In grief we go to pieces – The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt

The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt

Siri Hustvedt is one of the most intelligent authors I know. Her books are always filled with clever theories and so much stuff we do not know much or nothing about. She is obviously well educated and knows a lot about art and what is behind it. The theory most discussed in this book is about how genders are not treated on an equal basis in the art scene. Men are still more acknowledged and way more famous than women. Harriet Burden, an artist and a feminist, tries an unconventional experiment to prove that fact. She takes three man and uses them as kind of masks. She lets them present her work as if it were their creations. And surprise. Harriet Burden’s work has always been neglected and not well received by the art scene, but now, with male persons standing behind them, her works get the fame and attention she always wanted them to have.

Her style of writing is still the same. Still intellectual, compelling, a characteristic of its own. Due to the special form, a collection of statements by various persons, interviews and diary’s entries, every character has his own style of writing that tells us a lot about the person itself.
The abstracts of Harriet Burdens notebooks differ so much from the personal statements by her lover, the poet Bruno, that you would not even need the captions, which inform the reader whose texts he is about to read. Every character is given an own, defining language whether it is the most highly intelligent but also kind of mad Harriet Burden, the master of beautiful words Bruno or the weird but impressive and touching Ethan Lord, son of Harriet Burden.

Siri Hustvedt is like Bruno, a master of words. She creates pictures in your mind. She is like an artist but with words instead of colors and papers. In her book she creates the most stunning pieces of art, describes them so detailed and subtle that I could swear they exist and I have seen them with my own eyes. But they do not. She is not only describing some pictures she is creating them with nothing but words. That is so incredible. I think that makes her more than author but something like a mix of an author and an artist. After this book I just wish that someone would try to build the pieces she is describing because they sound so impressive that I just want to see them. It is weird how you can be a fan of art that does not exist in real life but only between some sheets of paper and in your mind. ( I feel like I am going mad reading Siri’s books, thanks ;))

Though it focused on Harriet Burden, I grew closer to her companions like Bruno, Q. Eldrige or Maisie. It is like the saying, that something a person says about someone else, says more about the person itself.

What I liked the most was a simple thing. Everybody who has read her most famous book “What I loved” (which I think is her best) knows the artist Wechsler. And for all of those who read, Siri Hustvedt lets him appear in her new book. It is like an old friend stepping by, saying hello – thanks Siri, wonderful idea!!

It does not compel like What I loved, but none of her books come close to this masterpiece. Though it is absolutely not an easy read, especially for someone like me, who has had not the advantage of having English as one’s mother tongue, I enjoyed reading it. There is so much that can be said about this precious novel but I will cut right to the chase: I can recommend to every body who likes smart, compelling books about art and what’s behind. About gender equality not only in the art scene but also in our daily life. And of course to all fans of Hustvedt’s work.

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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.”

He wrote music for the ears that could hear.

1937 in Leningrad with Stalin as the dictator. A man is sitting next to an elevator. He is waiting all night through. Waiting for Power to come and to take him to the Big House. But few, who were taken to the Big House, came back.

Julian Barnes chose a real Person for his new novel “The Noise of Time” Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich. One of the most famous and greatest soviet composers. Barnes reveals his difficult history in a wonderful way and with incredible, unbelievable talent.

The book is not a chronological report of Shostakovich’s life. Frequently, he interrupts the story with train of thoughts, reflections, flashbacks and memories. No, interrupt is the wrong word. “To enhance the story amazingly” suits better. All the thoughts and interjections are helping to understand Shostakovich’s personality, attitude and intention.

Barnes creates with an intensive, rich in images but nevertheless clear style of writing a formidable realistic and subtle picture of the composer. The author was gifted the talent to not only write feelings, but to let them live.

It feels like you could literally feel the fear, the self-doubts, the desolation and depression of Shostakovich. Barnes creates a small window, through which the reader can catch a glimpse of an artist’s life, oppressed by the Marxist-Leninist Soviet.

I think, the book helped me to understand his music, thanks to the acquired background. Even though Shostakovich “says”: What he hoped was that death would liberate his music: liberate it from his life […] his music would be . . . just music” (page 179). Frankly, before this book, I have simply admired his music, now I am beginning to understand.

Julian Barnes does not only tell the story of Shostakovich. Moreover he gives place to criticism. He levels criticism against other artists, but first and foremost there is critique of the system. A critique which is utterly reasonable and not in the least overblown. Quite the contrary. He opens the reader’s eyes and shows how it really was these days ago. How terrifying. Horrific. Cruel. And consequently the question arises: “How is the situation today? Am I, are we, the same cowardly audience, naïve and gullible, as the people are described in “The Noise of Time”?

Even though you are no aficionado of Shostakovich or his music, even though you could not care less about music, I can only recommend this book. It’s awesome, wonderful written, singularly and unforgettable. One of the best books I have read lately.

Valentine’s Day

Roses, hearts, love poems, cheesy candle-light dinner, romantic dates……
And all these things because of a day? Because of Valentine’s Day?

Not with me. I cannot approve of this idea. It seems as if people would only honour their partners, lovers, crushes because a day tells them to do it. Like they would not do it otherwise. And often, they do not do it someday else. It is the specific date that makes them buy flowers, chocolate boxes. Makes them organise cheesy, romantic dates.

But it should not be like this. I do not want a lover who only worships me and our relationship one time a year. Because of a day. In a cheesy, dishonest way.

I want that someone shows me everyday that he appreciates me and our relationship. That he does not need a specific date to show me that our relationship is worth the appreciation. I do not expect flowers. No chocolate boxes. No grand gestures. All I want, all I desire is a small sign that I am worth someone’s love. Everyday.

I do not dislike Valentine’s day because I am single right now. Do not get this the wrong way. I do not like the concept which is behind Valentine’s day. It is nothing else than a good source to make money for lots of different enterprises.

Moreover do not think I am one of those who walk around disapproving couples who worship this day. Frankly, I do not care if anyone honours it. This is not my problem. Therefore this is not a reproof for those who like Valentine’s Day. What I am trying to say is that I just want to share my humble opinion. Nothing more, nothing less.

So what do u think of Valentine’s Day? 🙂

Two glasses of red wine

Two glasses of red wine
On a billard table
Just the light of a small lamp
and a small candle

On a billard table
with flaring candle light
a  girl in a cozy blanket
forgets to be shy as usual

Some candle light
and sweet music
a boy in front of the girl
listening with a smile

Accompanied by music
spirited chit-chat
Feelings could’ve prompted
if it haven’t been wrong

Two glasses of red wine
a bit drunk girl
and a fantastic guy
her bf’s crush

Doctor Who or the always grinning guy :)

Hey there it is me again 🙂
(even if there is noone yet who I can greet)

Neeeewwws. I started Doctor Who (cuz a fabolous friend of mine lent me his netflix guest account! Praise the lord) and I love it. More precisely, I am deadly in love with The Doctor and Rose Tyler. Aren’t the guys cute? Duh. And, still stuck at episode 7, season one, I am deeply convinced that The Doctor is madly in love with Rose and that she must have feelings for him too, but they do not know it yet. I mean look how kind of “No-I-Am-Not-Jealous-But-Acting-Strange”-jealous The Doctor behaves when Adam is around… or how even the dalek knows that Rose is the woman The Doctor loves.

I think they would be so cute together, as I love both characters. The Doctor as well as Rose are so realistic. On the one hand The Doctor. He is so cute since he is smiling and grinning in nearly every situation and when he does he looks so adorable. Furthermore he is freaking funny, witty and clever, of course. And Rose, aww she is so sweet… Finally an actress who is wether size zero nor has the perfect style or tons of money and found her own style and beauty. Although she may had an awful education, she is clever, too. But principally she is kind, open-minded and sees the good in people ( look how she treats that poor dalek).

Isn’t that crazy, is it?! I have only watched six (and a quarter) episode and I am already a fangirl? Wishing that the two main characters would possibly come together…..

Let me know, if you may read this blog, if you love doctor who too.

Rose: She slapped you!
The Doctor: Nine hundred years of time and space, and I’ve never been slapped by someone’s mother.
Rose: Your face!
The Doctor: [defensively] It hurt!
Rose: You’re so gay!

The Simple Maths

There is this thing about maths. It’s logic and self-explaining as soon as you understand it. I mean, what the hell is not logic about a graph? See?! You just have to memorize the “recipe” for how to build a graph or you know.

But as soon as I have to write a test, regardless of whether it is just an improptu written assignement or a big exam, I can’t see the solution at all, now matter how easy it is to find it.

That is the most frustrating feeling you can get. And believe me, I get it a lot.

I just do not know what I can possibly do to provide it. If the source of my problem was a lack of paying attention in class or a default of doing my homework, I would know how to remove this issue. But the case is slight different. At home, in class there is seldom a big misunderstanding between math and me. I kind of like the feeling to get a task done. Makes me feel as if  I may be not that stupid after all.

So I do not know what is going on with my mind during a test. And what I can do about it.

Hmm maybe some extra exercise instead of trying to write ablog post in english

We’ll see 🙂 Bye