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The Blazing World: A Novel

The Blazing World: A Novel


The Blazing World: A Novel

valoraciones:
4/5 (17 valoraciones)
Longitud:
14 horas
Publicado:
Mar 11, 2014
ISBN:
9781442370876
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Nota del editor

An art world whodunnit…

A female artist pulls off an elaborate hoax in which she has men take credit for her work. But how deep do the deceptions go? An art world whodunnit, with all of the delicious thrills you expect when dead bodies are involved.

Descripción

With The Blazing World, internationally best­selling author Siri Hustvedt returns to the New York art world in her most masterful and urgent novel since What I Loved. Hustvedt, who has long been celebrated for her “beguiling, lyrical prose” (The Sunday Times Books, London), tells the provocative story of the artist Harriet Burden. After years of watching her work ignored or dismissed by critics, Burden conducts an experiment she calls Maskings: she presents her own art behind three male masks, concealing her female identity.

The three solo shows are successful, but when Burden finally steps forward triumphantly to reveal herself as the artist behind the exhibitions, there are critics who doubt her. The public scandal turns on the final exhibition, initially shown as the work of acclaimed artist Rune, who denies Burden’s role in its creation. What no one doubts, however, is that the two artists were intensely involved with each other. As Burden’s journals reveal, she and Rune found themselves locked in a charged and dangerous game that ended with the man’s bizarre death.

Ingeniously presented as a collection of texts compiled after Burden’s death, The Blazing World unfolds from multiple perspectives. The exuberant Burden speaks—in all her joy and fury—through extracts from her own notebooks, while critics, fans, family members, and others offer their own conflicting opinions of who she was, and where the truth lies.

From one of the most ambitious and interna­tionally renowned writers of her generation, The Blazing World is a polyphonic tour de force. An intricately conceived, diabolical puzzle, it explores the deceptive powers of prejudice, money, fame, and desire. Emotionally intense, intellectually rigorous, ironic, and playful, Hustvedt’s new novel is a bold, rich masterpiece, one that will be remembered for years to come.
Publicado:
Mar 11, 2014
ISBN:
9781442370876
Formato:
Audiolibro

También disponible como...

También disponible como libroLibro


Sobre el autor

Siri Hustvedt was born in 1955 in Northfield, Minnesota. She has a Ph.D. from Columbia University in English literature and is the internationally acclaimed author of several novels, The Sorrows of an American, What I Loved, The Enchantment of Lily Dahl, The Blindfold, and The Summer Without Men, as well as a growing body of nonfiction, including Living, Thinking, Looking, A Plea for Eros, and Mysteries of the Rectangle, and an interdisciplinary investigation of the body and mind in The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves. She has given lectures on artists and theories of art at the Prado, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. In 2011, she delivered the thirty-ninth annual Freud Lecture in Vienna. She lives in Brooklyn.

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17 valoraciones / 16 Reseñas
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Reseñas de lectores

  • (3/5)
    I mostly enjoyed the sardonic central character railing against the sexism of the New York art world with humour and inventiveness, but I feel it would have worked better 100 pages shorter. There was a lot of repetition in the later sections, and what felt like extraneous commentaries popping in. All in all a solid 3/5.
  • (5/5)
    This is a very smart novel about a very smart artist-protagonist by a very smart author. First off, I thoroughly enjoyed it and was engrossed by the journey of artist Harriet Burden, the recent widow of an famous art dealer, who decides to test and tease the NYC art world. The novel may be too clever by half for many readers who are impatient with stylistic devices and games, but I found Hustvedt's writing amusing and entertaining.The novel is told from multiple perspectives, opening with an Editor's Introduction, which explains that the text is composed of a series of journals kept by Burden as well as as other commentary on and criticism of her work and testimony of significant people and family members in her life.After her husband has died, Burden decides to present her installation works under a series of male pseudonyms -- she calls her work "Maskings." Each of the three installations garners increasing critical attention, until the third culminates in a crisis of identity and ownership. The relationships that Burden has with the three artists she hires or co-opts as fronts mirror certain aspects of her personality.The Blazing World is probably not a novel for everyone, but if you're interested in the art world, feminism or literary experimentation, I highly recommend it.
  • (4/5)
    Complex and subtle, dark and funny, cold and poignant all at once. When I finished I almost wanted to just turn back to the front and start over again, since I'm sure I missed lots of interesting bits.
  • (4/5)
    It was easy. It's still easy. You simply refuse to answer a woman. You don't engage in a dialogue. You let her words or her pictures die.Harriet Burden is a talented artist who can't get any traction in the art world. Even her beloved husband, an important gallery owner, doesn't notice her art. So she comes up with a plan; she creates three stellar shows and has a different male artist take the credit for each one. Her plan is to then reveal herself and prove to the art world how sexist it is, but it doesn't work out as planned. This is not a gentle or tactful novel. It is an angry, vibrant portrait about living as an artist in New York, about pushing against boundaries, about mental illness and genius. Were Hustvedt to have wanted to simply preach, she would not have created Harriet Burden. Harry is wonderful; chaotic, impulsive, angry and immensely talented. Her life blazes across the pages of the novel, which is told in the form of interviews, articles, diary entries and other biographical notes. It's an effective way to tell the story, with Harry's friends and family, as well as her detractors and other artists able to give their view of the events. Harry is as controversial and colorful as Francis Bacon or any other modern artist. I was impressed by Hustvedt's writing and the depth of her knowledge. I'll certainly be reading more by this author.
  • (2/5)
    The same premise, over and over: the art world is sexist. It got tiresome, after over 100 pages of the same thing.
  • (4/5)
    I liked the way the story weaves throughout the different masks. I'm just not as interested in the art world after reading this and the Goldfinch, but it was a well written book within a book.
  • (5/5)
    This was my second installment of an Indiespensable subscription from Powell's. I couldn't be happier with that. I never would have read this novel otherwise, and found it a delight. The novel itself was almost a 'who-dunnit', set in the nearly present-day New York art world. I eventually came to enjoy the supposed philosophical asides, complete with footnotes that were equally likely to be completely fictional as real. I would recommend the book to any serious reader.
  • (5/5)
    This is an amazing, engrossing novel. At times, it felt so real. It is filled with historical data that prompted me to research persons who I discovered by virtue of reading this book.
  • (5/5)
    Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. I am heartbroken and in love with this book. It is raw and deeply emotional on the one hand and urbane and intellectual on the other. I want more books like this. I read it slowly just so that I could savor it a little longer. Hustvedt blends PhD-level theoretical analysis with an engrossing tale populated by wonderfully and grotesquely human characters. I identified with Harriet, with her lumpy old lady body, churning emotions, her constant grasping for more, and a brain too canny for her own good. I loved to hate that insufferable moron Oswald Case. I adored Rachel Briefman and Phineas Q. Eldridge and Bruno. I came to appreciate the central importance of the characters who seemed simple and marginal but who were really essential to the lived reality of the main characters all along - the Kirstens and Sweet Autumns of the world, and the Maisies suspended indefinitely between the ordinary and the artistic. Most of the book had an eerie, ominous vibe as the novel meandered towards Rune's artistic death - but then the story veered suddenly into the gnawing brutality of Harriet's all-too-recognizable end. I sobbed through the final chapters. Earlier, I laughed. I raged. I analyzed. I was moved, emotionally and intellectually. This book and its characters will stay with me for a very long time. I believe it is the best book I have ever read. It is perfect.
  • (3/5)
    I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of this book; the exploration of gender bias and sexism was interesting and spoke to the feminist in me. That being said, the prose became so cumbersome that I almost gave up several times. I also could have done without the psychoanalysis part, although it appears that the author has made herself a de facto expert and lectures frequently on the subject. I'm giving this 3 stars simply because of how thoroughly, and, at times, beautifully the author explores the main themes.
  • (2/5)
    nicht zu Ende gelesen, ich konnte nicht viel mit der Handlung anfangen...
  • (5/5)
    A very clever book about the art world, feminism, philosophy and neuroscience. The core story is about an artist, a rich widow who wants to prove that the artistic establishment discriminates against women, and particularly older women, and devises a scheme to exhibit her work presented as the work of younger males. The book presents itself as an academic treatise, a mixture of interviews, the artist's notebooks and the accounts of her friends, family and various other players. The notebooks in particular allow Hustvedt to explore her own interests and provide her own footnotes explaining the ideas and historys of artists, scientists and philosophers. If that sounds dry and difficult, that would convey a false impression - Hustvedt is a lively literary ventriloquist, and the narrative weaves its way through the various contradictory accounts and delivers some surprising conclusions.
  • (3/5)
    This is a very clever book, but one that left me utterly cold., The basic premise was enticing: a widowed female artist, unable to secure any recognition for her work in a largely male-dominated market conceals her identity and passes her own work off as that of three male artists, thereby demonstrating the extreme sexism of the New York art world.I found the approach attractive too. The story is made up of a series of separate narratives, some of them drawn from a series of journals compiled by the artist (Harriet Burden) herself, while others purport to be personal memoirs from her friends and associates. Sadly, however, I found that the novel never quite sparked to life for me. All very clever, but I felt that Hustvedt almost became a victim of his own ingenuity and the succession of different narratives simply became burdensome. Rather too much emphasis on style at the expense of substance.
  • (3/5)
    Some books baffle me as for whom they are written; what is their intended audience? This one seems to be written for the author’s co-citizens of her seemingly rarefied world; the New York Art Scene. Anyone outside of this sphere is made to feel it sharply. Those on the inside, and perhaps us rabble, are clearly meant to wonder at her grasp of the philosophically and the neurologically arcane. Granted, it is her background and authors are coached to write what they know and in light of that I shifted my approach to the book and came at it as if it were an anthropological project. To spend time among the strange people who glorify concepts that don’t have much rooted to the real world and to see what they’re like when they think no one’s watching. The thing is, everyone in this book is convinced everyone else is watching. To some degree they’re right; their attendance at various openings, galas and shows is a chance for them to parade their newest personas and to view others’, not necessarily to take part in the event. To see and be seen is what it comes down to. The narcissism on display was quite amusing and I hope that Hustvedt did is on purpose. I especially liked how Phineas justified his sponging by becoming Harry’s administrator. As far as characters go, he was one of the most thorough and I wish that Rune’s innate sinister quality had been emphasized a bit more. The premise and the construction are great though. The basic idea is that women’s artistic endeavors are ignored, belittled and under-valued. The construction is that an editor is gathering and presenting material about the life, achievements and potential downfall of the artist Harry Burden. I thought it would give the author a real challenge to alter her voice and she pretty much pulls it off although all the characters seem to need editorializing to explain obscure facts gleaned from their lofty intellectual heights. In one or two it could have played, but all of them? It’s easy to wonder if Harry is a stand-in for Hustvedt herself. She is a woman of high-achievement, but frequently only described as Paul Auster’s wife; something that must be REALLY annoying. Harry’s agony and frustration are palpable and pitiable, but she spent more time axe-grinding than combating the source. It’s also an easy conclusion that the editor represents Hustvedt and she couldn’t help using it as a vehicle to show off. Not knowing her or any of her other books, I tried not to linger on these ideas long. Instead absorbing the story as distantly as I could; not interpreting or assuming. Did I enjoy it? Not enough to read another of her books. The narrative kept me at arm’s length and I can’t say that I was enmeshed in the story; I put it down for days. When I use the word story I do it lightly. There was one in there somewhere, but it was so diluted by navel-gazing and intellectual claptrap that it got lost for dozens of pages, multiple narratives and sometimes months or years in the timeline. It was an intellectual exercise and an experience, but one I don’t intend to repeat.
  • (4/5)

    Esto le resultó útil a 1 persona

    As several other reviewers have commented, the premise of this book — female artist adopts male personae in order to overcome art-world gender-bias — leads us to expect a good old-fashioned piece of reductionist feminist martyrology. But what we actually get is something a good deal more subtle than that. Hustvedt has fun provoking us to think about how the viewer's — and the artist's — perception of the artwork reflects the identity of the artist (and vice-versa), how factors like social status, age, gender, and money enter into the equation (on both sides), and how preconceptions about "intellectualism" and "madness" can also complicate the whole issue. Of course, all this is happening not only within the story of Harriet Burden but also in the formal structure of the text, where we have a string of different narrators with different levels of status and authority (and some of whom are actually Harriet in disguise), and it's also implicitly happening in the interaction between the reader, the author and the text, since we know that Siri Hustvedt is a formidably intellectual middle-aged woman novelist writing in the character of a dim pedantic male professor who is supposed to be editing a collection of texts about a formidably intellectual (but possibly mad) middle-aged woman artist...Fortunately, the whole thing is handled with a great deal of charm and humour. Hustvedt in the persona of Harriet enjoys blasting us out of the water with chunks of Kierkegaard, Husserl, and Lady Margaret Cavendish, but it's carefully set up so that any reader who has at least a vague general idea who Kierkegaard was should be able to keep up. (In one of her other personae, though, she undermines our self-confidence by drawing our attention to this journalistic trick and how it is done.) We don't necessarily understand Harriet and the artistic game she's been playing by the time we get to the end of the book, but we have definitely been made to think, and possibly shown just how much more complicated the real world can be than our nice theories would have it.I know next to nothing about contemporary art, but I got the impression that at least some of the satire here must have been aimed at real targets that would be recognisable to anyone who knew the New York art world of the late nineties/early 2000s. Not exactly a roman à clef, perhaps, but certainly some in-jokes.I've somehow managed to overlook Hustvedt up to now (obviously one of my many American blind spots), but she's someone I would certainly like to read more of.

    Esto le resultó útil a 1 persona

  • (4/5)

    Esto le resultó útil a 1 persona

    Dense, angry and complicated, I think this was probably the wrong choice for an inter-continental flight - the layers of intelligence, nuance and self-reference were a bit overwhelming. Hustvedt is a brilliant writer though - nobody writes about the art world with more power and creativity - and in this book she's cramming in every idea she's ever had. There's art, feminism, neuroscience, grief, artifical intelligence, authorship and creativity, love, sex, death, illness and so much more. It's compelling stuff, but I probably need to re-read it to really get my head around everything that's going on here.

    Esto le resultó útil a 1 persona