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A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women
A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind | Siri Hustvedt
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 feminist. Her lively, lucid essays in A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women begin to make some sense of those plural perspectives. Divided into three parts, the first section, A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women, investigates the perceptual and gender biases that affect how we judge art, literature, and the world in general. Among the legendary figures considered are Picasso, De Kooning, Jeff Koons, Louise Bourgeoisie, Anselm Kiefer, Susan Sontag, Robert Mapplethorpe, the Guerrilla Girls, and Karl Ove Knausgaard. The second part, The Delusions of Certainty, is about the age-old mind/body problem that has haunted Western philosophy since the Greeks. Hustvedt explains the relationship between the mental and the physical realms, showing what lies beyond the argumentdesire, belief, and the imagination. The final section, What Are We? Lectures on the Human Condition, discusses neurological disorders and the mysteries of hysteria. 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. A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women is an insightful account of the journeys back and forth.
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ValerieAndBooks
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Coincidence! In this essay collection (tagged) by Hustvedt, the essay “No Competition” includes an examination of Karl Ove Knausgaard and gender roles— and I happen to be also reading his Book 4!

She says “Knausgaard does a lot of crying in *My Struggle*. His tears are not only ‘unmanly‘, they subvert the strong stoicism that permeates Norwegian culture. I know. I grew up with it.” And “A ban on tears can be hard on a sensitive child...”

Leftcoastzen Wow , I need to read her book! 11mo
batsy How are you finding the essays? I enjoyed it; so much to think about. 11mo
ValerieAndBooks @Leftcoastzen her essays are great so far. I l want to read more of her novels also— loved 11mo
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ValerieAndBooks @batsy yes, definitely thought-provoking! Didn‘t realize she was also an psychiatric expert. Fascinating. 11mo
Suet624 That‘s so interesting about Karl Ove. I‘m still on Book 1. 😁 10mo
ValerieAndBooks @Suet624 and I‘m still on Book 4 .... it‘s not quite as compelling (but still good). 10mo
DivineDiana There are no coincidences! 😉📚🤗 10mo
71 likes2 stack adds7 comments
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HannaPolkadots
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Reading at the hairdresser.

Kaye Whatcha getting done ? A haircut or new color ? If I were 40 years younger, I‘d dye my hair pink. I think those colored hairdos are so pretty. 2y
HannaPolkadots I say go for it @Kaye !??? I've had rainbow colors for the past three years, and though I love it, it takes a lot of upkeep. Do now I cut off half of it and went "natural" 2y
Kaye I‘ve just let my hair get naturally grey and cannot believe how many ladies ask me how I can be so brave ? What‘s brave about having grey hair ? I hate it that ladies think they have to keep their hair colored to look younger. I actually think grey hair is pretty. How‘s come men look distinguished when they get grey hair but ladies think it makes them look too old ? It‘s like painting an old barn. The barn is still old, it just has paint on it. 2y
HannaPolkadots @Kaye - I agree wholeheartedly. I get the "brave thing" a lot - how it's brave to have rainbow hair (it's not, fighting for women's rights in Saudi-Arabia is brave) or how brave I am for going on holiday alone (I'm single, if I don't go alone I don't go), how brave it is to wear yellow skirts and so on. I fear we limit ourselves by misusing language like that. 2y
Kaye You said it perfectly. We limit ourselves. I believe we can and should do anything we want to do, whether anyone else likes it or not. I‘m glad you choose to go see the world if it‘s something you want to do. Being single should actually make it easier. You don‘t have to work around anyone else‘s schedule and don‘t have to be bogged down bringing other people. You can go and do and see and eat whenever you feel like it. That‘s FREEDOM. 👍🏼 2y
33 likes5 comments
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HannaPolkadots
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Today's reading spot. I am enjoying this essay collection immensely, but the middle part, which is a lengthy piece on neurology, is a bit outside my area of interest.

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HannaPolkadots
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Thanks for the tag - @Kaye !😀
1. 32
2. Three brothers
3. Nope
4. The tagged book
5. So many! But it's been a while since last I said Darkness At Noon
6. 😅
7. Ouagadougou (capital of Burkina Faso- I could say it all day ☺)
8. That I've never been to an English-speaking country
9. None
10. Coffee
11. A Supposedly Fun thing I'll never do Again
12. I tag all of you who haven't done this already
#hallowhoareyou @Gyldholm

398.2 (8) That‘s interesting 2y
HannaPolkadots @398.2 - especially considering that I have a masters degree in English 😉😳🙈 2y
31 likes2 comments
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HannaPolkadots
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Took a long weekend in Gothenburg - and what did I find? Cinnamon buns bigger than my face. Quality time indeed.

39 likes1 comment
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batsy
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#LongestBookYouRead #AllTheBooksof2017

I thought the longest one I read this year was The Blind Assassin but this collection of essays on science, art, and philosophy by Siri Hustvedt was slightly longer. She has a deeply inquisitive and curious mind and I appreciate that in an essay-writer.

Leftcoastzen Still on my TBR. Sounds great. 2y
70 likes6 stack adds1 comment
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Kalalalatja
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Siri Hustvedt and Paul Auster are sitting in the white tent on the right and talking about novels, literature, life and all the stuff. While listening to them, I'm looking out over the ocean and feeling very zen ??

Siri Hustvedt: "Novels are the places we can have experiences we wouldn't have had otherwise" - Preach!

#louisianalit #bookwormontour

Lindy 💕 2y
TrishB Sounds fab 💓 2y
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Soubhiville Sounds great! 2y
Lmstraubie Lovely 😍 2y
Billypar They could publish a transcript of their dinner conversations for a month and I'd buy it 😆 2y
Kalalalatja @Billypar I would read the crap out of that! 😄 2y
Kalalalatja @TrishB @erzascarletbookgasm @Soubhiville @Lmstraubie it was great! Very interesting couple 👌 2y
94 likes8 comments
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batsy
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Pickpick

The first and third sections of this book are essays on art, philosophy, neuroscience, and psychoanalysis. Hustvedt brings a wealth of knowledge to her pieces & she's a generous thinker. Her central argument is that the mind cannot be studied as an entity abstracted from the body, and crucially, that it exists in relation to other people. The second section is a long 200+pp essay on the mind/body problem. It's dry & repetitive & it drove me nuts.

Leftcoastzen Love that you used phrase "generous thinker "spot on! 3y
batsy @Leftcoastzen Thx! It's an increasingly rare quality, sadly. But it's something about her that is consistent throughout the book. 3y
28 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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batsy
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Easing into the #deweys24hourreadathon with Hustvedt, who I'm already reading. She is critiquing the arguments of people like Dawkins and Pinker, both of whom I loathe, so it's hard not to love her 😍, even if the whole second section of this book is going over my head.

Also, I think my ability to do this readathon will depend a lot on how disciplined I am about staying away from social media. 😬

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batsy
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Can't-read-without-pen-and-notebook kind of book. Also with the laptop nearby so I can look up literally everything Hustvedt mentions. Her breadth of knowledge is astounding. I love books that make me want to *look it up*. #currentread

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Christine
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Oh library, you spoil me. 📚😍

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Erin01
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BooksForYears
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Happy birthday to one of my favorite writers, modern thinkers, and feminists - Siri Hustvedt. Kali was especially interested in looking at her latest essay collection!

#authorbirthday #littenkitten

Tanzy13 🐱 3y
silentrequiem I love this photo! Great perspective! 3y
auntie_jenn kitty ear! 3y
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TNbooklover66
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Viv! Look what I got 😍

vivjm Yay! I am nearly through. I loved the first part but struggled a bit more with the second (in a good but brain-hurting way!), and really enjoying the essays in part 3. Definitely not a quick read ;-) 3y
20 likes1 comment
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Seonjoon
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Went to my local indie bookstore and am instantly filled with booklust!

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BookishMarginalia
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This lovely brick of a book requires attention, a pencil, sticky notes, a notebook. I feel deep thoughts gathering! After all, this is Hustvedt's stated mission: that the reader "will discover that much of what is delivered to you in the form of books, media, and the Internet as decided truths, scientific or otherwise, are in fact open to question and revision." #challengeaccepted

angrylilasian I can't wait to read this one. 3y
minkyb I heard her interviewed on a LitUp podcast and I found her fascinating! 3y
whatthelog I'm reading an essay a day atm - she is so amazingly clever, it boggles my mind 3y
MrBook I like that premise! 😎👌🏻 Question everything. 3y
164 likes27 stack adds4 comments
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BookishMarginalia
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Happiness. 💜

Chachic #bookandcoffee ☕☕👌👌 3y
Reviewsbylola 😍☕️😍☕️ 3y
EllieDottie I love the leaf in the cappuccino ☕️ 3y
Bette Pretty! ☕️ 3y
MrBook Nice pic! If I attempted that, the book would be ruined 😂👏🏻. 3y
155 likes5 comments
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vivjm
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Emotions cannot be fictive. If I am afraid or joyous when I dream or when I read a book or when I am inventing people and their stories in my novels, the love and fear I feel is real even though the characters are not. This is the truth of fiction.

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vivjm
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The best works of art are never innocuous: they alter the viewer's perceptual predictions. It is only when the patterns of our vision are disrupted that we truly pay attention and must ask ourselves what we are looking at.

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MrBook
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#TBRtemptation! Found this thick essay collection in the sociology section of my bookstore. Just came out this month! She attempts to bridge the humanities with the hard sciences, writing essays on a wide variety of topics: art & literature through biases; feminism; the mind/body dichotomy; desire; imagination; neurological disorders; suicide; hysteria Sounds like an interesting viewpoint on various important topics! #blameLitsy #blameMrBook 😎

Soubhiville Oh sounds good! 3y
kspenmoll Does sound good. I am overwhelmed today - so many TBR books for me already! 📚📚📚📚 3y
Sue Sounds fantastic! 3y
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JSW Dammit @MrBook 😝 3y
Christine Sociology ❤ She went to the same small college in MN that I did ❤ Her writing ❤ 3y
ValerieAndBooks I can always count on you to make my Litsy TBR stack grow! 📚📚📚 3y
LitsyGoesPostal 😊👍🏻 3y
125 likes25 stack adds8 comments
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vivjm
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Really looking forward to reading this essay collection

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BooksForYears
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This #SockSunday is brought to you by the awesome socks that @Betty gave me for the #wintersolsticebookexchange and this awesome collection of essays my grandma gifted me for Christmas!

Nebklvr Cool socks! 3y
Nebklvr Woke Grandma 3y
Sandra FABULOUS socks!! 3y
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ohyeahthatgirl I wish my grandma had such good taste in books! 3y
B.Reader Fab socks, fab book! 3y
SusanInTiburon I covet your socks. And your book. 3y
BooksForYears @ohyeahthatgirl @Nebklvr My grandma is pretty great 👍 3y
andreadmw 😻📚 3y
Louise Note to self: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's socks. 😍 3y
[DELETED] 206653737 Super cute socks! 😺 3y
kspenmoll Those socks! (edited) 3y
Gissy Pretty socks 😍 3y
221 likes15 stack adds12 comments
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whatthelog
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bookmail! quite an interesting haul if I say so myself!

#womenwriters #feminism

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KiskyLuella
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I could read Hustvedt's essays all day, unfortunately I can only sip on one or two at a time with my morning coffee because I keep joyfully turning to my laptop to look up an artist, novel or scientific principle I'm not familiar with. Pick up this book, expand your view of art and science.

Dolly Oh, that's the kind on reading I like!🙂 3y
9 likes1 stack add1 comment
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princess_dennie_pants
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woo hoo! 😁🎉

Eyelit 🎉🎉🎉 3y
16 likes2 comments
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Tav
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#bookmail from my friend ar Simon & Schuster. I won't be able to dig into this meaty read for a while, but I am glad to have it in my "to read" collection.

Lacythebookworm That sounds fantastic! 👏 3y
Tav @Lacythebookworm yes when I read the review in Publishers Weekly I was like, #mustread !! 3y
16 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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shawnmooney
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I didn't much care for her 2003 novel 'What I Loved.' Maybe I'd like her essays more?

susanw I liked The Blazing World, and I love reading about art. This looks fascinating. Adding it. 3y
JessReads Ooooh this looks good! Now I'm hoping an ARC of this shows up at the bookstore... 3y
27 likes4 stack adds2 comments