The reason I decided to call my collection of essays Theater of Cruelty is that many of them deal, in one way or another, with violence. I don't like horror movies or great fountains of cinematic blood. But I am interested in the way artists and writers deal with our violent impulses, not so much out of prurience, though that can never be dismissed, as out of fear.
There is a commonly held Romantic notion that great suffering is the source of great art. If this were true, the world would probably be blessed with far more great art. Suffering can certainly inspire artistic expression. Turbulent times often do so. People who live through them at least have somet...
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