BookBrowse Reviews The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt

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The Blazing World

by Siri Hustvedt

The Blazing World
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2014, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2014, 384 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Morgan Macgregor

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Reviews

Challenging readers' perceptions about truth and reality, The Blazing World is a brilliant sendup of the art world.

Siri Hustvedt's The Blazing World seeks to explore the mystery surrounding the last years of one fictional spurned artist, Harriet Burden. Widow of the infamous art dealer Felix Lord, Burden decides to play a prank on the art world. From 1999-2003, she embarks on a project called Maskings, enlisting three male artists to pose as "pseudonyms" for her, exhibiting her art as their own. The project is meant to both "expose the antifemale bias of the art world" and "uncover the complex workings of human perception and how unconscious ideas about gender, race and celebrity influence a viewer's understanding of a given work of art." And once the gag is pulled off, once the critics and collectors are slavering all over the work and treating the pseudonyms as the newest art world gods, Harriet Burden will "unmask" herself, proving once and for all how ridiculous the whole notion of fame is. ...

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