On Late Style: Music and Literature Against the Grain

On Late Style examines the work produced by great artists - Beethoven, Thomas Mann, Jean Genet among them - at the end of their lives. Said makes it clear that, rather than the resolution of a lifetime's artistic endeavour, most of the late works discussed are rife with contradiction and almost impenetrable complexity. He helps us see how, though these works often stood in direct contrast to the tastes of society, they were, just as often, announcements of what was to come in the artist's discipline - works of true artistic genius.