What Nails It

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What Nails It
From a celebrated critic, a heartfelt and adventurous reflection on the art of writing about art

"Essential for fans of Marcus and fruitful reading for anyone reflecting on the mysteries of art."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Writers write. They can't help it. They can't not." In this spirited book, the revered cultural critic Greil Marcus explains his compulsion as a yearning for fun, for play, and, most of all, to discover--to feel the moment when a creation speaks in its own voice.

Marcus reflects on over half a century spent honing the art of attention--from his California childhood, overshadowed by mystery and silence surrounding his father's death, to his discovery of the critic Pauline Kael, to a confrontation with a sixteenth-century painting in Venice. Through it all, he invites readers to join him in exploring the revolutionary power of art: what it is, why it captures us, and how it forces us to confront what we think we know and who we think we are. Art challenges us to see the world differently, Marcus argues, and the role of the critic is to enact this perspective.

Funny and poignant, What Nails It is a tribute to the indispensable art of criticism by one of its greatest practitioners.

Publication Date: 
August 27, 2024