What I Loved PDF/EPUB ☆ What I PDF or


What I Loved ✭ [PDF] ✪ What I Loved By Siri Hustvedt ✺ – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk This is the story of two men who first become friends in 1970s New York of the women in their lives of their sons born the same year and of how relations between the two families become strained first This is the story of two men who first become friends in s New York of the women in their lives of their sons born the same year and of how relations between the two families become strained first by tragedy then by a monstrous duplicity which comes slowly and corrosively to the surface.


10 thoughts on “What I Loved

  1. Sue Sue says:

    I have rarely read a novel of such intensity And it touches on so much the art world as well as art itself relationships of many kinds family love loss psychology and the outsider the world that is New York City personasmuch that I'm forgetting or avoiding for spoilers sake But then is is titled What I Loved and it lives up to it's title In addition to being one of the most intense reading experiences in many ways this has been one of the most unusual At times I felt I was reading not a novel but a memoir the actual life story of an aging art historian and university professor looking back on who and what had figured prominently in his life what he had loved The story takes place in the art and university worlds of New York City but it is not necessaryin my opinion to be a part of them to become engaged in Leo's life and story His story of finding a work of art he likes the artist who becomes his true friend; two families whose lives intermingle over decades The art world is a large part of this story and descriptions of various works of art can occasionally become long somewhat rambling sidetracks But these sidetracks always have connections to the central story if you are patient Hustvedt also portrays the less savory side of the art world but this is once again through those many aspects of what I lovedAnd supporting all of the story is masterful prose and excellent timing of presentation The pacing and control emotions everything struck me as perfectly done Hustvedt had me in the palm of her hand Even a section that was a bit over the top was over the top in just the right wayI'm trying to be careful not to come close to any spoilers in this review which could dampen the emotional impact of this novel for other readers I definitely recommend this book to anyone who feels a spark of interest in a book set in this world an arrestingly written look back on a lifeAs an addendum I realize that I neglected to say what may or may not be obvious I intend to continue reading the author's works


  2. Blair Blair says:

    I never learn This book had been knocking around the house for a while but I hadn't really been interested in reading it due to a combination of factors but primarily because a the cover didn't interest me and b one of the most prominent uotes on the jacket describes it as 'a love story' As I've said before while I always appreciate well written relationshipsromances in books defining something purely as a love story is pretty much a surefire way to put me off So it was for no particular reason out of boredom really that I eventually picked this up What a fantastic decision that was; this book is and I do not say this lightly ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANTIt is a love story but to describe it that way is to do it a huge disservice there are at least four love stories in here and one of them is a friendship And it's just as much a book about art and how we perceive it madness parenthood loss and grief truth and lies It follows the lifelong friendship between Leo a writer and the narrator of this story and Bill an artist and their relationships with their wives Erica and Lucille and later Violet and children Matthew and Mark Later the story becomes focused around devastating loss and its aftermath and still later it concentrates on the teenage Mark his disturbing behaviour and dangerous association with a controversial artist Teddy Giles The narrative is filled with evocative descriptions of Bill's artwork Leo's divergences into the significance of art and personal interpretation the characters' fascinating meandering conversations; there is much to it than simply the plot itself complex and intriguing though that is in its own rightI don't really know what to say about What I Loved to effectively express how I felt about it Although what happens is interesting it's the uality of the writing that really makes it what it is Hustvedt brilliantly relates a whole spectrum of emotions and makes you feel and suffer along with her characters The atmosphere is fantastic with a thread of suspense running throughout the novel which intensifies in the last few chapters as the plot builds to a dramatic climax The Teddy Giles character became so menacing to me that I felt genuinely frightened and couldn't get to sleep after the final revelations This is just one example of how much this book gets inside your head I still can't stop thinking about it It's also tremendously inspiring and apart from The Secret History I don't think I've ever come across anything that's made me want to get out a notebook and furiously WRITE uite as much as this did It's beautifully sumptuously written and vastly intelligent I've been trying for days to write a review of this book that actually does it justice and I've found it impossible The above definitely doesn't cover it adeuately but I don't think I'm going to come up with anything better so there you have it In a nutshell it is wonderful; I will read it again; you should read it too


  3. Dem Dem says:

    Beautifully written and a realistic insight into the difficulties of parenthood and relationshipsA story with interesting and intelligent character development I enjoyed watching the characters grow and how the author developed and shaped the characters over a number of years This really is a study of relationships and how they develop between husbands and wives family and friends over the course of a number of years and how love and loss can change the course of friendshipsI enjoyed the read as it is very well written the plot is dark in places and there twist and turns in the second half of the novel to keep the reader interested I didn't however connect with the emotion of the book or feel any real satisfaction with the conclusion of the story A 3 read for me I liked it but didn't love it


  4. Marc Marc says:

    It doesn’t often happen but this book really hit an emotional chord with me; days after I put it down it kept on haunting me The story itself is about a mix of family situations relationship problems moments of hapiness and despair but also death and psychosis and at a certain point it even evolves into an outright horror story That sounds a bit trite but Hustvedts characters are people of flesh and blood with big and small yearnings very own psychological mindsets uncertainties and wrong assumptions and with very divers reactions on tragic events They go through endearing tender moments but also through absolutely horrible experiences The emotional load sometimes is so raw and realistic that the reading gets on the verge of the bearable at one point it reminded me of Elena Ferrante’s early novelsHustvedt has set her story in the art scene of Soho New York in the 80s and 90s a very special world that she apparently knows well and with which she settles some scores Occasionally this results in rather heavy indigestible elaborations on modern art but in a sense that is functional just as interpretations of art always are rather individual and provisionally estimating the behavior of other people is at least as tricky Because that's pretty much the key to this work it describes how impotent we are how little grip we have on our lives and even how bad we can know the people who stand closest to usHustvedt’s first great novel certainly is not perfect at times the style can become uite pretentious the stodgy fragments on art some story lines are too abruptly broken off and the horror story dominates the third part of the novel just a little too much especially because it breaks off suddenly passing in a rather faint epilogue Nevertheless Hustvedt has made a great impression on me This is an intelligent and complex novel about life in its endearing and its hideous nakedness


  5. Carol Carol says:

    Superbly writtena very enjoyable novel that left me feeling introspective The characters were so beautifully portrayedso authentic that I hated to say goodbye The narrator is Leo an art historian who forms a long lasting friendship with the painter Bill Wechsler These two men and their families remain friends for over 25 years It’s a story filled with passionate love affairs as well as tragic loss grief and heartbreak I was so moved by this sometimes sad sometimes sentimental yet never maudlin book Leo’s story touched me deeply because his account and his destiny as he aged rang so true to life for me I never wanted this novel to end Highly recommended


  6. Suzy Suzy says:

    Update June 2019 This month's BBC World Book Club one of my favorite bookish podcasts featured Siri Hustvedt talking about reading from and answering uestions about What I Loved This makes me want to reread this with fresh eyes after hearing her talk What I Loved? This bookIntense and engrossing What I Loved could also be titled What We'll Do for Love or What Love Will Do To Us for it explores the psychology of friendships intimate and family relationships and the actions people take for the sake of love But I get ahead of myself This is the story of two friends their spouses and the son each couple has told over the last three decades of the 20th century in a reminiscence by one of the friends Columbia professor and art historian Leo Hertzberg Looking back toward the end of his career and as his eyesight fails he tells of how he met the artist Bill Weschler buying one of his paintings and how their friendship grew from there eventually finding them living with their wives and children in the same building on Greene Street in NYC At the human level we are offered a glimpse into the day to day lives of these people their triumphs and their struggles and the dynamics of their relationships Told in three parts I wondered in the first where this was going even though I was completely engaged It reminded me a little of Happy All the Time in its portrayal of the two couples But at the end of part one it deepens in the complexity of the life experience of all characters and becomes darker than Colwin's happy book But in common with Colwin's book this is a story of place and time that could only have happened in New York City in the last part of the 1900'sThe painting Leo bought hangs in his apartment and is a touchstone for his telling of the story He also keeps objects artifacts and photos in his desk drawer something I would describe as an alter This drawer is another touchstone that helps advance the story giving him an opportunity to tell the history of their Jewish families as well as the story of their lives And what a story of life this is in all it's complexity On the macro level we learn of the experimental art scene in New York at this time; the world of art artists dealers and deals in the budding SoHo and Bowery artist enclave; the world of academia research and book writing; of love hate morality and amorality life and death A part of the book I especially loved was about Bill's art what stimulated his ideas how he created the finished art how it was perceived by critics and the public I can picture everything he created brought to life by Hustvedt's particularly lucid writingI have become a fan of books that are told in the form of reminiscences This book has in common with Elena Ferrante's Neopolitan Novels in that the world falls away while I am reading and I am placed in the scenes I'm reading about More like experiencing the author's story rather than just reading it This passage about time and life particularly struck me I could hear the ticking of the clock that hung to the right of the door a big faced old school clock with clear black numbers and I found myself struggling to understand how time can be measured on a disc a circle with hands that return to the same positions over and over again That logical revolution looked like a mistake Time isn't circular I thought That's wrong But the memory didn't let go of meThrough Hustvedt's brilliant writing we experience both the big and the small moments of these people's lives and histories through those memories that don't let goAddendum After reading several reviews with the comments I cried and I hated for this book to end I say Amen


  7. K.D. Absolutely K.D. Absolutely says:

    What I loved Take note of the past tense It evokes painful memories of the past Things that we used to cherish and treasure that are no longer there It evokes the feeling of losing something or someone either physically like a dead father or emotionally like an ex lover Come to think of it there seems to me a big blur between physical and emotional losses A dead father may not be physically present but emotionally he still resides in our hearts An ex lover may still be there physically but is regretfully absent even in the small recesses of our heartsThis feeling of losing is what permeates in every page of this book particularly the last two of the three books Book 1 introduces us to the two families Family #1 is headed by Leo the narrator who is a college professor his writer wife Erica and his son Matthew They live on the ground floor of the house they own Family #1 has Family #2 renting their house’s upper floor This family is headed by a painter Bill and his second wife also a writer Violet and their son Mark The two families become friends because Leo saw and liked one of Bill’s paintings The story is about how the lives of these 6 characters intersected and got intertwined with each other over a span of a little less than 20 yearsSeems like a simple thin plot right? Answer is yes it is simple and has been used in other books and movies However Hustvedt knows how to make her craft interesting than those I must admit that I found Book 1 uite ordinary maybe because I am not really interested on painting as an art although I have this big painting given by my brother by a famous Filipino painter in the bedroom that I share with my wife However when death opens Book 2 there is just no turning back Hustvedt made sure that surprises after surprises revelations after revelations pepper the rest of that book and when another death closed it I could not help but admire her for knowing her craft that is comparable or even better than her husband’s – Paul Auster Well I only read his New York’s Trilogy and Invisible and IMO in the overall scheme of things his wife’s What I Loved is a lot better than either of thoseTwo obvious strengths this novel by Hustvedt are first its ability to engage its reader by those series of revelations It is like riding a rollercoaster inside a darkroom You don’t know where she is taking you For example I thought that either one of the three pairs two husbands two wives two sons would have a homosexual relationship Hustvedt made some hints or maybe it was just me who thought that those were hints towards this direction but she did not I also thought that there would be a big revelation that would cap this psychological thriller just like any other thrillers ala Agatha Christie but Hustvedt opted in ending her emotionally turbulent novel swiftly and uietly that reminded me of Philip Roth’s The Human Stain The other thing that I liked about this book is Hustvedt’s ability to imprint strong images in her reader’s mind It will take me sometime to shake off many scenes like Matthew’s death particularly when Leo thought ”he is Matthew and he is not Matthew” or that scene when Violet was cradling the dead Bill not calling a police yet since she wanted to lay side by side with him Or Violet wearing Bill’s work clothes or Mark wearing woman’s clothes I was also able to picture in my mind a couple of paintings that were fully described in the story as if I saw those pictures with my own set of eyesWhen I finished reading the book this morning I checked Hustvedt’s Acknowledgements Paul Auster’s name was not there I went back to the first few pages and there on the very first page says To Paul Auster This tells me that Paul Auster did not help in any way in the writing of this book but she dedicated this to him Like a love offering Hustvedt seems to be saying ”this one’s for you Paul” Not sure what her tone is but I am guess that she is proud that she can write as good if not even better than her famous husband


  8. Trevor Trevor says:

    A long time ago when I was studying writing with Gerald Murnane he told us of an author I can’t remember his name who would stop reading books the moment he came to a sentence that was pretentious More than that he would literally break the spine at that page so that the book would always open where he was forced to stop readingI finished this book – but if I had been that author whose name I can’t recall the point where this book would always fall open would be the first page of part two where the first sentence reads ‘Eight days later Matt died’Later in the book the narrator says ‘After that I spent every morning with Bill’s catalogues and slides and began to understand that it was a book I was writing one organised not by chronology but by ideas’ And when I read that sentence I thought that perhaps the author was a better writer than I had given her credit But I’ve now finished the book and am left with a sense of dissatisfaction bordering on annoyanceIn large part this is a novel that is really a vehicle for some ideas the author has around what I would otherwise call psycho babble The book ends with a series of acknowledgements of people and books to those who have provided the author with evidence for the various forms of psychosis exemplified by some of the characters or even just discussed by them This is a book were the accretion of improbabilities also annoyed me something else that probably should have stopped me reading Really I’m less annoyed with the book and the author and annoyed with myself for finished it because I had no excuse for reading onI need to explain why the son dying or rather the announcement of the son being dead upset me so much and why that ought to have made me close the book And I need to stress that it did annoy me It became a stone in my shoe as I limped on with this I couldn’t just ignore it it was not something I could put out of mindYou see this book is told as first person narration we are inside the head of the person telling us this story And they repeatedly tell us they they inhabit some future time a time that is significantly after the events being reported There can be no ‘surprises’ for such a narrator as they look back over their own life And since they are looking back over their life there is simply no reason to tell their life in chronological order as if they have no idea about what is coming next The death of a child doesn’t merely change the events that come after that event – it changes everything It becomes a prism through which all of before and all of after is distorted It is inconceivable to me that a parent could tell me their life story chronologically like ‘and then Matt was born and it was so nice and then he grew and that was nice too and then we would sit and chat about baseball and that was nice as well and keep this up for 100 pages or so until you suddenly and out of the blue say – and then he died’ To tell the story in this way is to create a melodrama and to betray a fundamental exchange between writer and reader I simply couldn’t trust the narrator after that sentence Prior to this I had assumed the narrator was being presented to us by the author as gormless which I found a bit annoying but I could forgive that But I felt cheated by the author when the child died and when this was presented so as to shock the reader as a denouement of the part one of the novel And this impacted my reading of all what followed and in my thinking back over what I'd read too – all of the characters suddenly felt two dimensional something oddly enough that was especially true of the female characters who all seemed to disappear conveniently as soon as their usefulness to the plot ended I hadn’t thought about the sex of the author – I guess owning an iPhone I probably ought to have known Siri is a girl’s name straight off but I really hadn’t thought about it or particularly noticed the name The book is narrated by a man and so I’d taken the book to have been written by a man too But the bit that made me think it was written by a woman and made me go off and check was when the narrator says that he had started to notice his sexual attraction to women because his wife had stopped having sex with him No man I’ve ever known would say that No matter how much sex a man is getting in a relationship no matter how good that sex is it is beyond belief that a man might see as happens in this book I think it was a woman’s naked thigh or something and then feel surprised at the thought of sex presenting itself to them and feel it something they needed to explain to themselves The thought process ‘oh that’s odd I’m looking at an attractive woman and I’m thinking of sex I wonder what made that pop into my head? I guess it must be’ seems ludicrous to me almost laughableI ought to have liked this book – I’m fascinated by art and artists and by the visual – and I really love fairy tales But I need to be able to trust the narrator and I need to feel the story ‘has’ to be told for itself rather than be an excuse to talk about a collection of cases in psychology the author finds rather interesting You know if you want to talk about psychology that’s fine but you should write a book about that rather than a novel


  9. Tooter Tooter says:

    Wow


  10. Deea Deea says:

    Among other things Siri Hustvedt uestions in this book the concept of contemporary art Evidently a connoisseur and an admirer I think she wants to highlight through her imaginary world that there is a difference between real art and what people take for art nowadays Teddy Giles “a wanna be artist” whose portrait is insisted upon in the second half of the book bases all his projects on people’s reactions to violence and to matters that are only meant to shock rather than have an artistic value So the uestion would be is it ethical that violence could be used for artistic effects and why don’t people draw a line between art and violence?Bill however whom we see through Leo's eyes our narrator in this book is a real artist In his art “nothing is clear Feelings ideas shape what’s in front of us” he says In his work he wants to create doubt “because that’s what we’re sure of” And he does so exuisitely His first collection of paintings is the element which creates a most powerful liaison between him and Leo the first buyer of his art the first person who really acknowledges his talent before everyone else does Leo is a professional critic of art and the person who is able to render most hidden meanings to Bill’s works of art In this first collection of paintings Bill uses Violet his soon to be second wife as a model The painting which Leo buys is a very elouent metaphor like the rest of Bill’s art It’s called Self Portrait although the painter is a male and the model is a woman What’s really interesting about it is the fact that the viewer can discover himself in the big shadow depicted in first plan in this painting fact which suggests that not only the painter can contribute to a work of art but also the admirer which is actually true it's our perspective that matters the way we see things rather than how they really are All Bill’s paintings are full of hidden meanings they are all trying to tell stories I remember that at one point he deliberately paints a bruise on the character from one of his paintings and afterwards when Leo asks him about it he explains that seeing a bruise there tells a story the story of how the bruise got there in the first place was it through violence or maybe because of a random „encounter” with the furniture in one’s room? The viewer cannot know the reason but he can ask himself how it got there and doubt is therefore created againGoing through the book we immerse ourselves completely in the stories and the everyday life of the characters Leo and Erica and their son Matt; Bill and Lucille and then Bill and Violet and Mark The author analyses their lives the lives of their parents and siblings indicating the effect of the past and of the present on Bill’s works of art on Leo’s life and on the development of their friendship Hustvedt plays with the idea that „we’re always mixing with other people” Mixing is a key term which explains „what people rarely talk about because we define ourselves as isolated closed bodies who bump up against each other but stay shut Descartes was wrong It isn't I think therefore I am It’s I am because you are That’s Hegel – well the short version” „What matters is that we’re always mixing with other people” says Violet who feels that Lucille Mark’s mum is there and every time she spends time with him she interferes tacitly in everything she does with him and she’s never not for one moment leaving themThe atmosphere surrounding Bill seems to adopt his state of mind and all Bill’s happiness and sadness his experiences transpire through his work „The studio had an oppressive nearly smothering atmosphere as if Bill’s sadness has leaked into the chairs the books the toys and the empty wine bottles that piled up under the sink In the paintings of his father Bill’s sorrow took on a palpable beauty that was executed with rigorous unflinching hand but in life his pain was merely depressing” Bill’s secret dream is to have many many children to populate Earth with his children Violet cannot give him children but the Universe seems to be mocking him his only child Mark has so many personalities that having him as a son is like having lots of children each of his personalities accounting as oneThis review is definitely not going to make much sense to a person who hasn't read the book I wanted to write a review for this book for so long and since I haven’t managed to do so immediately after finishing the book because of the lack of time I cannot seem to be able to put my ideas in order and write in a systematic fashion I would say however that what I tried to do was putting the most intriguing aspects of the book like random colors on a canvas and commenting on them like critics of art do with their paintings like Leo does in this book with his comments on „what he loved” And to uote Hustvedt further „despite these momentary insights into a life the canvases and their materials had an abstract uality to them an ultimate blankness that conveyed the strangeness of mortality itself a sense that even if every scrap of a life were saved thrown into a giant mound and then carefully sifted to extract all possible meaning it would not add up to a life” in this case no matter how complete my review would be it wouldn't make justice to such a finely crafted book as this one „it would not add up to this book”


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