Michael Fried is a poet, art historian, art critic, and literary critic. He has written extensively about abstract painting and sculpture since World War II, about French painting and art criticism from the mid-eighteenth century to the advent of Edouard Manet and his generation (and beyond), about Thomas Eakins and Stephen Crane, about the great nineteenth-century German painter-draftsman Adolf Menzel, about Charles Baudelaire, Joseph Conrad, Gustave Caillebotte, and Roger Fry, about Bernd and Hilla Becher, Jeff Wall, Thomas Struth, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Demand, and other contemporary "art" photographers, about Caravaggio and the transformation of Italian painting ca. 1600. He has long been engaged by questions of modernism, realism, theatricality, objecthood, self-portraiture, embodiedness, and the everyday. Also by the singular status of Manet's Déjeuner sur l'herbe. Thinkers who particularly interest him include Diderot, Kierkegaard, Merleau-Ponty, and Wittgenstein. If he were forced to choose a single book to read and reread on a desert island it would probably be Kleist's stories (he would petition to be allowed to also take with him the same author's play The Prince of Hamburg). Among his closest intellectual friends are artists and philosophers. He is proudest of all of being the father of his daughter Anna. He is convinced that there is nothing harder to do than to write a successful poem.