Nonsense can also be real – What I loved

‘What I loved’ by Siri Hustvedt

Amazing book.
Siri Hustvedt’s style of writing is extremely compelling and it is clearly a book that makes good reading. I enjoyed every page, every word that was part of this book.
Hustvedt not only created utterly realistic and imperfect characters but also a whole fictional world of art. Frankly, I was surprised, well rather shocked and maybe a bit disappointed, that one of the main characters, the artist Bill Wechsler, and his gorgeous work do not exist. Her description of his different paintings and installations made me a big fan of his work – funny, given that, I have never seen it but only read about them.
This is just an example of what Siri Hustvedt is capable of.
The Story of “What I Loved” is not something you will expect. The twists are a complete surprise but utterly touching and good and … simply wonderful.
Siri does not only tell an amazing story and describes fictional art work but she also refers a lot to different psychological issues such as hysteria or eating disorders. She gives the reader food for thought all the time, but you do not get bored by it. Quite the opposite, you rather long for it.

This book is about the complexity of art and how art is always seen differently –  always depending on who is looking at.
It is an homage to friendship, a story about the importance of sharing a life as friends and how a person can mean the world to you.
It is about love and how it fades away. Sometimes slowly and hardly even recognis
able. And sometimes something happens and at that very second you are incapable of loving someone you loved before.
It is about madness, hysteria and all the mental craziness of our society.

It is about so much more. I cannot name everything.
In conclusion, the book has everything (and maybe even more) I search for in a book. Certainly one of the best books I have read lately.

Favourite quote:

“I don’t want the words to be naked the way they are in faxes or in the computer. I want them to be covered by an envelope that you have to rip open in order to get at. I want there to be a waiting time -a pause between the writing and the reading. I want us to be careful about what we say to each other. I want the miles between us to be real and long. This will be our law -that we write our dailiness and our suffering very, very carefully.”

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