Monday, 2 September 2013

The Summer without men by Siri Hustvedt

Having read the synopsis of this book by Siri Hustvedt I was wrongly misdirected. This book is a lot more than the narrator having felt forced to re-examine her own life when her husband asked her for a "pause" after thirty years of marriage. It is more than a revelatory book about women, teenagers, love and marriage, old age problematic issues, the sameness and difference between sexes, being able to let yourself be drawn into the lives of those around you.

I might have copied down many of the paragraphs and yet have chosen just one, maybe because I have been going through a process of "conciousness" lately.

"It is impossible to divine a story while you are living it; it is shapeless; an inchoate procession of words and things, ad let us be frank: we never recover what was. Most of it vanishes. And yet, as I sit here at my desk and try to bring back that summer not long ago, I know turns were made that affected what followed. Some of them stand out like bumps on a relief map, but then I was unable to perceive them because my view of things was lost in the undifferentiated flatness of living one moment after another. Time is not outside us, but inside. Only we live with past, present and future, and the present is too brief to experience anyway; it is retained afterwards and then it is either codified or it slips into amnesia. Conciousness is the product of delay."

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