Critical Condition

Sometime during the five hours he spent pinned in the wreckage of his car, grievously injured and delirious with pain, Robert Hughes was visited by Death. "He was sitting at a desk, like a banker. He made no gesture, but he opened his mouth and I looked right down his throat, which distended [an error occurred while processing this directive] to become a tunnel: the bocca d'inferno of old Christian art."

So Hughes begins his new memoir, Things I Didn't Know, quite literally with a bang. The accident took place in 1999 on a deserted road in Western Australia, where the eminent...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!