The December/January issue of Bookforum features Michael Fried‘s favorite books of 2010. Fried was selected by the editors because his book The Moment of Caravaggio was one of their own favorite books of the year. Here is Fried’s contribution:
True-Love: Essays on Poetry and Valuing (2009) by Allen Grossman. Stunning essays by the most profound poetic intelligence of our time. Try “The Passion of Laocoön” and you will see. (Let me also recommend Grossman’s most recent book of poems, Descartes’ Loneliness.) Summertime (2009) by J. M. Coetzee. A fictive investigation into the life of a writer named John Coetzee when he was in his thirties. Brilliant, lacerating sentences, seemingly so simple, come at you one after another right up to the end. I read it in one sitting and put it down shaken and exhilarated. Nietzsche, Psychology, and First Philosophy by Robert B. Pippin. A short book, originally lectures at the Collège de France, that manages a radical rethinking of Nietzsche’s self-understanding with great erudition, force, and lucidity. Little Did I Know: Excerpts from Memory by Stanley Cavell. A partial autobiography imagined and executed with all of Cavell’s characteristic amalgam of writerly originality and philosophical depth. It will be a long time before we take its measure. 89/90 by Michael Schmidt. A photobook published to coincide with Schmidt’s remarkable exhibition at the Haus der Kunst in Munich. Black-and-white photographs of Berlin from 1989-90 of the most utter nondescriptness, sequenced so as to evoke a kind of consummate musical perfection.
You can read about Bookforum‘s other featured authors and what books they recommend here.