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The Blindfold [PDF / Epub] ☆ The Blindfold By Siri Hustvedt – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Blindfold IMDb Directed by Philip Dunne With Rock Hudson Claudia Cardinale Jack Warden Guy Stockwell A New York psychiatrist is solicited by government agents in connection with a former patient of hi Blindfold IMDb Directed by Philip Dunne With Rock Hudson Claudia Cardinale Jack Warden Guy Stockwell A New York psychiatrist is solicited by government agents in connection with a former patient of his who also happens to be a scientist wanted by certain foreign powers Blindfold versions remix reprises interprtations Blindfold versions par artistes Morcheeba Tristan Prettyman Thomas Newman Thin Line Men Rusty Mustard Cubenx Mind Riot Masahiro Nishibata Klaus Blindfold IMDb Directed by Teace Snyder With Matthew Michael Collins Anise Jade Falco Meaghan Bloom Fluitt Danni DanDan Gadigan A ten year old girl is subpoenaed for giving a controversial presentation about to her class and her widower father must confront both his and her feelings about the loss of their mother and wife in the attack Blindfold definition and meaning | Collins English BOOK REVIEW Dark insights from a wandering But The Blindfold is far interesting than that For a start it has a plot It also has vivid and compelling characters; it is scary sinister and readable It is in fact a convincing Beneath The Blindfold | A Documentary Film Beneath The Blindfold is a beautiful film with genuine sensitivity and glow You witness a triumph of our common humanity as people overcome the long lasting effects of torture and reclaim their dignity Not to be missed — Jerome McDonnell Host of Worldview WBEZ FM Chicago Public Radio Blindfold definition of blindfold by The Free Define blindfold blindfold synonyms blindfold pronunciation blindfold translation English dictionary definition of blindfold trv blindfolded blindfolding blindfolds To cover the eyes of with or as if with a bandage To prevent from seeing and especially from blindfold translation French | English French blindfold translation in English French Reverso dictionary see also 'blind'blindly'blind date'blind spot' examples definition conjugation The Blindfold's Eyes The Blindfold's Eyes CODE Availability In stock uantity − Add to Cart Description; Book Details; This riveting and detailed story of courage betrayal and resurrection chronicles the personal journey of Dianna Ortiz an Ursuline nun who was abducted and tortured by the Guatemalan government Her harrowing experience of the torture itself is almost Blindfolded Sight Learn to see without your eyes Discover whats possible Blindfolded Sight Online Classes Develop your intuition to the point of sight.


10 thoughts on “The Blindfold

  1. Kris Kris says:

    I recorded this review previously for Bird Brian's Big Audio Project You can listen at the following link 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 in the life of Iris Vegan a graduate student at Columbia University with very few personal or financial resources who struggles to navigate an ominous New York City Beneath that surface the novel explores the fragmentation of identity the difficulty perhaps impossibility of Iris’s emerging with an integrated sense of self in a world where people put on and take off masks seemingly at will where gender age and influence make it difficult for a young female student to find her identity without being coerced by others' desires I found Iris's efforts in the face of medical traumas poverty and troubled personal relationships and encounters to be moving I also believe that this novel’s power stems not only from Hustvedt’s unblinking examination of Iris’s struggles but also from her presentation of some cracks in the armor of the powerful men whom Iris faces This is a novel that does not provide a sense of closure All the characters are missing pieces of themselves All resort to silences misdirections projections and disguises when interacting with others In spite of this darkness and of her apparent fragility Iris keeps trying to connect meaningfully with others and with herself Her efforts are admirable and provided me with a sense of hope for her even as she runs away from another dangerous encounter in the novel’s climax The novel's central concerns are reflected in its structure The Blindfold is comprised of four sections with the first three focusing on specific episodes in Iris's life taken out of chronological order and the fourth section referring back to the previous sections as Iris narrates a linked series of new events As Iris narrates this section she attempts to put events back into an integrated whole In the end however Hustvedt leaves the reader with a host of uestions In this final section in spite of Iris’s efforts to relate an integrated story in her narration events do not lead to a clear chronology Motives remain obscure The novel is shattered mirroring Iris’s fragmented identityview spoilerIn part one Iris accepts a position as a research assistant with Herbert B Morning a sinister and mysterious recluse who lives alone in a small apartment filled with boxes each of which holds an object that belonged to a murder victim Iris is tasked with tape recording whispered descriptions of each object The symbolism in this section is clear the fragmented life of the victim represented by possessions taken out of context and stored in boxes like caskets There also are indications of this encounter's fracturing Iris's identity she adopts a pseudonym for the assignment she disguises her voice by whispering and she provides Morning with one of her own possessions at his reuest As the situation becomes ominous Iris removes herself from it thus establishing a pattern of escaping from challenging encounters with men In this case she can only protect her self by fleeing In part two Iris's boyfriend Stephen introduces her to George an artist who took photographs whose work consists of fragmented disturbing images that he shows in pairs Iris agrees to be photographed and is horrified by the photograph that George takes of her It wasn't a full body shot I was cut off below my breasts and my extended arms were severed at the elbows Photographs are cropped in all sorts of ways and the results are seldom disturbing The viewer fills in the missing pieces but this picture was different The convention didn't seem to work and I had the awful impression that the parts of me that weren't in the photo were really absent 62 Although Iris is shocked by the photograph George and Stephen praise it The rest of the section continues the themes of fragmentation and of Iris's lack of control over her life Classmates and acuaintances mention the photograph to Iris while remaining vague about exactly how and where they heard of it And Iris's relationship with Stephen collapses under the weight of his indifference and his secrets including the details of his relationship with George Iris is turned into an object in this section with acuaintances and strangers interpreting her image and superseding her understanding of herself with their interpretations In part three Iris's serious migraines land her in the hospital where she suffers from blinding pain and disorientation caused by auras and light sensitivity She remains at a low status because nurses and patients do not deem her to be seriously ill She also has a problematic relationship with one of her roommates Mrs O who is suffering from a neurological disorder and singles out Iris for periodic verbal and physical assaults Throughout the section while Iris suffers in pain and deals with the disorientation caused by medication and her condition another roommate Mrs M acts as a vocal Greek chorus Mrs M meant to dominate to fill up the room with herself but despite her incessant chatter and her bulk she was a fleshy woman with Jowls and a substantial bosom it was the small and silent Mrs O who took up space She was a delicate woman in her late seventies the victim of some nervous catastrophe That event or series of events had left her incoherent What remained was a fragmented being a person shattered into a thousand pieces but those bits of Mrs O inhabited the room like a crowd of invisible demons 97 At one point Iris wakes from a disturbing erotic dream to find Mrs O lying on her bed and kissing her Mrs O is invading Iris's subconscious just as she takes control of her physical space In the fourth and longest section Iris provides a disjointed attempt to pull together the pieces of her life into a whole In addition to providing a sketchy chronological frame revisiting scenes from other sections she focuses her discussion on her experiences at Columbia all hinging on her relationship with Michael Rose a professor for whom Iris works as a research assistant and translator The Brutal Boy the German novella that she translates is about Klaus a German boy who has sadistic fantasies There are cross currents related to power differentials throughout this section as seen in Klaus's sadistic acts in Iris's struggling to deal with Michael’s criticism of her translation and in indications that Michael himself is struggling to control his attraction to Iris During a period when Michael has left New York Iris cross dresses for a Halloween party and continues to do so after the party is over At first this is a response to rapes in her neighborhood but she ultimately is drawn to the freedom of slipping on a new identity as she adopts the name Klaus Dressed androgynously she walks through dangerous neighborhoods haunts seedy bars and clubs and interacts with strangers By taking on this identity Iris transgresses gendered and spatial boundaries It's another kind of escape and in running from the dangers she faces as Iris she is courting greater dangers Iris’s days as Klaus end when she runs into Michael newly returned to New York in one of her haunts He is shocked by her appearance her excessive weight loss her cropped hair and her haunted drawn face After he leads her from the bar and orders her not to dress as Klaus again the two embark on an affair As she moves into a new role as Michael’s lover Iris describes her initial sense of empowerment “I started calling him Michael In the beginning when I used the name I always experienced a rush of feeling a strong sense of having moved into a new position universities may be the last place in America where first names still have the force of intimacy ‘Michael’ was for me a clandestine sign a key to our secret and I used the name over and over to him and to myself” 186 In the same paragraph though she uickly shifts into a troubled examination of the gap between her self image and Michael’s view of her “Sometimes after he was gone I would examine myself naked in the mirror and for an instant would imagine I saw what he saw an enchanted body” 187 Iris is attempting to reduce herself to a sexual object She does not succeed in this she feels too disconnected from her body Michael adopts masks and plays a role as well “There were moments when the physical fact of the man estranged me when my idea of man and the man himself were disconnected but they lasted only seconds I was seduced through my ear The he talked the I wanted him and he talked up a storm wooing me with Catullus Boccaccio Donne and Sidney with Shakespeare and Wyatt Fielding and Joyce and that's how I like to remember him now in midsentence lying in my bed wit his eyes shut uoting from memory” 187 Is Michael manipulating Iris as he takes on the persona of these brilliant writers? Or is he casting about for a way to integrate his physical emotional intellectual and inner identities? A heart wrenching episode near the end of the novel provides further insight into Michael’s identity which appears to be splintered just as Iris’s is The scene begins playfully as Michael and Iris walk home one night after he has given her a scarf When she says that she could find her way home blindfolded Michael improvises a blindfold from the scarf and challenges her to do just that Iris feels empowered and free as she walks down the sidewalks showing her mastery of the way home She also describes an erotic sense of the disintegration of physical boundaries after Michael carries her into her apartment “He kissed me and it was good not to see him He could have been any man The anonymity was his and mine Like a child I felt that my blindness made me disappear or at least made the boundaries of my body unstable One of us gasped I didn’t know who it was and this confusion made my heart pound” 203 Iris’s blindness is another form of escaping from her body from her identity She is escaping into formlessness erasing her body and her psyche as she does so However Michael soon becomes violent holding Iris down calling her a witch and slapping her She fends him off by biting him They both lie stunned in the bedroom Iris throws off the scarf wraps herself completely in a blanket and withdraws Michael sits on the corner of the bed and begins to cry Iris watches him At first she is disgusted by his appearance but then she draws closer to him while he sobs harder and tries to speak As she approaches him touches him gently and asks “why?” “Michael moved so that he could see himself in the long mirror opposite us We stared at the reflection I saw him saw the soft pale flesh of his belly the deep navel and flaccid genitals I looked away I had seen it In the mirror his body appeared as a thing of comic horror vulnerable aging the site of decay” 206 Michael’s reflection reveals his age his vulnerability his lack of sexual power His sight of himself displaces his formerly adopted image as a powerful professor and virile lover who spoke the language of poets Iris then shifts her focus to her reflection “I moved behind him and studied my image in the glass the small head and wild hair the colorless cheeks the darkness under my eyes my thin fingers holding the blanket I let go and the covering fell to the bed exposing my naked body but what I saw was my mouth The lips appeared very red and swollen a lonely sign of blatant sexuality an advertisement” 206 Iris gazes into the mirror but she does not see herself as a whole as a woman as a person She instead shatters into pieces focuses only on her mouth and thus defines herself solely as a sexual object This scene resonates with Lacan’s theory of the mirror stage Michael reacts to the distance between his adopted self image and his reflection by leaving Iris in spite of her pleading with him to stay to remain with her so they can recreate themselves and start over In the novel’s final scenes Iris who is still recovering from the end of her relationship with Michael searches for someone with whom she can discuss her disturbing experiences over the past months She hopes to tell her friend Ruth over dinner but when Ruth discloses that she is newly married and pregnant Iris decides that her troubling disclosures are not compatible with Ruth’s new roles as wife and expectant mother Iris later meets her friend Paris an art critic for another dinner and she does tell him about all her experiences in detail Her disclosure of her secrets leads to Paris’s removing his mask of concerned friend and revealing himself to have manipulated Iris to extract an entertaining story As he attempts to exercise his power over her sexually Iris flees from his apartment and escapes underground into the IRT “like a bat out of hell” 221 Iris is once again running away from a destructive relationship fleeing from a man who is exercising power over her As she disappears underground I ached for her However I also hoped perhaps against hope that she would succeed in her uest to understand her self and to connect with another person in a way that would be supportive and empowering rather than destructive and confining Hustvedt does not provide us with many clues pointing the way to this ending In spite of this I admire Iris’s not giving up and giving in I hope that she emerges into the light hide spoiler


  2. Ian "Marvin" Graye Ian "Marvin" Graye says:

    In Her Own WriteTo paraphrase a less hyperbolic comment by David Foster Wallace the point of this review is that “The Blindfold” is an extraordinary novelDFW 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 uestion from a “reader” on Would this book have been published at all had Siri Hustvedt not been married to Paul Auster another completely overrated author?As Iris Vegan Hustvedt’s protagonist might have said Stuff it up your assUnreuited Dedication?While Hustvedt was writing “The Blindfold” in 1992 Auster was writing “Leviathan”She dedicated her work to her husband while he dedicated his to DeLillo who later reciprocated by dedicating “Cosmopolis” to Auster in an apparent act of bro loveHowever Auster included the character Iris Vegan in “Leviathan” How meta dedicated is thatFirst Things First But Not Necessarily In That Order“The Blindfold” is divided into four untitled sections of uite different lengths By the time I’d got to the beginning of the third section I was starting to wonder whether there was any relationship between them and whether the book would have been better called a collection of short storiesWas the fact that Iris Vegan was in each section enough to constitute a novel?However I soon realised that this was indeed a tightly plotted novel where every intricate detail was very precisely described and located like objects in a museum or art galleryTo paraphrase Iris Hustvedt is a one woman performance team a juggler who works with objects She moves the objects around on the shelf or in the air or on the canvasIt doesn’t matter when or where we start looking The point is to observe them allOnly once we have followed one entire seuence do we start to get an idea of the wholeOnce you’ve detected the trend you discover that you are contained or enclosed in a drama that intensifies with every word and that ultimately you don’t want to stop Student AffairsThe novel maps the course of a number of relationships that Iris forms over the course of three years while she is a postgraduate English student at Columbia UniversityDuring the course of her studies she develops headaches and suffers migraine aurasWe never find out whether her affliction is the result of a physiological condition or the emotional stress that she undergoesHowever migraine auras can result in a disturbance of the patient’s sense of time In the words of an actual patient “The feelings of a pre migraine aura are definitely one of 'otherness' withtemporal aural and visual disturbances”While the events are recounted by Iris in the first person eight years after they occurred her condition allows Hustvedt to mess with time and the seuence in which events occurIt also raises the uestion of whether Iris is an unreliable narratorFor the first half of the novel I was uite prepared for some tragic turn of events from a medical point of viewHowever after a while I felt that Iris was uite normal if a little intense in the manner of a highly intelligent student preoccupied with her self and her role in the world although the same could be said of a maleBefore I move on I want to dispense with one issue that threatens the appreciation of the novel as a wholeOne of the relationships is with a college professor who is in his early 50’s While Iris is 22 at the time and not a child I assume that this relationship would offend the university’s sexual misconduct policiesThe relationship is consensual and one which Iris consciously or unconsciously seeks almost from their first handshake The professor displays reluctance in initiating the relationship and ultimately cannot handle the personal and professional guilt that threatens the future of the relationship He commits an act that in most cases would warrant someone terminating the relationship even though Iris understands the psychological cause of the act and is prepared to forgive him for itBecause Iris herself does not make any adverse comment on the propriety of the relationship I don’t propose to comment on it adversely especially because it seems to me as a male of a similar age to contribute to her growth as a person in the novelChronologyOnce you’ve finished the novel it really is uite time consuming to try and work out the linear chronologyIf you can be bothered it serves mainly to enhance your appreciation of Hustvedt’s skills as a story tellerThe timeline as presented is actually one that makes sense organically in the development of the themes of the novelWe witness the growth of Iris’ self in a logical analytical manner even if the timing is manipulatedEually importantly it builds to a climax which happens to coincide with the most recent and most important of the events in the narrativeBecause the story concerns Iris’ psyche it makes sense that the events are presented in this seuence as if they are part of a professional character assessment or diagnosisThe Development of Female IdentityIn a way the novel can be seen as a casebook on the development of female identity as illustrated by the example of one womanAs a male surrounded by one wife and two daughters I’ve lost the ability to judge whether the casebook is representative of women at largeHowever if either of our daughters experienced relationship problems in maturity I would point them in the direction of the novel if advice by first their mother then me or a professional proved inadeuateIt really is that insightful at least in my male eyesAn Eye on Your Own IdentityWhat appealed most to me about the novel was the way in which it explored the role of looking and seeing in the relationship not just between the sexes but between any two people or one person or subject on the one hand and an object on the other handThe very process of perception is described as if it were a dynamic verb or action How someone looks actively or how someone looks passively is just as important as what they ‘do” in some other senseThe eyes are indeed the window to the soul and this is very much a novel about the soul the essence of Iris VeganIt’s no coincidence that Iris is a word that describes part of the structure of the eye nor that it is the reverse of the first name of the book’s authorWhile there is a normal amount of dialogue so much of the novel’s message is revealed by the way people look and seeHowever eually importantly Hustvedt is concerned with the psychoanalytical nature of “the gaze” not just how a male gazes at a female but how a female gazes at a maleWithout reading like a textbook the novel explores the type of gaze described by LacanThe gaze is not just the process of looking seeing and perceivingIt describes the relationship between subject and objectThe subject can desire the object he can aspire to possess and control the object to make her or it a possession or a chattelConversely the object can possess a power over the subject especially when the object is aware that she is being gazed atThe object can capture or enchant the subjectEither way there can be a power relationship between subject and object particularly in the sexual contextIt’s interesting that Hustvedt uses the concept relatively even handedly even though her principal interest is IrisOn the novel’s third page Iris remarks “Without any apparent reserve he looked at me taking in my whole body with his gaze”Note that the act of looking involves a taking of something the body in factYet only a few sentences before Iris “looked at the skin of his neck”Midway through the novel when she first meets Professor Rose “I stared at him and he continued to gaze at me This went on for maybe half a minute”The relationship at the heart of the novel starts with a stare and a gazeWithin a few pages the sexuality at the root of the gaze is made even explicit He gazed at me and pressed his index finger into the hollow beneath his cheekbone Then he nodded It was the nod that unraveled me with its suggestion of penetration almost telepathy I looked back at him and felt my jaw relax my lips part Who are you? I thought He took in my whole face with a leisure that astounded me We looked at each other for too long and the impropriety made me trembleThe sentence is rattled off almost innocuously as if the word “penetration” relates to Iris’ mind yet the reader can’t help but infer physical sexual penetration as wellAs with the first example the subject “takes” something or some thing this time the object’s faceThe object is not just the thing looked at but the thing possessed as if it is a material objectThe gaze can possess both the body and the psyche of the objectI’m Touched by Your Presence DearHustvedt uses the gaze as a foundation for a palpable or tangible relationshipJust as characters gaze at each other they touch one anotherValuable items remain boxed up “to keep them untouched by the here and now”While sitting at a bar Iris’ knee “grazes” a gun in a policeman’s holster Note the rhymeIris felt Tim beside me the sleeve of his coat touching mine the inanimate object almost an extension or projection of the animate selfAt one point the art critic known only as Paris promises he’ll be in touch; at another the photographer George acknowledges a comment by Iris with the rejoinder ToucheMore importantly sexual encounters are described in terms of their sensual appeal Their intense wishes made me claustrophobic They were always breathing on me pulling tugging even begging for some mysterious gift they thought I could give them But I didn’t really have it – the thing they wanted I know they dreamed of sexual triumph of some erotic cataclysm that would erase their need and I know that by eluding them I became and a creature of their hopes a vaporous being with blond hair and blue eyes They weren’t to blame Distortion is part of desire We always change the things we wantNote how desire sometimes involves distortion elusion feeds illusion Tell Me Tell Me Tell Me DoWithin relationships Hustvedt also explores the significance of silence and telling and revelationHer longest relationship is with Stephen who is carrying a copy of The Portable Nietzsche when she first sees himStephen maintained a reserve in their relationship Secrecy undermines their intimacy Stephen was secretive He enjoyed withholding informationI should have known that he was lost to me from the very beginning but his body was magic then and it drove me on One look at his neck his hands his mouth brought on a shudder of sexual memory a pleasure that became a torment because Stephen rationed his bodyHis explanation of himself is uite Nietzchean I’m telling you what I can’t bear is the ordinary I don’t want to bore myself to sink into the pedestrian ways of other people – heart to heart talks petty confessions relationships of habit not passion I see those people all around me and I detest them so I have to be divorced from myself in order to keep from sliding into a life I find nauseating It’s a matter of appearances but surfaces are underestimated The veneer becomes the thing I rarely distinguish the man in the movie from the spectator anyStephen’s attempts to elude intimacy end up ludicrous They are not just self delusion they delude others such as Iris as wellIn contrast the ability to confide in George creates a confidence in their relationship at least in the short term George inspired telling He was so easy in his manner so kind and understanding it was hard not to confide in him But there was something else too something important George had a way of talking to me as if he knew me better than I knew myself and in George this presumption was a kind of wizardry that turned loose thoughts and memories I had never spoken of to anyone beforeThis is a relationship that is not consummated physically although George “takes” a photo of Iris that is regarded as a study in eroticism as if he had captured her nakedGeorge regards the photo as “extraordinary” while Iris regards it as “an object of regret”Having taken it the photo satiates George In his eyes “It’s all thereeverything I want” He rebuffs Iris’ one advance I looked at George He grinned He was sitting on the floor with his camera in his lap I knelt down and crawled toward him looking at his lean arms and beautiful mouth I lifted my right arm and extended my hand toward his face but something in his expression stopped me I have what I want it seemed to say Don’t come any closer I dropped my arm and sat back still breathing hardIris imagines George stealing photographs in the darkness his flash igniting the startled faces of those caught in an act they wanted to keep secret – a kiss or a fight or an illicit transaction – and then I saw George run from the spot like a burglarNot just does George take photos he steals them from the psyche of the objectNotes from UndergroundWhile George seems to thrive in the darkness Iris has already had an experience of life in the demimonde or netherworldAfter the rape of a resident of her apartment building she starts dressing as a man in a suit in order to go to and from her night jobs It wasn’t so much that I looked like a man but that the clothes created an image of sexual doubt With no makeup and my hair hidden beneath a fedora I seemed to be either a masculine woman or an effeminate man At a crucial moment in the development of her sexual identity she is able to experiment with a male personaPeople cease to look or gaze at her as a sexual object She evades men by impersonating a man She removes men from the picture by removing herself as woman from the picture Iris neuters herself firstly as an act of self defence secondly as a stepping stone to personal and sexual confidenceWhile inhabiting this world a world that reminded me of Dostoyevsky’s “Notes from the Underground” or Herman Hesse’s “Steppenwolf” including the Magic Theatre Iris is poverty stricken starving hallucinating bordering on the hysterical in Freudian termsFortunately her experience starts with a transgression of sorts and ends up as a transitiona journey an Odyssey that prepares her for her next relationship with Michael Professor RoseGiorgione’s “The Tempest”Loving You the Way You WantHustvedt is also fascinated by the nature of desireIn some people as we have already seen it represents the lack of something a want a need an absence an emptiness a black hole that the subject attempts to fill with the objectIronically when Iris doesn’t share the desire she finds that the subject’s desire is even greater Men I cared nothing about called meon them my indifference worked like an aphrodisiac Because I didn’t want anythingOn the other hand when she suggests that Stephen has never loved her he responds I’ve always loved youI just don’t love you the way you wantYet again Hustvedt has a poet’s eye for both the multiple meanings of words and their resemblance to other wordsYou have to want to love and be loved; you have to want to be loved; and you have to be loved the way you wantWhen Iris experiences love with Michael there is a different want a new emptiness a fear that they will lose each other a desire that things stay the same even though the truth is that they can’t The risk is that this emptiness will become an evil a source of cruelty and destructiveness something that will bring about the end of their relationshipWalking the Last Stretch BlindfoldedJust as the novel explores looking and seeing it addresses blindnessWith Iris’ migraine auras she experiences black spots blindness that starts with a hole and ultimately blacks out the whole not just of the object but the subject Only later was I able to tell myself that I had suffered a migraine aura The following months were a time when the everyday became precarious At any moment an ordinary thing a table or chair a face or hand might disappear and with the blindness came a feeling of that I was no longer whole I had put myself back together and now my body was failing meThe negative connotation of blindness is the inability to look or see or even to gazeParadoxically the blindfold incident in the novel offers a positive connotation to blindnessMichael gives Iris a scarf As they walk along the familiar streetscape back to her apartment her confidence in her route leads her to tie the scarf around her eyes In a scene that reminded me of the film “Trust” she voluntarily embraces blindness She must trust herself andor Michael in order to get home safelyThis key metaphor is pregnant with connotations He kissed me and it was good not to see him He could have been any man The anonymity was his and mine Like a child I felt that blindness made me disappear or at least made the boundaries of my body unstable One of us gasped I didn’t know who it was and this confusion made my heart poundDespite the danger of her predicament she did not want anything She did not want a particular person a particular man for what they could give her She could not look she could not desire she could not gaze she could not judge beauty she could not detect an object but eually she could not be a subject She had lost her sense of self at least her extreme self consciousness Her self had disappeared It had become one with her surroundings including Michael That one the “one of us” gasped She had everything because she saw and needed nothing Because she could not see the two of them had become invisible and anonymous in her own mind even if Michael could still see and gaze at herI wonder whether there is a hint of Zen “non attachment” in this sceneLike a Bat Out of HellThe novel does not end with the blindfold scene which would have been a convenient romantic denouementInstead it sees Iris running away from the touch of the tiny almost effeminate art critic Paris to the IRTHe sees Iris as some kind of Odysseus to his Penelope whether or not he knows that she was treated for her migraines at Mount Olympus HospitalWhat should we infer from the ending?Did Iris simply elude the Judgment of Paris?A pessimist might conclude that Iris has returned to the darkness of the UndergroundAn optimist might hope that she has finally put the past behind her and is ready for the next stage of her journey as a woman who has constructed a female identity she can be proud of and who has something to offer other women


  3. Ellie Ellie says:

    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 placeIris 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 disturbing brutal story She is extremely poor and apparently between lack of food and the relationship she is in she has something of a nervous breakdown She enters a neuropsycho ward because of her migraines and is in a room with an elderly woman who freuently hallucinates and involves Iris in her visionsI found the book impossible to put down but extremely disturbing at the same time Iris is opaue troubled and troubling She walks the streets exploring both the city and her own identity She enters these dado masochistic relationships and either finds or creates new identities within themHustvedt is as always a terrific and thought provoking writer


  4. Natalie Natalie says:

    It's just on 2am and I tore through the second half tonight; finishing it in just over 24 hoursWOWI 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 WorldWOW


  5. T. T. says:

    I've been obsessively cataloguing my books for awhile now and last year I decided to reacuire titles that I have lost to a previous relationship It was uite a task since A and I were both voracious readers The I delve into my bookshelf the 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 in between the pages written on the margins We went through so many books while we were in love Not only mine but his too and sometimes books that we discovered together When the relationship ended a lot of these books went with him along with a lot of my film and music collection unfortunately He broke my heart I left and I couldn't bring myself to take any souvenirs It's one of my few regrets those books were a huge part of who I am and to have someone who used to know me well who I let under my skin keep them was unsettling Siri Hustvedt was one of the many that we read I loved Auster's The New York Trilogy and he loved Hustvedt's What I Loved and before we were friends at a party he told me that the two are married and that I should read her I didn't at least not until we were together And he made me read The Blindfold first He told me he never believed that a real Iris existed until he met me with all my migraines and perversions I told him I suppose I should take that as a compliment The Blindfold is special to me but I can't seem to find the right words now explaining why and how I reread it last night in the dark beside a tiny lamp I couldn't sleep and I pulled this out by chance and reading the first few pages felt like I have gotten a piece of myself back somehow I can't spare you my subjectivity; Hustvedt's tone is a bit overindulgent this is her first work but I didn't mind and the different parts even disjointed at times is something I appreciate A said I was Iris walking with a blindfold I was Iris hanging around a professor's desk saying everything and nothing I told him I was the one whispering words to a machine I was a green eraser left in someone's hand I was a diptych made out of stolen momentsI'm glad I have this book again I'm happy to have seen it randomly in a bookstore last year and on sale too like a consolation There would be ruminations like these in the coming days I suspect as I make my way through my recently acuired 'old' books It feels good to reread them after a few years have passed First read October 2004


  6. Baba Baba says:

    Am impressive debut by Siri married to Paul Auster sees her weave a dark intense wonderful written novel describing a few years in the college life of of Iris Vegan including working as an assistant for a professon translating a dark novella that impacts on both their lives With compelling well thought out and realised characters a very good read indeed 7 out of 12


  7. Karina Karina says:

    I like it better each time


  8. Jana Jana says:

    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 understanding but I’m not in the mood for some woman's confusions Especially if that woman is writing about artistic destructions philosophy and darkness Maybe I just have to uit doing this finding myself in every book that I read Is this the right approach to any reading? Or is it inevitable to do so with this theme? I know one thing if I were in my early 20s I would worship it and even if I didn’t get it I would pretend that I did because it's easier in two But I don’t have identity crisis any and I particularly don’t enjoy any reading something where main protagonists are so hard on themselves I mean it’s not that I have a ladybug on a poppy personality but at the moment I like to spare myself a little bit


  9. Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Joshua Nomen-Mutatio says:

    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 any serious fans of Wallace this site is a must see especially this section 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 subseuent novels and short stories first were published and the same goes for non fiction essays which would later be collected and published as compilations But the most interesting stuff is the stuff almost no one's ever read before which was published years before he became hugely famous or was published in obscure literary or otherwise academic journals And there are a number of book reviews including the one I just read for The Blindfold which resulted in me placing it on my to read shelf


  10. Hugh Hugh says:

    An intense visceral debut novel telling a story of a literature student in New York in search of her identity The book takes the form of a confessional monologue The first three chapters are episodic self contained and only tenuously linked by the narrative voice The long fourth and final chapter puts them in context and introduces a darker psychological element The tone throughout is cool and the characters she meets are enigmatic and often slightly menacing A gripping book but a difficult one to sum up


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