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PRINT December 2019

books

Gary Lutz

I’ve been swooning over the gusto and graces of Peter Schjeldahl’s prose ever since his days at the Village Voice, so in my estimation, Hot, Cold, Heavy, Light, 100 Art Writings, 1988–2018 (Abrams) is a gift for anyone alert to the sorts of miracles that can be wrought within the span of a single thrillsome sentence. Whether working as a miniaturist within the paragraphic confines of the Goings on About Town section of the New Yorker or dilating into the larger space of the essay (with a word count often not much higher than that of the average op-ed tantrum), Schjeldahl, a virtuoso of compressed, lyrical, definitive utterance, writes with an open heart, an immaculate mind, and an eye unrivaled in seeing exactly what’s there and exactly what’s not—and this exactitude, and the aplomb with which he translates the visual into the verbal, are uncanny and unexampled. In criticism

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