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A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women by Siri Hustvedt review – essays on perception
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Return to Book Page. A compelling and radical collection of essays on art, feminism, neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy from prize-winning novelist Siri Hustvedt, the acclaimed author of The Blazing World and What I Loved.
Siri Husvedt has always been fascinated by biology and how human perception works. She is a lover of art, the humanities, and the sciences. She is a novelist and a A compelling and radical collection of essays on art, feminism, neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy from prize-winning novelist Siri Hustvedt, the acclaimed author of The Blazing World and What I Loved.
She is a novelist and a feminist. Her lively, lucid essays in A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women begin to make some sense of those plural perspectives.
Hustvedt explains the relationship between the mental and the physical realms, showing what lies beyond the argument—desire, belief, and the imagination. Drawing on research in sociology, neurobiology, history, genetics, statistics, psychology, and psychiatry, this section also contains a profound and powerful consideration of suicide.
There has been much talk about building a beautiful bridge across the chasm that separates the sciences and the humanities. At the moment, we have only a wobbly walkway, but Hustvedt is encouraged by the travelers making their way across it in both directions. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3.
Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Oct 11, Elyse Walters rated it it was amazing Shelves: netgalley. It's simply a normal part of the awareness reading process. I spent almost a month reading this book Siri's vision of building a sturdy bridge supporting both the sciences and humanities is inspiring.
Many of the essays draws on insights from both the sciences and humanities knowing that the disciplines are not necessarily the same. The physicist's, the biologist's, historian's, the philosopher's, and artist's modes of knowing are different. Siri talked about being wary any one discipline claiming absolutism. Mixed in with all the essays --I enjoyed the intimacy of Siri Hustvedt herself.
I enjoyed reading about her studies as a young person and her growing development. I enjoyed when she shared about her mother and daughter at different times. Siri's writing pulled me in - like I said, the reading is challenging in parts , but most of it so damn interesting Or learning more about her parents. Siri's incredible humbleness is beautiful and a gift to others - a gift to me anyway. For about an entire week - I kept thinking about the influence on human life from the results of scientific theories: computers, cell phones, electric lights etc.
The arts or sciences - and is it even possible to choose? Siri engages us in rigorous thinking. Contributors from artists, scientists, and scholars in humanities fill these pages: Picasso, I enjoyed thinking about my emotional response to his painting "The Weeping Woman" , DeKooning, Dutch American abstract expressionist artist , Jeff Koons, American artist known for his balloon animals , Louise Bourgeois, French American sculpture Susan Sontag, American Writer German art is pure art Siri asks From beginning to end we are thinking - questioning- and learning about so many great thinkers - artists-and scholars.
We look at nature vs. Siri taught writing at one point in her life to patients in a mental ward It was a volunteer job- she didn't get paid for it. When I read this section, I just kept trying to imagine what the hell she felt like at the end of the day? She did tell us -- the reason she didn't quit is is 'saw' she was making a difference. The challenges she face daily I can hardly imagine.
I've kinda fallen in love with Sire Husvedt through reading this book. A gift from the author. Some books just feel 'right' as a hardcopy! This is THAT type of book!!! I'll have to work on that wish later when the book is released this December. View all 10 comments. Jan 19, Hannah marked it as will-probably-not-finish Shelves: non-fiction , arc. I feel really bad about not finishing this book. And it definitely reflects more on me than on the book - because it is a me-thing this time.
I do not have the mental capacity to read this book at the moment. I already knew that I was in trouble when Siri Hustvedt told the reader in the introduction that parts of the book might not be understood unless you have very specific knowledge of neuroscience or art history; which I lack, both in fact.
I am good enough with art to be able to have a I feel really bad about not finishing this book. I am good enough with art to be able to have a conversation and to put my appreciation in lay person's words, but I do not have any structured knowledge and I lack the vocabulary both in English and in German to talk about perception in depth. And when it comes to neuroscience, I am completely at loss.
I had to study the basics of neuroscience in school - but what knowledge I acquired is long gone, replaced by other stuff and that I am even thinking about my brain in this way tells you something about how little I understand about it. So what I am saying is this: I did not understand most of the essays I tried to read.
And with all the books and theoretical pieces I have to read for my PhD and for work in general, there just is no room for a book like this.
When I read in my free time, I am fine with being challenged and I like learning new things unrelated to my field of study but this just was too much for me. And it's a shame! I am sure if I had read this book at another time I would have learned so much.
Siri Hustvedt seems like such a clever person and I like the way her mind works and the connections she makes. I am beyond impressed by her and by this collection of essays and I am very sure lots of people will enjoy this book. I might come back to this at some point when my brain is not this overflowing with Hall and Bourdieu and all the ways in which my PhD is messing with my attention span. Thanks for that and sorry for not finishing it.
Siri Hustvedt is one of my favourite novelists, and my primary interest in this book was that I felt it might improve my understanding of her imaginary worlds and their fearless explorations of intellectual ideas. The novels delve deeply into the subjects of this book, particularly neuroscience and art. The title is a little misleading - it is taken from the introductory essay but the bulk of this book is about neuroscience and the mind, with frequent asides about Hustvedt's own experiences and Siri Hustvedt is one of my favourite novelists, and my primary interest in this book was that I felt it might improve my understanding of her imaginary worlds and their fearless explorations of intellectual ideas.
The title is a little misleading - it is taken from the introductory essay but the bulk of this book is about neuroscience and the mind, with frequent asides about Hustvedt's own experiences and creativity. It is a somewhat mixed collection of essays in which topics and ideas often recur, and its centrepiece is a page review of the mind-body problem and its place in scientific and philosophical history.
I found the book alternately stimulating and baffling - much of the academic content went over my head but many of the anecdotes and personal revelations are fascinating. I did get a little frustrated with the repetition and lack of overall structure but that is probably inevitable in any essay collection. View all 3 comments. Feb 07, Teresa rated it really liked it. The title of this book is taken from the name of one of the essays and speeches Hustvedt had written for various professional organizations.
The word sex in the subtitle doesnt refer to the sexual act itself, but to the ways gender has been thought of, historically and culturally, inherent biases included. As with her Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting The title of this book is taken from the name of one of the essays and speeches Hustvedt had written for various professional organizations.
In fact, I come away from this book feeling Hustvedt believes there is no mind-body split, as any borders between the two that is, if two do exist and they are not one are interrelated, integrated, ambiguous and flowing.
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A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex and the Mind by Siri Hustvedt – review
Drawing on insights from the humanities and the sciences, Hustvedt divides the book into three parts. It is here that Hustvedt delves into an analysis of art and perception, asking how we judge works of art and creativity. Among the best essays are the ones in which Hustvedt skilfully weaves her personal stories about her mother, her daughter, her own childhood with the state of the world, academia and technology. The book then digresses slightly as it moves on to inspect the delusions of certainty. I also found her criticism of several thinkers, such as Harvard cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker , rather unbalanced and unfair. It is the third and the last section of the book, partly composed of the lectures Hustvedt has given in different countries, where her voice once again reaches a wonderful intensity. Here is a writer who has much to say about the world to the world. It can be a lonely feeling to be a perpetual outsider, to settle down on a threshold of in-betweendom, but it is the best position for inventiveness, perceptiveness and wisdom — all three of which can be found in abundance in this volume.
A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover.