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Den flammende verden : roman (2014)

af Siri Hustvedt

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler / Omtaler
9083323,095 (3.68)1 / 146
Om den fiktive kunstner Harriet Burdens liv og kunstneriske eksperimenter i en mandsdomineret verden. Et fragmenteret puslespil af anmeldelser, interviews og bidrag fra menneskene omkring hende afslører langsomt kunstnerens sande jeg.
  1. 30
    The Woman Upstairs af Claire Messud (shaunie)
    shaunie: Messud's book reminded me very much of Hustvedt when I read it last year, and in turn The Blazing World reminds me of The Woman Upstairs - both about women being betrayed and both have detailed descriptions of their artwork.
  2. 00
    Hustruen : roman af Meg Wolitzer (JuliaMaria)
  3. 00
    The Truth About Lorin Jones af Alison Lurie (shaunie)

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Gruppe EmneKommentarerSeneste Meddelelse 
 Booker Prize: 2014 Booker Prize longlist: The Blazing World4 ulæste / 4japaul22, september 2014

» Se også 146 omtaler

Engelsk (29)  Tysk (2)  Hollandsk (1)  Norsk (1)  Alle sprog (33)
Viser 1-5 af 33 (næste | vis alle)
I will have to think about this more. I'm not even sure how I should rate this book.
  Jeanne.Laure | Oct 3, 2023 |
As I started this book I was gearing myself up to hate it; it really did not seem to appeal initially, a novel set in the New York art world about a feminist contemporary artist. I have to acknowledge, though, that Siri Hustvedt's story got me in.

The book is about Harriet Burden a middle-aged woman sick of being sidelinedand ignored by a patriarchal art world. Her art has been subsumed by the famous gallery owner that she married, and she is unversally viewed as just his wealthy widow, not an artist in her own right. To make a point, Harriet comes up with the idea of hiding her work behind male artists who act as her front, thereby demonstrating that men have it easier.

Hustvedt makes Harriet a larger than life person, both imposingly tall and also womanly. Her friends call her Harry, and Hustvedt suggests at times that Harriet's ruse is bringing out the male aspects of her personality and creating conflicts for her.

Initially Harriet hides behind a newcomer to the art world who is hailed as a prodigy and then disappears when he can't follow up his success. Her second "mask" is a performance artist who presents her work as a change of direction. Finally Harriet engages an established artist, Rune, and gets him to agree to represent her work as his. At this point her project comes undone spectacularly, with tragic results.

The pieces are all successes, but one thing that is never clear is whether Harriet might not have got the credit had she just presented the work as her own. She is convinced not, but how can she really know? Are the masks she is using to fool the art world damaging her more than others?

Hustvedt develops her story as an assembly as a series of notebooks, interviews, articles and memoirs from the various characters. Once the reader gets used to this it works quite well. However it comes unstuck at the end, leading to a tedious and down-beat ending recounted by one of the most minor characters in the novel. After getting to the novel's high point, the last 15 pages were just excruciatingly vapid and boring and I couldn't wait for it to be over. This story deserved a more dramatic and engaging ending than this. ( )
  gjky | Apr 9, 2023 |
Harriet Burden’s artwork consisted of large installations that can be “experienced” by viewers. She has died, and Professor I.V. Hess is assembling an anthology about her life. This is accomplished through articles, excerpts from Harriet’s diary entries, interviews, art reviews, and written statements from people who knew her.

Harriet Burden was the wife of an art dealer and mother of two. She desired recognition for her art but is she overlooked in the New York art scene. She decided to make a point by asking three male artists, Anton, Phineas, and Rune, to agree to show her work as their own. When their shows were successful, she wrote letters under the guise of art scholar, to disclose the deception. Rune decides to engage in subterfuge of his own to beat Harriet at her own game. Harriet’s reaction sends her spiraling out of control. In this battle of tormented artists, there is no victor.

A primary theme is sexism in the art world. It is very clever and cerebral. Hustvedt is clearly an intellectual writer. This book requires the reader to recognize a number of philosophers, scientific principles, and art theories, many of which are fairly obscure. I appreciate the concept that culture and perception greatly influence art appreciation, and I generally enjoy books about art, but this one is not particularly engaging and eventually feels rather exhausting. I much prefer and recommend Hustvedt’s What I Loved.
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
“No one rejoices more in revenge than women, wrote Juvenal. Women do most delight in revenge, wrote Sir Thomas Browne. Sweet is revenge, especially to women, wrote Lord Byron. And I say, I wonder why, boys. I wonder why.â€ù

I read [b:What I Loved|125502|What I Loved|Siri Hustvedt|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347721158s/125502.jpg|1309881] last year and absolutely loved it. I thought I had found a new girl-crush in Siri Hustvedt, who is clearly a super-smart lady. But what should I read next? Well, The Blazing World was longlisted for the Booker Prize, was mentioned on numerous "Best of 2014" lists, and centers on that dreaded f-word: feminism. I was sold.

Harriet Burden left the New York art scene years ago, partly because she was being ignored, and partly because she became a wife and mother. After her husband's death, she decides to come back, but with a twist. Convinced that critics would be less dismissive if she were a man, Harriet enlists three male artists willing to exhibit her work as their own. After the success of the three shows, she reveals herself as the creator only to be met with disbelief. Only one of the men confirms his role; the first has disappeared and the third denies her involvement. Harriet does gain a reputation, but unfortunately not for her work.

Feminism has been getting so much flak lately, it was just nice to read a book that validated my experience as a woman. (In this case, it's a pretty privileged experience, but I can care about the underrepresentation of female artists and other women's issues. Screw y'all.) I found myself nodding my head at several points: A dinner guest disagrees with something Harriet says, but agrees with her husband when he says the same thing. A snippy critic mocks Harriet's appearance, like that has anything to do with her ability to create art. Rune, the artist who claims Harriet's work as his own, suggests she is mentally imbalanced. But The Blazing World reads like a slightly fleshed out thought experiment. I feel like plot and characters were passed over in favor of intellectual density.

Right from the "Editor's Introduction," The Blazing World is presented as an academic study on the life and times of Harriet Burden. It collects Harriet's journal entries, articles from art mags, and interviews with family, friends, and acquaintances from the art world. Even if you aren't familiar with academic reviews, this shouldn't be a real deterrent. What got to me was the namedropping of writers, philosophers, and artists on pretty much every page. Around the fifth time Søren Kierkegaard was mentioned, I went, "Uh oh." I am not versed in philosophy at all, and the footnotes just seemed to demonstrate how encyclopedic Harriet's - and by extension Hustvedt's - knowledge is. Some references I knew, some I did not, and some were definitely made up. Yeah, I suppose I could have googled all those names, but ain't nobody got time for that! What I Loved was smart without being overly cerebral.

Now I am going to stop writing this review and just start handing out copies of What I Loved. I can't say enough nice things about that book. Read that one instead. ( )
  doryfish | Jan 29, 2022 |
I saw that Siri Hustvedt wrote a collection of essays about perception and identity, and I think there must be a great deal of her thinking expressed by the protagonist of this novel, Harriet “Harry” Burden. Harry is an artist in New York, who also had the possible misfortune of being married to a well-known art dealer. Her husband, Felix, has refused to show her work, and consequently the New York art world knows her as the hostess of Felix’s dinner parties rather than as an artist in her own right. Both Felix and Harry are dead at the start of the novel, which is told through Harry’s journals, academic and critical writing about her, and interviews with people who knew her.

After Felix’s death, Harry undertakes a project to create and show her art using “masks”—three male artists who will show the art as if it were their own. Not only are these shows far better received than Harry’s art was when shown under her own name, vindicating her belief that she has been disregarded as an artist because she is a woman, but it gives Harry (and us) insight into how what we think and believe affects how we perceive and, perhaps even more interestingly, how her “masks” affect the art she creates.

It’s clear from the onset of the novel that the art market has difficulty believing that Harry was really the creator of the projects shown under the names of her male “masks.” Rune, the final of her “masks” who was already an established artist in his own right, refuses after all to reveal that Harry was the artist behind the work. Her relationship with him is the most complex and thought-provoking in the book, though her relationships with every character shed light on the philosophical and psychological concerns about art, perception, sex, and identity that infuse the novel.

This is very much an intellectual novel of ideas. There’s a touch of “Rashomon,” in that we see Harry’s life and work from a variety of perspectives, though strictly speaking not many of the same individual incidents from different points of view. We see the broader picture of Harry as housewife, mother, virago, mentally disturbed obsessive, lover, and ultimately brilliant artist.

The title comes from the writing of Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, a 17th-century philosopher and writer, and an icon to Harry. The title became particularly resonant at the very end of the novel, when we see Harry’s magnum opus through the eyes of the distinctly unintellectual Sweet Autumn, a New Age crystal healer. This final scene made the perfect frame, and there’s nothing I appreciate more than the perfect ending to a novel of ideas. ( )
2 stem Charon07 | Oct 17, 2021 |
Viser 1-5 af 33 (næste | vis alle)
[This snippet is actually from the letter exchange, Terry Castle responds to a reader, condensing the viewpoint to a nutshell]:

[. . .] I would not describe The Blazing World as a first-rate novel. But I have to say I concur with the rest of his opening salvo: I did find myself hankering for things the novel failed to provide. Among them: true wit and intellectual depth (as opposed to the author’s relentless grad school preening), a minimally plausible story line and believable characters, some appreciable emotional resonance, and—how exactly to put it?—whatever
it is that makes a good novel all of a piece: delightful and risky and alive and worth caring about.

It’s no defense of Hustvedt to say that the problems I mention arise because I’m
too rigid to see that she is “ambivalent” about her tedious heroine and “knows better than to invest uncritically” in Harriet/Harry’s cartoonish anti-male views. Authorial ambivalence—about anything—has nothing to do with a book’s readability. And unlike Nabokov or Woolf, two of the great masters of literary multivocality, Hustvedt often just seems confused—unable (technically or emotionally) to manage all The Blazing World’s moving parts. By the end the whole lumbering, lurching juggernaut goes quite spectacularly off the rails.

Faced with what I suspect is a basic weakness in the conception of the work,
the novelist’s recourse is to confound matters further by heaping on gratuitous literary and philosophical references—the more recherché the better. Margaret Cavendish, Harriet’s revered “Blazing World Mother,” is one of a cast of thousands. Witness this passage in which Harriet’s daughter describes her peculiar parent:

I don’t think anybody really knows when she first started thinking about pseudonyms. She published one dense art review under the name Roger Raison in a magazine in the eighties, dumping on the Baudrillard craze, demolishing his simulacra argument, but few people paid attention. I remember when I was fifteen, our family was in Lisbon, and she went over and kissed the statue of Pessoa. My mother told me to read him, and, of course, he was famous for his heteronyms. She was also deeply influenced by Kierkegaard.

It’s not because I don’t “get” the references ostentatiously piling up here—Baudrillard on Disneyland, Kierkegaard’s aliases, Pessoa and his heteronyms, or, indeed, the whole Mommy’s-kissing-a-statue saudade of it all—that I find Hustvedt’s name-dropping way of characterizing her heroine coy and insufferable. A Little Wikipedia Is a Dangerous Thing. The fact is, the book is pretentious and contrived to the point of readerly burnout. It is also (dare one say) often dead-in-the-water boring.
tilføjet af aileverte | RedigerNew York Review of Books, Terry Castle (pay site) (Aug 14, 2014)
Siri Hustvedt is far too subtle and multifaceted a raconteur to present us with a simple tale of institutional misogyny. “The path to the truth,” in her heroine’s words, “is doubled, masked, ironic.” Harry Burden, as revealed through both her own testimony and that of others, is a self-sabotaging bundle of confusion. “Loud, lecturing, unpleasant,” prone to haranguing or snapping at people who might be useful to her, alternating between gawky silence and explosive rage, the 6-foot-2-inch-tall Harry looks “like a cartoon character, big bust and hips, . . . a galumphing jump-shot-sized broad with long, muscular arms and giant hands, an unhappy combination of Mae West and Lennie in ‘Of Mice and Men.’ ” In one of the novel’s most heartbreaking passages, Burden’s childhood friend, now a psychoanalyst, tells us that the literary character with whom the teenage Harry most identified was Frankenstein’s monster. “The terrible being Frankenstein makes is so lonely and misunderstood that his very existence is cursed. . . . His awful isolation is transformed into vengeance.”
Hustvedt has constructed the novel as a kind of artefact, out of numerous kinds of testimony: it purports to be the work of an academic researching Harriet Burden's claims of authorship years after her death, and is a collection of interviews, essays, articles and letters demonstrating the spectrum of responses to the would-be scandal. . . .
. . .
Hustvedt has a lot of very entertaining satirical fun in The Blazing World, but that particular note of tragedy, though she tries to sound it, remains lost.
tilføjet af aileverte | RedigerThe Guardian, Rachel Cusk (Mar 14, 2014)

» Tilføj andre forfattere (27 mulige)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Siri Hustvedtprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Meyers, EricFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Rodriguez, PatriciaFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet

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Om den fiktive kunstner Harriet Burdens liv og kunstneriske eksperimenter i en mandsdomineret verden. Et fragmenteret puslespil af anmeldelser, interviews og bidrag fra menneskene omkring hende afslører langsomt kunstnerens sande jeg.

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