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What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt
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's review
Dec 18, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: recent-faves, thousand-one-bks-2read-b4-dying-lis
Read in December, 2007

This is a tremendous book, and I was sorry that it had to end. I would appreciate a sequel, because Hustvedt has given so much intricacy to her characters; it would be wonderful to find out what happens to them. She mixes art, both modern and classical, into a novel with rich themes such as art's immortal quality juxtaposed with our mortal inevitability. (Her immense knowledge is not boastful like Byatt's, though.) She examines the many facets of love, unrequited love being the most painfully sublime. Her characters love deeply, palpably. The Jewish holocaust lurks in the background, all of those needless deaths, and it is echoed in similar ways in the events here. This book reminded me of the books of Emile Zola, of Isaac Bashevis Singer, and of Henry James, all great masters in my mind, but updated to the present by Hustvedt's book. The inevitable tragedies in this book are honest, not at all contrived, part of the way life really happens. But the way she examines the tragedies makes this not only a novel about art but more so, it makes it a novel that is itself a work of art. Now, please excuse me while I go find her other novels and eagerly await the one that is in press for release in 2008.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Ruth (last edited Dec 18, 2007 05:15PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ruth I'm in, Mark. It's on the list now.


message 2: by Melissa (new) - added it

Melissa Me too!

Alex The character of Leo returns in Husvedt's The Sorrows of an American, albeit in a very minor episode, attending a dinner with the protagonist. Leo is blind now, and the death of his boy is mentioned. He gives some insight on dreams and the meaning of dreams.

Anni Bell-Miller A good review. I've read all of her books but this one is definitely the best. One of my favourites of all time.

Suzy I just finished this and stumbled on your review - I love what you have to say about it and it makes me enjoy the book that much more. Indeed, this book is a work of art.

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