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Things I Didn't Know


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Volume I of the recently deceased renowned art critic Robert Hughes's memoirs.

About the Author

Born in Sydney Australia in 1938, Hughes began his jounalistic career as a freelance writer, specialising in art criticism. As a reviewer, Hughes is the only art critic to twice win America's most coveted award for art criticism, the Frank Jewett Mather.


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.

Forever edgy art critic Hughes uses his near-fatal 1999 car accident to recount his leap from a Catholic boys' school in Australia to the confluence of art, sex, and politics in Sixties England. With a seven-city tour. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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