reading cruelty

one of the many really fun things about reading Maggie Nelson’s The Art of Cruelty is that finally there is a book of essays where I can balance looking up stuff I don’t know about on the internet (like quick visual sense of an artist she’s talking about) — but I actually HAVE in my PERSONAL LIBRARY many of the works of fiction she talks about — so I can just go look!  Even if I haven’t read it yet or haven’t read it in 20 yrs!  But sometimes I have!  Like back in the day when there was a shared canon!  Feeling the feeling of a shared canon when a shared canon is not assumed and can’t actually be prescribed marks a kind of wondrous change that must be peculiar to my generation of girl-reader…

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