By Siri Hustvedt
What I enjoyed begins in ny in 1975, while paintings historian Leo Hertzberg discovers a rare portray by way of an unknown artist in a SoHo gallery. He buys the paintings; tracks down the artist, invoice Wechsler; and the 2 males embark on a life-long friendship. Leo's tale, which spans twenty-five years, follows the becoming involvement among his kin and Bill's--an problematic constellation of attachments that comes with the 2 males, their better halves, Erica and Violet, and their sons, Matthew and Mark.
The households dwell within the related manhattan house construction, hire a home jointly within the summers and sustain a full of life trade of rules approximately lifestyles and paintings, however the bonds among them are validated, first by means of unexpected tragedy, after which via a significant duplicity that slowly involves the outside. A superbly written novel that mixes the intimacy of a relations saga with the suspense of a mystery, What I enjoyed is a deeply relocating tale approximately artwork, love, loss, and betrayal.
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Additional info for What I Loved: A Novel
62 The same ideals and hopes, perhaps, accompanied the Jewish traveler to Italy and animated, as has often been noted, scores of Jewish scholars of the Renaissance, from Aby Warburg, to Erwin Panofsky, to Erich Auerbach, to Bernard Berenson, to mention only a few;63 and they would, finally, impel the Jewish searcher for Michelangelo. Desire If there ever was a phenomenon that could be called, in good conscience and not without some subtle irony, “German-Jewish,” then it may well have been the shared passion for Italian culture, whose archetypal literary font remain, of course, Goethe’s Italian Journeys of 1786 and 1788.
And it may have been the same eroticism and the same desire for the unconstrained that found a parallel in the Jewish love for Michelangelo. 96 In modern literature, Raphael and Michelangelo have constituted, of course a pair of irreconcilable antipodes. ” For Thode, the “primal power of love” (Urkraft der Liebe) was the origin of Michelangelo’s raw genius, of his “childlike naiveté,” which kept him both a lover into his old age and a follower of the unenlightened, yet powerful Catholic myth;101 but it was the origin also of his suffering and solitude, and of his deeply human feeling.
Paganism sees its god, Judaism hears Him,” was the often repeated formula of the Jewish historian Heinrich Graetz, who, in 1846, likened classical Judaism to a precursor of Protestant iconoclasm. Only a committed iconoclast as Graetz could note in his travel diary of 1854 that “after a while, Venice became boring to me. ”52 The Jewish modern encounter with art, then, which accompanied Jewish emancipation since the Enlightenment, embraced the image and, at the same time, repelled it, a dialectic that mirrored not only the modern dialectic of social and cultural assimilation and simultaneous intellectual or spiritual dissimilation but also the dialectic of modernist aesthetics itself.