Friday, July 25, 2014

The Goldfinch

I have just finished reading "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt.   An amazing book. Here is an extract from near the end...

.."Great paintings - people flock to see them, they draw crowds, they're reproduced endlessly on coffee mugs and mouse pads and anything-you-like.  And, I count myself in the following, you can have a lifetime of perfectly sincere museum-going where you traipse around enjoying everything and then go out and have some lunch.  But... if a painting really works down in your heart and changes the way you see, and think, and feel, you don't think 'I love this painting because it is universal.. I love this painting because it speaks to all mankind'.  That's not the reason anyone loves a piece of art. It's a secret whisper from an alleyway.  Psst, you. Hey kid. Yes, you.  .... You see one painting, I see another, the art book puts it at another remove still, the lady buying the greeting card at the museum gift shop sees something else entire, and that's not even to mention the people separated from us by time..  it'll never strike anybody the same way and the great majority of people it'll never strike in any deep way at all but a really great painting is fluid enough to work its way into the mind and heart through all kinds of different angles in ways that are unique and very particular. Yours, yours, I was painted for you..


3 comments:

Actcrabby said...

Thanks for the tip, Sheila. I've put my name on the waiting list at the local library. There are 11 names ahead of me, so it will probably be late fall before I get it. That will be nice surprise then, as I will likely have forgotten that I requested it. Reviewers seem to agree that it gets boring after 400 pages, but I find that's the case with most large books these days. If the filler is all about art, it won't be boring to me.

Sheila Vaughan said...

Hi Agnes, yes it is pretty long and the filler is more about how Theo (the hero) gets through his difficult life with the painting all the time being the mainstay of his existence. I didn't find it boring at all but its more about the drugs underworld rather than the art market underworld. Try it and see for yourself. I loved it.
ps. did you ever read Chaim Potok's "My name is Asher Lev" and the sequel "The work of Asher Lev" - hope I have those titles correct. They are wonderful and absolutely about art and the process of creating it whilst struggling to maintain ties with loved ones.

Actcrabby said...

Oh, yes, I've read both Asher Lev books and loved them. It's so rare to read a novel that shows any real understanding of visual art, let alone the process of creation. Chaim Potok does that better than anyone else I've read.