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How to Be Both (2014)

av Ali Smith

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner / Omnämnanden
1,5705111,331 (3.75)1 / 255
"SHORT-LISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE Passionate, compassionate, vitally inventive and scrupulously playful, Ali Smith's novels are like nothing else. How to be both is a novel all about art's versatility. Borrowing from painting's fresco technique to make an original literary double-take, it's a fast-moving genre-bending conversation between forms, times, truths and fictions. There's a renaissance artist of the 1460s. There's the child of a child of the 1960s. Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structural gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, fictional gets real--and all life's givens get given a second chance"-- "The brilliant Booker-nominated novel from one of our finest authors: How to Be Both is a daring, inventive tale that intertwines the stories of a defiant Renaissance painter and a modern teenage girl. How can one be both--near and far, past and present, male and female? In Ali Smith's new novel, two extraordinary characters inhabit the spaces between categories. In one half of the book, we follow the story of Francescho del Cossa, a Renaissance painter in fifteenth-century Italy who assumes a duel identity, living as both a man and a woman. In the novel's other half, George, a contemporary English teenage girl, is in mourning after the death of her brilliant, rebellious mother. As she struggles to fill the void in her life, George finds her thoughts circling again and again around a whimsical trip she and her mother once made to Italy, to see a certain Renaissance fresco... These two stories call out to each other in surprising and deeply resonant ways to form a veritable literary double-take, bending the conventions of genre, storytelling, and our own preconceptions"--… (mer)
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» Se även 255 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 50 (nästa | visa alla)
I think this was just not for me.

I read Camera first, which I enjoyed but Eyes was just too strange for me to ever feel comfortable with. If I'd started the book with Eyes, I'm sure I wouldn't have finished. Even now, I know I skimmed more than I should have of Eyes but I just couldn't get comfortable with the character or understand quite what was going on. I think if Eyes had remained in the old times and not peeking in on modern era things I might have liked it more? who knows.
( )
  hmonkeyreads | Jan 25, 2024 |
What it comes down to is that I liked it, but I wasn't blown away. I don't know Italian and I don't know much about renaissance art, so I missed lots of references, and that definitely hindered my enjoyment. I machine-translated the Italian here and there, with mixed results.

I really should have realized earlier that the artists and all the described art are real---it helps to look up the paintings! One of the things I'm taking away from this is that Ali Smith's idea of a handsome man does not intersect with my idea at all.

Could I have spent more time and got more out of it? Almost certainly. But I wasn't really feeling it, and the times when I put in the extra effort were interesting but not rewarding enough to keep at it.

I read it Eyes-Camera order, for the record. ( )
  caedocyon | Jan 2, 2024 |
Disappointing. Well crafted, no legs. I had high expectations, but the yarn Smith constructs seems to be singularly hers, and as such I found this an alienating experience. ( )
1 rösta nmnili | Dec 13, 2023 |
Did not work at all for me. ( )
  lschiff | Sep 24, 2023 |
Not knowing much about it, How to be Both was a bit of a surprise. The first part of the book is fairly standard contemporary fiction: a young girl, George, is dealing with the death of her mother and confused about her emerging sexuality. Her reminiscences about her mother include a whirlwind trip to Ferrara, Italy, to admire a breathtaking palace fresco painted by a mysterious artist about whom very little is known, other than a written request for a raise from the commissioner of the work.

The first half of this novel describes George’s growing interest in this artist and more about her relationship with her mother, until she arrives at a point where she is sitting in a gallery observing people visiting one of the artist’s works, and experiences a major shock.

Smith then suddenly shifts the ground under the reader’s feet. Suddenly the book is not about George, but about the artist, who both exists in real time observing George (thinking that this must be Purgatory) and recounts details of life in Renaissance Ferrara and the creation of the fresco. As the second half proceeds we see growing similarities between George and the mysterious artist.

The theme of how to be both is played with. Smith tosses up a few candidates for “both", such as sexuality, being alive or dead, past and present, made and unmade. The book is about all of these questions and the potential for ambiguity that is present in them. ( )
  gjky | Apr 9, 2023 |
Visa 1-5 av 50 (nästa | visa alla)
...there is no doubt that Smith is dazzling in her daring. The sheer inventive power of her new novel pulls you through, gasping, to the final page.
tillagd av charl08 | ändraThe Guardian, Elizabeth Day (Jul 9, 2014)
 

» Lägg till fler författare (10 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Ali Smithprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Banks, JohnBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Juul, PiaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Originaltitel
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Et ricordare suplicando a quella che io sonto francescho del cossa il quale a sollo fatto quili tri canpi verso lanticamara :
Francesco del Cossa
green spirit seeking life
where only drought and desolation sting;
spark that says that everything begins
where everything seems charcoal

— Eugenio Montale 'The eel'/ (trans. Jonathan Galassi)
J’ai rêvé Que sur un grand mur blanc je lisais mon testament

Sylvie Vartan
...although the living is subject to the ruin of the time, the process of decay is at the same time a process of crystallization, that in the depth of the sea, into which sinks and is dissolved what once was alive, some things “suffer a sea-change” and survive in new crystallized forms and shapes that remain immune to the elements, as though they waited only for the pearl diver who one day will come down to them and bring them up into the world of the living...

Hannah Arendt, 'Introduction to Walter Benjamin, Illuminations: Essays and Reflections'
Just like a character in a novel, he disappeared suddenly, without leaving the slightest trace behind.

Giorgio Bassani /Jamie McKendrick
Dedikation
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For Frances Arthur
and everyone who made her,

to keep in mind
Sheila Hamilton,
walking work of art,

and for Sarah Wood
artist.
Inledande ord
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Consider this moral conundrum for a moment, George's mother says to George who is sitting in the front passenger seat.
Citat
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Wikipedia på engelska (2)

"SHORT-LISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE Passionate, compassionate, vitally inventive and scrupulously playful, Ali Smith's novels are like nothing else. How to be both is a novel all about art's versatility. Borrowing from painting's fresco technique to make an original literary double-take, it's a fast-moving genre-bending conversation between forms, times, truths and fictions. There's a renaissance artist of the 1460s. There's the child of a child of the 1960s. Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structural gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, fictional gets real--and all life's givens get given a second chance"-- "The brilliant Booker-nominated novel from one of our finest authors: How to Be Both is a daring, inventive tale that intertwines the stories of a defiant Renaissance painter and a modern teenage girl. How can one be both--near and far, past and present, male and female? In Ali Smith's new novel, two extraordinary characters inhabit the spaces between categories. In one half of the book, we follow the story of Francescho del Cossa, a Renaissance painter in fifteenth-century Italy who assumes a duel identity, living as both a man and a woman. In the novel's other half, George, a contemporary English teenage girl, is in mourning after the death of her brilliant, rebellious mother. As she struggles to fill the void in her life, George finds her thoughts circling again and again around a whimsical trip she and her mother once made to Italy, to see a certain Renaissance fresco... These two stories call out to each other in surprising and deeply resonant ways to form a veritable literary double-take, bending the conventions of genre, storytelling, and our own preconceptions"--

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