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3.56  ·  Rating details ·  102 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
In Joanna Scott's breakthrough novel the Austrian artist Egon Schiele comes to prismatic life in a narrative that defies convention, history, and identity. A self-professed genius and student of August Klimt, Scott's Schiele repeatedly challenges the boundaries of early twentieth-century Europe. Thrown in jail on charges of immorality, Schiele's Mephistophelean reputation ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Picador (first published 1990)
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Apr 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The last chapter was so perfect, so beautiful, so moving. You get into the heads of Vallie(the mistress), Gerti (the youngest sister) and Egon himself - the artist. You understand who he was and why he was the way he was. I would like to tell you more, but I do not want to wreck it for you. Another 5 star book. If you are moved by art - then read this book! I was going to read Girl with a Pearl Earring after this, but to do that would be unfair. I would compare the two, and I believe I would unf ...more
Robert Wechsler
Oct 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An incredible novel about the Austrian artist Egon Schiele and the people in his life, including one young woman whose small role in his life led to his imprisonment (she tells her story in the first person, the only such POV in the novel). The two things that are most special about this novel are (1) the prose, which is very fine and often painfully beautiful, and (2) the opening up of the novel's principal POV, third person limited, from Egon to, in the second half, one character after another ...more
Michael Lackey
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a remarkable book, one of the best biographical novels ever written. It would be worth reading Arrogance alongside Bruce Duffy's The World as I Found It. Both writers brilliantly incorporate Otto Weininger into their narratives in order to define the kind of thinking that led to the demonization and violation of women and Jews in the early twentieth century. As for Scott's portrayal of Egon Schiele, it is profoundly satisfying. No hagiography in this novel. He was a great artist, who was ...more
Apr 11, 2008 rated it liked it
This was the first novel I've read by Joanna Scott, not to be confused with the other two Joanna Scotts. I think I first heard of Scott when I was reading an interview with an author that I liked (can't remember who...Wallace? DeLillo?) and they mentioned her name as a contemporary author they admired, so I went and looked her up. To give brief synopsis, it is a novel based on the life of Expressionist Austrian painter Egon Schiele, whose art was 'controversial' and often deemed 'pornographic'. ...more
Ubik 2.0
May 22, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Egon Schiele è artista straordinario e le sue opere, tele, acquarelli e disegni, fra le più significative del ‘900.

L’arco della vita del pittore sembra prefigurato dalla drammaticità espressa nei dipinti, con la morte precoce a 28 anni, la concentrazione di un notevole corpus pittorico in un lasso di tempo fra i più brevi della Storia dell’Arte, la carcerazione con l’accusa, poi ridimensionata, di abuso di minori.

Tuttavia questo romanzo è deludente e abbastanza noioso: a discolpa dell’on
Caddy Rowland
May 21, 2013 rated it did not like it
I was really excited to get this book and saved it for a special treat. I wanted so badly to love it! Unfortunately, I didn't. I can't even say I liked it.

I am a painter, so this should have been right up my alley. However, it didn't present any real details about his work nor did the author take the risk of really telling us details about different "sexual" interludes or desires. Much is hinted at, nothing really told. I found that very irritating and dishonest. Either spit it out and tell it o
Feb 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Three-line review: This high-brow piece of literary fiction tells a fictionalized version of the Austrian artist Egon Schiele’s life. Jumping among different characters in Schiele’s life and through a variety of time periods, the story helps explain who the artist is and the circumstances that led him to being such a controversial figure. It took awhile for me to get into the book, but I found it to be quite readable and an interesting depiction of an actual person with whom I was unfamiliar.
Bill Wallace
Apr 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
A book not unlike a gallery of its subject's work. Alternately beautiful, raw, and even shocking (no easy thing), Ms. Scott's fictionalized account of the life of Egon Schiele took a couple of chapters to gel for me but I was hooked after that. Told in multiple viewpoints, including a cloaked first person, the story unfolds in multiple sequences that are, more or less, chronological, but divergent enough to create interesting counterpoints of theme and symbol. A few of the scenes are strikingly, ...more
Susan Liston
hmmm...the author is a creative writing professor and there were parts of this that felt like she was doing an assignment for her own class. If an author is going to spend four pages describing someone lying in a field looking at a mole coming out its hole the writing better be so exquisite you don't mind that it has nothing to do with anything, and this wasn't. But I did stick with it, and it did pick up the pace a bit later. The story of Egon Schiele is an interesting one, and I'll give this b ...more
Sep 11, 2009 rated it it was ok
An interesting insight into the life of painter Egon Schiele, mostly from the perspective of various women in his life. Fiction. It was a bit difficult to track the story lines, and I didn't feel that I learned as much about his personality and art as I had hoped. Writing is spotty.
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Well written and fascinating, this fictionalized account of Schiele's life held my interest from the start. The ever-shifting setting, timeframe and narrator show a crucial attention to detail and a vibrancy that most straight biographies and art histories sorely lack.
Jan 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Growing on me. Read at first by sheer will-power, but finally to a point where I am past repulsion at Schiele and open to how it's moving. Hardest thing is that I cannot binge-read, I have to take it in small doses, because it is overwhelming.
Mar 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
The artist who 'crucified himself for his art', a crosscutting of narratives and voices that reveal an inevitability about the suffering of tortured genius. Well written and intensely engaging, deeply sad and shabby yet with the fierce uplift of arrogance.
Jul 21, 2013 marked it as to-read
Never heard of her, but an interview I read once had David Foster Wallace including her in a list of writers he called "the cream of the nation's younger crop."
Richard Anderson
Jul 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very well-written and entertaining; the fact that Schiele in the center of things remains such an enigma is probably inevitable.
Apr 22, 2008 added it
not the best book of all time. affirms: pictures are better than words.
Jul 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Reminded me of how I felt reading Manikin the first time. It's fantastic and whatever I say about it won't do it justice. I swear, everything this woman writes is gold.
Apr 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
There's no doubt that it is not always comfortable to read about Egon Schiele's behavior, but the book is an engaging read and quite illuminating!
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Feb 28, 2011
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Apr 28, 2014
Lia Von straßerburg
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Jul 28, 2015
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Erica Rimlinger
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from the backcover:
Joanna Scott is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Rochester. She has also taught in the creative writing programs at Princeton University and the University of Maryland. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship during the writing of Arrogance.

Librarian note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

More about Joanna Scott

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