Siri Hustvedt's 'The Blazing World'

Siri Hustvedt's 'The Blazing World'

The Blazing World

by Siri Hustvedt

Sceptre, $29.99 pb, 379 pp, 9781444779639

A quote from Oscar Wilde in Siri Hustvedt’s The Blazing World crystallises the novel’s central study of adopted guises: ‘Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.’ The book’s protagonist, underappreciated New York artist Harriet Burden, dons a trio of masks when she puts forward her art as the work of three different male artists. But many other masks emerge in Hustvedt’s telling, which takes the form of Burden’s personal notebooks as well as accounts from her assorted friends, family, and critics, all compiled by the fictitious editor I.V. Hess.

Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month.

We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Published in May 2014 no. 361
Doug Wallen

Doug Wallen

Doug Wallen is a freelance arts writer based in Beechworth, Victoria.

Social Profiles

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.