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3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  1,661 ratings  ·  132 reviews
Siri Hustvedti «Pimesi» pakub tõelist lugemisnaudingut kõigile, kes ihkavad kogeda raamatulehekülgede vahendusel midagi ebatavalist ja paeluvat, samas aga reaalset ja käegakatsutavat. Raamat koosneb neljast, ajalises mõttes omavahel läbipõimunud loost, kus peategelane, tundliku meele ja rahutu hingega kirjandustudeng Iris Vegan püüab ootamatute, kohati isegi müstikasse kal ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published 2000 by Kupar (first published 1992)
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Antonio Puente It was translated into Spanish as Los ojos vendados by Editorial Circe.
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I recorded this review, previously for Bird Brian's Big Audio Project. You can listen at the following link:

In a Guardian interview from 2010, Siri Hustvedt describes herself as wanting "to write something with an uncanny feeling" a few years after her marriage to Paul Auster. At the time of her marriage, she had been writing poetry, but she shifted her focus and crafted this unsettling, haunting novel.

On the surface, The Blindfold is about three years i
Ian Klappenskoff
In Her Own Write

To paraphrase a less hyperbolic comment by David Foster Wallace, the point of this review is that “The Blindfold” is an extraordinary novel.

DFW described it as a “really good book” that is “clearly a feminist reworking of some of the central themes of [Don] DeLillo and his literary compadre, Paul Auster.”

I don’t think this does justice to what Siri Hustvedt achieved in her own right. Nor does the following question from a “reader” on

"Would this book have been publishe
The Blindfold by Siri Hustvedt tells the story of a young graduate student, Iris, and her relationships with four very different (but all very odd) men. The book was especially meaningful to me since I went to Columbia in the neighborhood where the story takes place.

Iris is changed by each relationship she participates in. She wears the suit of a friend's brother and travels the street in disguise as a man called Klaus, the name of a character in a book she translates for one of her partners, a
It's just on 2am and I tore through the second half tonight; finishing it in just over 24 hours.


I can't believe this was her debut, there's something in this that was missing from her later work, although seems to have returned in a The Blazing World.

I've been obsessively cataloguing my books for awhile now, and last year I decided to reacquire titles that I have lost to a previous relationship. It was quite a task, since A. and I were both voracious readers. The more I delve into my bookshelf the more I discover books gone missing. I can't remember now if I gave them away because I loved him, or because I loved the books so much that I have made them a constant presence in his life: I wanted him to read them and see pieces of my self tucked ...more
Certain books have to be read in a certain state of mind. I completely missed the point of this one. The only reason why I think this is, it's because currently I am really satisfied with my life. If we are talking about issues that are followed in this novella, then I can say that I am not over thinking and I am not analysing myself. When you read books like The blindfold, you have to go deep because it writes about search for identity. On the other hand, maybe this is my current lack of unders ...more
Hustvedt, who is also a poet, presents us with four beautiful snapshots of a young woman in graduate school at Columbia, trying to pay her bills, understand her peers, and understand herself. Each section is so different, it's surprising they concern the same young woman, but the way the story lines end up fitting together is incredibly skillful and makes you rethink past sections and the characters involved. In one section, she takes a job describing in detail a collection of objects for a myst ...more
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
I discovered this by going through the amazing archives of the fantastic website that's been devoted to all things David Foster Wallace for over a decade now:

For any serious fans of Wallace this site is a must-see, especially this section:

This section compiles every single essay, book review, and contribution of any kind he ever published and even gives a complete look at where excerpts from subsequent novels and short
Hannah Warnes
My mind is fried. Scrambled and shattered, a jumbled mess. And I owe it all to this book. ‘The Blindfold’ is impossible to sum up, but I intend to try.

It was deliciously easy for me to delve into this story because in many ways, I am the protagonist, Iris. Iris Vegan is me on psychedelics (except she’s not on psychedelics). Our lives and psyches seem to overlap in the strangest ways, and even though I don’t believe in fate, I can’t help but feel that I was meant to pick up this book. In fact, I
Friend the Girl
Mar 23, 2011 Friend the Girl rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women who feel
Recommended to Friend the Girl by: Natalia
"In good times I cry often, shedding tears easily, but when times are bad, my ducts go dry and I almost never weep."

I'm not sure what to say about this book, really. There's too much. To explain it without spoilers wouldn't make any sense, but to go into depth about it would be to ruin the story, and I couldn't possibly do it justice. I just wanted to say that reading it made me feel sane. When I have those strange impulses to do stupid, odd or dangerous things, or when I think at how surreal li
Joan Winnek
My handful of friends will notice that I tend to read more books by an author I like. This is Siri Hustvedt's first novel: it focuses on a young graduate student at Columbia, Iris, who is rather like the narrator's sister in The Sorrow of an American in her hypersensitivity. Motifs: whispering, secrecy, appearance/reality split ...

I finished the book, and I'm almost speechless. An engrossing, compelling novel.
About 2/3 - 3/4 through, I knew I'd want/need to immediately re-read this in a different order and catch things I didn't catch the first time AS SOON as I finished. I have filled margins and eagerly scribbled themes/questions/arguments/inquiries to focus on for read 2.0. (i don't normally.)

And now though, at the end, I kind of just want to kill myself and everyone else stuck in this zero sum nightmare. This constitutes, according to this book... (SPOILERS)


Instead, because idiotically I
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A friend recommended that I read the short story "Mr. Morning" and while trying to found a copy of it online we found that it, along with two more of Hustvedt's short stories, had been incorporated into this novel. Mr. Morning comprises the first chapter, and I felt was by far the most engaging part of the novel, if only because the titular character himself is so intriguing, and the idea and motivations for his project give pause for thought.

Unfortunately, I didn't feel as though the rest of th
I don't really know what to say about this. I enjoyed it alot but there again the style in which it's written always pulls me in. I didn't need the blurb on the back to invite me in, I suspect it's there to sell this to a literary' minded audience which is the one the publishers felt would understand the story the most but which unfortunately may not be the type of people who would apprieciate it. I suspect it's also been hi-jacked by the feminist brotherhood to promote their beliefs h ...more
A (highly) post-modern feminist tale told in several parts, all featuring the same protagonist, an easy-to-relate-to 20-something gal doing a PhD in something literary and esoteric at Columbia University. Her misadventures take her past the confines of Morningside Heights to the darker corners of New York City as she grapples with cross-dressing, illicit affairs, illness, murder, voyeurism, and the occasional grabby-male.

Hustvedt's writing is simple and suspenseful, making this--her first novel
From The Blindfold:
Distortion is part of desire. We always change the things we want.

Weelllll..... then this book would be totally changed, because I truly did want it to be good.

But it's self-indulgent, in a newly-minted MFA sort of way. Migrainey, isolated young college student in NYC (oh, but she's from the MIDWEST!) meets up with a series of odd men whom she finds somehow fascinating -- and, of course, destructive.

Mostly, however, the narrator finds herself somehow fascinating. And, of cou
Wilhelmina Jenkins
This is not a book I would choose for myself, but I'm glad I read it with a group. The book is surreal and disturbing, but not necessarily in a good way, although it is very well written. I can't identify with the protagonist at all, particularly her complete surrender of identity to men, even a fictional one. However, the descriptions of her migraines and the distortions in perception are brilliant, and are a perfect metaphor for the distorted perceptions experienced by the protagonist in each ...more
Aug 08, 2007 Ben rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the LIFETIME network
this is the worst kind of self-involved melodrama. i could see myself potentially liking this when i was in fourth grade, because maybe (MAYBE) then i wouldn't have been able to tell that it takes itself WAY too seriously.

The only part of the book i liked was when, much to the narrator's chagrin, one of the characters glibly summarized the plot. Although this speech was supposed to represent a really CRUEL act, i laughed out loud, because it was exactly how i would've summarized the book.

This was a Goodreads contemporary fiction recommendation based on my five star rating of Leviathan by Paul Auster. The novel reads more like four separate novellas, which are linked by the same main female character and basic Columbia University area setting. The style is definitely reminiscent of Paul Auster – eccentric characters, unembellished language, linear narrative, jagged endings – so the recommendation was spot on and did not disappoint. The book itself, however, generally reminds me m ...more
I loved this odd, nuanced little book. It is about a student called Iris Vegan, who is studying in New York. The book is made up of several self-contained stories, episodes in Iris's life that all happened during a particular period.

The stories are strange, peculiar tales that are all underscored with a sinister and unnerving quality. Each one of them occupies an in-between space in the human psyche, that for me lies somewhere in that borderline area between the eccentric and the subversive, but
This is a very strange, but beautifully written book. It's not in chronological order, though the pieces are eventually put in order. At it's heart, it is a book about falling apart, though the confused chronology makes this less apparent than it otherwise would be, I think. The main character, and the physical and emotional turmoil she goes through throughout the book are beautifully rendered. The character is both utterly strange and totally understandable.
Stephen Griffith
I've had this on my bookshelves for a long time unread. I'm sure I bought it from some remainder place, specifically Daedalus, because it was written by Paul Auster's wife and then, like other books I buy from them, just sat as I read something else from the library because of having to return it. For whatever reason, I finally picked it up and enjoyed it a great deal, particularly the last and longest chapter.

Her writing has an uncanny similarity to her husband's, in my opinion, without being i
A very interesting, brilliantly written Bildungsroman (kind of) of a Minesotta-born girl living in late 70s New York, trying to find her place in that buzzing, exciting and sometimes dangerous metropolis.
I really like the tone of the novel, the clear but at the same time rich style,the overall structure and choice of interesting characters - from the mysterious Mr.Morning,artistically cruel photographer George, the mentally disarrayed mrs.O, the dwarf-like Iris' friend Paris, and finally to her
I don't really know what I think. The beginning was very gripping, then I was disappointed when I got to Stephen. I thought she'd use the guy with the things in boxes and that maybe that was the reason for the dedication to Auster, a nod to In the Country of Last Things, or was it the New York Trilogy with the guy picking up Things and wondering what Word all the steps he'd ever taken would spell? Hustvedt is typical of a certain type of intellectual New Yorker; of course she goes to Watch a twe ...more
I used to snob lit about people with mental health problems if it was too unclinical. That is, until I became a therapist and inevitably TOTALLY SICK of the clinical bureaucracy of "accurately" labeling and describing and diagnosing people. This book was expertly veiled, telling a woman's story that's more Madame Psychosis than Nurse Ratched.
I first read this in my early 20s when I moved to London. For me it completely captured the surreal feeling of losing your sense of self and equilibrium that can occur when your life is a disturbing mix of isolation and strange encounters. Sparse, powerful and haunting, I so wished I could write like this.
Jo Bennie
The first time I read this book I really didn't like it, then I reread it and began to be enchanted. On one level it is the story of the coming of age of Iris Vegan, an intellectually intelligent but emotionally naive midwest girl come to New York to university. Like a little girl in a fairytale she meets a cast of characters on the streets and in the buildings of the urban jungle, the creepy obsessive Mr Morning, the too too cool Stephen and his artistic friends, Iris' professor lover and Iris' ...more
I finished this several days ago, but I'm still not entirely sure what to make of it. I connected so viscerally and immediately with The Blazing World, and I think I wasn't quite expecting to need to work so hard with this one. Interestingly, other readers thought The Blazing World required quite a bit of work, so perhaps there's a lesson for me in there somewhere.

I think, on reflection, that what this book is at least partly about is loneliness. Not that "I wish I had a feller" loneliness, but
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Constant Reader 71 115 Aug 23, 2008 05:47PM  
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Hustvedt was born in Northfield, Minnesota. Her father Lloyd Hustvedt was a professor of Scandinavian literature, and her mother Ester Vegan emigrated from Norway at the age of thirty. She holds a B.A. in history from St. Olaf College and a Ph.D. in English from Columbia University; her thesis on Charles Dickens was entitled Figures of Dust: A Reading of Our Mutual Friend.

Hustvedt has mainly made
More about Siri Hustvedt...
What I Loved The Summer Without Men The Blazing World The Sorrows of an American The Enchantment of Lily Dahl

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“That night as I lay in bed, I thought of several things I could have said and mourned the fact that my wit usually bloomed late, peaking when it no longer mattered, during the solitary hours close to midnight.” 19 likes
“I remember thinking how easy it is to speak in clichés, to steal a line from pulp fiction and let it fall. We can only hover around the inexpressible with our words anyway, and there is comfort in saying what we have heard before.” 12 likes
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