Prufrock's Page

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Mrs Paul Auster's Turn

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jennie Yabroff heaps praise on a new book of essays dealing with literature and identity by novelist and art critic Siri Hustvedt:

"In every art," Hustvedt writes, "including the art of fiction, there's always somebody watching." It is this voyeur figure...who makes the action real for the actors....She expands this theory to the human condition in general in the final piece in the collection, "Extracts From a Story of the Wounded Self," when she writes, quoting a character from her novel What I Loved, "Descartes was wrong. ... It's not 'I think therefore I am.' It's 'I am because you are.' " Here at last she resolves the problem of the personal versus impersonal, the self versus the world: In writing, in art and in life, they are inextricably intertwined. It's too bad more writers don't share this idea.


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