Living, Thinking, Looking

I am so tired today. I am existing on a winning combination of sugar, caffeine and will power. It’s a bit tense. It’s a bit jittery, and I cannot remember the words to anything at all, or for anything at all. Every conversation starts with me making vague noises and doing the flappy hand thing to find the words for everything from toothbrush to garlic.

Apart from that, all is well. I am steeling myself to take Tallulah to another rehearsal this evening, and as all my brain power is focussed on this and this alone, I have very little to offer in the way of blogging other than a book recommendation.

If you are interested in art, or psychology, or neurology or other ‘ologies’, or you just appreciate really skilled writing I can heartily recommend ‘Living, Thinking, Looking’ by Siri Hustvedt.  Hustvedt is a writer I already admire, having written one of my favourite reads of last year: The Blazing World, and the also excellent, The Summer Without Men.

The book is broken up into the three sections of the title, and within that she roams across different thoughts, ideas and themes in essays that look at all kinds of things from the way we remember things to the way we look at things, how migraine’s work neurologically and visually, to our understanding of Goya.

I did not understand everything I read. I was too lazy to look everything up, and skimmed across bits I wasn’t sure about, but I have spent a whole week dipping in and out of this book, reading every essay in greater or lesser depth. I have been amused, enchanted, engrossed and educated at every turn. I find Hustvedt’s style, for the most part, clear and engaging, and I am fascinated by the way she looks at and writes about the world.

The book has introduced me to new artists who I had never heard of and a couple of whom I really, really like (Annette Messager and Kiki Smith). It has made me look again at the work of people like Louise Bourgeoise the artist and Freud. It has made me think about how I see things and how I look at things and what the difference is.

It has been a delight. It has been such a delight that even though I borrowed this book from the library I am going to get my own copy, because it’s one of those books I know I will think about and refer to for a long time to come.

I’ve used up all my coherent words now.

I’m off.

One response to “Living, Thinking, Looking

  1. watchingthewheels

    Thank you for making the effort – I am off to the library to get Living, Thinking, Looking which I see is available – cheers and I hope you are filled with energy again soon.

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