?
She explores the audience's relationship with artists from Woody Allen to Michael Jackson, asking: How do we balance our undeniable sense of moral outrage with our equally undeniable love of the work? In a more troubling vein, she wonders if an artist needs to be a monster in order to create something great. And if an artist is also a mother, does one identity inexorably, and fatally, interrupt the other? Highly topical, morally wise, honest to the core, Monsters is certain to incite a conversation about whether and how we can separate artists from their art.
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