14 February 2007

Critic Joan Acocella considers the gifts of artistic genius

Part of what makes Acocella so persuasive is her gift for narrative. The best of these essays tell stories that are rich with insight, observation and the drama of artists transcending their limitations. "I try to describe with love what I love," Acocella explains. "My secret ambition is to pierce through the veil: think about a work and then not just describe it but arrive at something, an underlying principal or an underlying emotion and then say what the work's true value and beauty really is."