The outspoken cultural critic and author of the bestselling "The Shock of the New" and "The Fatal Shore" now turns his eye inward in for this candid, often ribald, and stunningly intimate memoir of his early life and times that is, also, a discussion, at once provocative and graceful, of life itself.The outspoken cultural critic and author of the bestselling "The Shock of the New" and "The Fatal Shore" now turns his eye inward in for this candid, often ribald, and stunningly intimate memoir of his early life and times that is, also, a discussion, at once provocative and graceful, of life itself.Read Less
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Robert Hughes undoubtly has a perceptive mind and an elegant writing style laced with wit. This book for me is too self indulgent, yes its great to have little snips of "things I didn't know" but it wasn't a compelling read. One might argue that a memoir is suppose to be self indulgent, true, some do it better than others. He is great writer and critic, I prefer the critic on art...
Publishers Weekly, 2006-05-29 Cultural critic Hughes (The Fatal Shore) slices into his own life with his ever-ready scalpel of penetrating analysis, opening his saga in 1999 with his near-fatal car accident at age 60 in his native Australia. Glimpsing death, he perceives its mouth as "the bocca d'inferno of old Christian art," a sampling of the rich, wide-ranging corpus of knowledge he brings to bear upon every aspect of his life. His improbable recovery touches off both earnest and acerbic reflections on his upbringing, his native country and the manifold influences that power his works and wanderings through Europe and America. Recognizing his life as an act of rebellion against his sanctimonious war-hero father, he re-enacts his virulent rejection of military aggression and his punitive boarding at Catholic school, where the priests vilify him for reading James Joyce in secret. His immersion in the artistic ferment of the '60s echoes the worldwide convulsions-both cultural and political-of that decade, pulling him into the avant-garde circles that girded his critical career. Hughes's vivid ruminations and sharp-eyed insights combine in bold, definitive strokes to yield a rich portrait of the art expert. 75,000 first printing. (Sept) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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