Context: Did my first ever work on a car engine while reading this. I replaced the rocker gasket. Now I feel like a real man!
Now, I’ve read a couple of books by Paul Auster that are based in or around New York and are filled with themes of identity. Why is this relevant. Well, it seems that Hustvedt’s book is, unsurprisingly, exactly this. Why unsuprisingly? Well, the two of them are married.
Thankfully though, I found Siri’s prose a lot more accessible than some of Auster’s. He tends to wrap you up in a cocoon of confusion whereas you feel a lot more in the picture with Hustvedt.
The story is remarkably poignant. It’s a tale of every kind of unrequited love you could think of: father-son, husband-wife, married man-married woman, etc. And so you feel for all of the characters quite deeply.
I think Hustvedt was trying to get us to think about how we tend to presume that, because we live with someone for decades, or raise them as our child, that the view we have of them is actually how they are. And then, when we discover that this mismatch, we accuse the other person, not ourselves. It’s an important topic and one I can relate to.
Does she achieve this? Absolutely no doubt.
Yesterday, I found Violet’s letters to Bill.
In half an hour, Lazlo is coming to read to me.
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