Maggie Nelson in this book is clearly experimenting with language in art criticism. I much appreciated this aspect. Common readers, i.e. readers that are not trained in art criticism, often find art theory pure invention, fanciful speculation or arcane discourse. Nelson investigations and questions are simple, specific, concrete and objectively reasonable. How did she managed to do this? talking in first person as personally and emotionally engaged. The topic, artistic issues related with an hypothetical (since theorized in theater by Artaud and barely mentioned in art) "Art of Cruelty", is very original and Nelson is brilliant in raising it to critical attention.