A New and Different Way to See Ourselves
Author and Washington Post critic Sarah L. Kaufman reviews A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind for Free Press Online. "When we say we’re drawn in or absorbed by a work of art, what exactly do we mean? How does human perception work? It can be argued that art literally grabs us, tugs at us, takes us for a ride. When we stand before a Cezanne, the rhythms of its colors, lines and movement subtly massage our nervous system. We not only look at a painting or a sculpture, but we spontaneously feel it, too, sensing in our own bodies the artist’s touch on his work - his hands, brushstrokes and moldings.
"This “embodied” character of our experience is little understood, but it is key to what makes art so powerful, as it kicks off visceral interactions. How fitting then that Siri Hustvedt, an authoritative and independent-minded writer on the arts and sciences, brings the felt experience into her smart, stimulating and hefty new collection of essays."
"It could have been titled A Woman Looking at Societal Twaddle and Calling Its Bluff."