Diane Arbus and the Power of Cruel Art

“What you notice about people,” Diane Arbus said, “is the flaw.” Arbus turned flaws into great photographs. During the 1950s and ’60s, she pointed her camera straight across polite social boundaries ...

The Price of Great Art

When someone who made good art is accused of being a Bad Mother, can she ever be remembered as anything but a Bad Mother? In 1992, Mann’s book Immediate Family tapped into collective anxiety ...

The Making and Masking of Genius

Siri Hustvedt’s The Blazing World puts a clever twist on an old plot. In most versions of this plot, a woman is born with creative genius. She has a moment of hubris, achieves sexual fulfillment, and ...