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Infrared ❰Read❯ ➭ Infrared Author Nancy Huston – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk First published in French in under the title Infrarouge First published in French inunder the title Infrarouge.

  • Hardcover
  • 264 pages
  • Infrared
  • Nancy Huston
  • English
  • 22 April 2018
  • 1770870296

About the Author: Nancy Huston

from Wikipedia Huston lived in Calgary until age fifteen, at which time her family moved to Wilton, New Hampshire, USA She studied at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, where she was given the opportunity to spend a year of her studies in Paris Arriving in Paris in , Huston obtained a Master s Degree from the cole des Hautes tudes en Sciences Sociales, writing a thesis on swear words under the supervision of Roland Barthes Actes Sud N e Calgary Canada , Nancy Huston, qui vit Paris, a publi de nombreux romans et essais chez Actes Sud et chez Lem ac, parmi lesquels Instruments des t n bres , prix Goncourt des lyc ens et prix du livre Inter , L empreinte de l ange , grand prix des lectrices de ElleJ et Lignes de faille , prix Femina.



10 thoughts on “Infrared

  1. Barbara McVeigh Barbara McVeigh says:

    When I initially finished Infrared I thought it was simply OK But then I spent some time thinking about the book Infrared is a novel that needs to sit with you and stir in your gut The story involves a 45 year old woman, Rena Greenblatt, as she takes her father and stepmother on a trip to Florence, Italy Rena, a photographer specializing in infrared photography of damaged subjects, takes along her camera not so much to take pictures, but to stave off her anxiety about the trip.Soon the reade When I initially finished Infrared I thought it was simply OK But then I spent some time thinking about the book Infrared is a novel that needs to sit with you and stir in your gut The story involves a 45 year old woman, Rena Greenblatt, as she takes her father and stepmother on a trip to Florence, Italy Rena, a photographer specializing in infrared photography of damaged subjects, takes along her camera not so much to take pictures, but to stave off her anxiety about the trip.Soon the reader realizes that Rena also carries a lot of emotional baggage, and has brought her alter ego imaginary friend, Subra along for the trip The invention of Subra allows Rena to have internal conversations about concerns, memories and events It is a bit of an unsettling technique It does underline Rena s mental stability, or lack thereof Subra is an anagram for Arbus , Diana Arbus, a Jewish American photographer of the unusual By the end of the novel, Rena comments What had she endured as a little girl, growing up in New York in that wealthy Jewish family whose privileges she detested What evil had she been forced to construe as good, as irrevocably that she would spend the rest of her life blurring the nuances between the two 257 Change New York to Montreal and the same comment could be said about Rena.Also mentioned is Lee Miller, who, at seven, was raped by a family friend and contracted gonorrhoea Her vagina and uterus were subjected to acid baths for treatment Miller went on to be a model for Man Ray and later a noted photographer of the Holocaust.The stories of two female photographers are complemented by the fact that Rena s paternal side of the family were almost entirely annihilated by the Holocaust Her Grandmother Rena sank into a permanent stupor 45 after she saw the photographs of the camps The damage becomes inherited.Of course, Rena is a photographer of difficult subjects It seems the inspiration for the novel comes from a wondering about what drives seemingly privileged female photographers to choose horrors and freaks as their subjects.And there s the sex Oh yes, the sex What happened to Lee Miller is a hint of what happened to Rena There s enough titillation in the book to get you started and keep you going.One of the difficulties I had with the book is liking Rena Her proud promiscuity is a turn off, and it s also distancing to have a narrator who admits to making things up Ultimately, I felt sorry for Rena it s painful to watch her self destruct The graphic aspects of this book will be difficult for some readers For myself, I think I had wanted and expected a sunny story because it was set in Tuscany This book is not that It is gritty, disturbing, and unstable.What I liked about the book wasn t so much the characters and the story why is Rena on this trip, anyway but where the novelist directed me to look at artists and their art It s helpful to look at the art work or research the artists that Huston mentions in Infrared However, that said, the references could take the reader away from the novel and to look at what perhaps inspired it Infrared is about layers, illusions, and emotional resonance, both for the characters and the reader It needs to be re read with an infrared lens Rena uses this technique when photographing her subjects to strip away the surface and see the pain underneath Rena wants to see other s pain because it s what she feels so much Rena is stripped of everything by the end of the book job, boyfriend, and father She is left as vulnerable as she was as a child.I encourage you after reading this book to let it settle Then take the time to peel back the layers, examine the novel s references on the internet, and cross fertilize the information that has been presented to you Huston, Nancy, Infrared Toronto McArthur Company, 2011 Print

  2. Roger Brunyate Roger Brunyate says:

    Film in the Revealing BathRena Greenblatt, the fortyish protagonist of Nancy Huston s sensual and disturbing new novel, spends much of the book in mental dialogue with a special friend whom she names Subra It is not hard to see that this is a backwards homage to Diane Arbus 1923 71 , the American photographer of people on the fringes of everyday society.For Rena too is a photographer, whose shows include Whore Sons and Daughters, N o us, and Misteries Their subjects reveal how Rena s mi Film in the Revealing BathRena Greenblatt, the fortyish protagonist of Nancy Huston s sensual and disturbing new novel, spends much of the book in mental dialogue with a special friend whom she names Subra It is not hard to see that this is a backwards homage to Diane Arbus 1923 71 , the American photographer of people on the fringes of everyday society.For Rena too is a photographer, whose shows include Whore Sons and Daughters, N o us, and Misteries Their subjects reveal how Rena s mind works, which is the main interest in the book The first show is just as it says, the families of sex workers The second is a series of sleeping nudes the French title is a pun between nudes and ourselves , bodies of all ages, colours and sexes, obese and scrawny, smooth and wrinkly, hairless and hirsute every one of them beautiful The third shows close ups of young men s faces twisted with hatred Moving in closer and closer passing through layer after layer of memory all the way to childhood It s overwhelming when that starts to show up in the revealing bath The revealing bath image might also serve as a description of Huston s narrative method The frame is Rena s week long holiday with her aging father and stepmother in Florence and Tuscany Rena or Huston herself has a magnificent eye, and her encounters with artworks, famous or otherwise, sent me repeatedly to Google Images to check her observations for myself But the main substance of the book lies in the reflections they trigger and layers of memory that are gradually peeled back Jos Saramago does something similar in hisManual of Painting and Calligraphyit is also the basic principle of W G Sebald s novels, though neither has Huston s sensuality However, while Huston s observations are as rich as those of either author, her technique soon becomes excessively transparent Before long, the ostensible story virtually disappears, as Rena darts back in time at the slightest pretext a fleeting thought followed by Tell me, says Subra, or linkages so blatant as to be almost absurd Again the toilet flushes and a heavy built man comes out of the bathroom, zipping up his fly Rena thinks of all the flies she has undone in the course of her long love life.Rena may pay homage to Diane Arbus by reversing her name as Subra, but the surname of the other huge influence on Huston s writing is irreversible Ana s Nin I don t think I have every read a book in which a woman is so frank about sex Rena s current project is to photograph the faces of her lovers in infrared as they climax Her verbal descriptions too are explicit, sensual, and above all joyous In addition to her many lovers, Rena has had four husbands, all Francophone, all of other races Haitian, Cambodian, Senegalese, and Algerian , and all loved passionately at least for a while But as the layers of memory peel away, we become aware of events in Rena s childhood that arethan titillatingly precocious but clearly traumatic the book darkens considerably as it goes on Meanwhile, the 2005 race riots are breaking out in the Paris suburb where Rena lives, a distant outcome of the anger recorded in her Misteries Nancy Huston who wrote the book originally in French, then made her own translation , brings the threads together into a climax of sorts, but leaves most of them untied However, this is not a novel you read for the story, but for the vision of its central character, and that really is extraordinary

  3. Chris Craddock Chris Craddock says:

    Rena Greenblatt is shepherding her septuagenarian father Simon and stepmother Ingrid through a vacation in Florence, Italy, but grows increasingly frustrated that they aren t appreciating the masterpieces of the Renaissance as much as she thinks they should Meanwhile, her job as a photojournalist and her lover colleague Aziz are calling her back to Paris Paris is burning and they demand that she come back at once to document the conflagration Rena Greenblatt is a name that only a Gastroentero Rena Greenblatt is shepherding her septuagenarian father Simon and stepmother Ingrid through a vacation in Florence, Italy, but grows increasingly frustrated that they aren t appreciating the masterpieces of the Renaissance as much as she thinks they should Meanwhile, her job as a photojournalist and her lover colleague Aziz are calling her back to Paris Paris is burning and they demand that she come back at once to document the conflagration Rena Greenblatt is a name that only a Gastroenterologist could love, and I also found it difficult to warm up to her Though I titled my review renal failure by no means was that meant to imply that the book was a failure Rather, I meant that the protagonist, Rena, was failing to enjoy her vacation and also failing to just let her father and stepmother be themselves She was a total snob, and it was shackling her to her own, self made, ring of hell, one that Dante never conceived of I kept waiting for her to have some kind of epiphany.That being said, I did enjoy the book, in spite, or perhaps because, Rena was such a pretentious snob What was that line in T.S Eliot s poem, The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock In the room the women come and goTalking of Michelangelo Much of Infrared took place in that room, except the room was an interior monologue in Rena s head, where she also had an imaginary friend that she talked to, one that never tired of hearing her tell the same stories over and over again, Subra The friend, a sister she d always longed for, appeared in a photo by Diane Arbus She was named Subra because that is Arbus spelled backwards There were also sidebars to discuss the work of Araki, his Lucky Hole photographs, and the Sentimental Journey series This led to revelations that her camera, a Canon, was a homophone for Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy Perhaps the Japanese company had even named it that on purpose At one point, she invokes not only the name of Arbus, but also Plath and Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva All three women had apparently committed suicide Oh no I can see where this is going Or maybe not Don t want to spoil the ending I admit that I hadn t heard of Tsvetaeva and had to look it up So typical of Rena Greenblatt s snobbery or is it author Nancy Huston s that she name drops a rather obscure poet expecting you to know it She also showed off her command of foreign languages, much to my chagrin Even though I hadn t heard of Tsvetaeva I didn t really mind the author s or protagonist s indulgences Hey, thanks for pulling my coat to this poetess, she looks worthy of further study All in all I enjoyed this excursion through Italy almost as much as Simon Greenblatt and Ingrid did, in spite of Rena s frustration There were also a lot of dark and passionate memories stirred up that led to some rather disturbing revelations Indeed, there are so many skeletons in Rena s closet that I m surprised she has room to hang her coat there.Ciao, Florence

  4. Magdelanye Magdelanye says:

    Nancy Huston is one of those enigmatic writers who manage to flourish inside of a strict frame of her own devising,even as it is covered over with a rich profussion of images and profound insights that rearrange the facts As an ex patriot canadian long residing in France,her work is not widely or readily available here in canada, nor,the states I suppose Of course I snatched this new to me volume from the library shelves, and decided to give myself the pleasure of reading it before I tackled t Nancy Huston is one of those enigmatic writers who manage to flourish inside of a strict frame of her own devising,even as it is covered over with a rich profussion of images and profound insights that rearrange the facts As an ex patriot canadian long residing in France,her work is not widely or readily available here in canada, nor,the states I suppose Of course I snatched this new to me volume from the library shelves, and decided to give myself the pleasure of reading it before I tackled the formidable Murakami.And I needed something quick to excorcise the ghost of Anja Creed from the Rogue Angel series that so bothered me with its poor writing and stuck together plot.I still admire NH s ouevre, and acknowledge her edgy brilliance,but my infatuation has definately been curtailed by this sorry mish mash of a novel Theres interesting bits and even some good bits, but the flimsy plot cannot sustain any of the really interesting ideas floated in these pages.SPOILER ALERT There is nothing especially objectionable to the plotline, it just doesnt compute.A sophisticated, independent and competent photographer takes a weeks prearranged holiday with her aging Lothario of a father and her stepmother, with whom she is extemely bored We get a cute look at Florence,framed by symbolism,and some insight into Rena s character development,her husbands and lovers and preferences, her imaginary companion,and her devotion to the man she left behind.So why in the world did she not cut her boring vacation short and rise to the collective need when he asked Ghosts of Anja and that false self righteousness,the glamourized contemporary heroine who can never seem to rest.By all means,seek out and read NH but this one,not a priority

  5. Tuck Tuck says:

    so subversive, sexy and smart.a fast moving novel, a week in the life of Rena and her imaginary friend Subra, to whom she talks to incessantly, because either rena doesn t want to talk to anybody else, or no one wants to listen to her no sure, but i know how she feels visiting tuscany with her old man and stepmother so sure, rena is a famous globe trotting photographer who uses infrared, and yes, she has been horribly abused as a little girl and she is trying to still be a good mother, lov so subversive, sexy and smart.a fast moving novel, a week in the life of Rena and her imaginary friend Subra, to whom she talks to incessantly, because either rena doesn t want to talk to anybody else, or no one wants to listen to her no sure, but i know how she feels visiting tuscany with her old man and stepmother so sure, rena is a famous globe trotting photographer who uses infrared, and yes, she has been horribly abused as a little girl and she is trying to still be a good mother, lover, daughter, and artist and deal with all that too the eroticism, day and night dreams, and reminisces are fantastic here, but still the story itself seems thin too bad nancy huston couldn t be merged into Blau Drinking Closer to Home , goldberg Bee Season, nina marie I m Not This Girl, and lydia millet Oh Pure and Radiant Heart , now THAT would blow the male reading world s head off but i guess i can wait for that

  6. Veronique Veronique says:

    I ve read a few books from Nancy Huston, liked them all and this one was a big disappointment I don t mind disturbing characters, they can be quite interesting, but I found Rena impossible to like I can understand her difficult past actually, abusive might beappropriate , but that does not allow her to be so judgmental, cynical, unforgiving,and her total lack of compassion She seems so arrogant, understanding all these great painters, and despising all those stupid tourists around he I ve read a few books from Nancy Huston, liked them all and this one was a big disappointment I don t mind disturbing characters, they can be quite interesting, but I found Rena impossible to like I can understand her difficult past actually, abusive might beappropriate , but that does not allow her to be so judgmental, cynical, unforgiving,and her total lack of compassion She seems so arrogant, understanding all these great painters, and despising all those stupid tourists around her, including her parents The paintings she so loves Italian Renaissance are also the ones I absolutely dislike, finding them quite disturbing, so this does not help either reminded me of some paintings I really would like to forget In the end, why does she even go to Italy with her parents, this does not make any sense, knowing her personality I would hope that a smart woman in her 40s would be wiser that she is,tolerant with the people around her

  7. Lulu Lulu says:

    Interesting way of approaching memoir, mixing first and third voice in fascinating ways, through the use of an inner voice who both listens to and rebukes Rena oh, don t we all have one of those I would like to submit this novel for consideration of how to write sex scenes Not awkward at all, but since we are dealing with a dishonest narrator, I did find myself wondering how many of these intimate encounters were actual experiences and how many were pure fantasy an important distinction wh Interesting way of approaching memoir, mixing first and third voice in fascinating ways, through the use of an inner voice who both listens to and rebukes Rena oh, don t we all have one of those I would like to submit this novel for consideration of how to write sex scenes Not awkward at all, but since we are dealing with a dishonest narrator, I did find myself wondering how many of these intimate encounters were actual experiences and how many were pure fantasy an important distinction when we consider awkward erotic writing Still, that might have been Huston s point, with a flawed middle aged woman, to still show her sexuality, her damage and how often we are daydreaming about one time or place when we are in another

  8. Dawn Ferchak Dawn Ferchak says:

    Rena Greenblatt is a 45 year old photographer on holiday with her father and stepmother Rena s medium is infrared photography the reasons for her choice are beautifully explained in the above excerpt Accompanying the often uncomfortable trio is Subra, Rena s imaginary alter ego, a sister in her mind who has been with her since adolescence At home in Paris is Aziz, Rena s young lover, who is dealing with race riots and national emergencies Rena s stepmother is annoying Rena s father is agin Rena Greenblatt is a 45 year old photographer on holiday with her father and stepmother Rena s medium is infrared photography the reasons for her choice are beautifully explained in the above excerpt Accompanying the often uncomfortable trio is Subra, Rena s imaginary alter ego, a sister in her mind who has been with her since adolescence At home in Paris is Aziz, Rena s young lover, who is dealing with race riots and national emergencies Rena s stepmother is annoying Rena s father is aging, perhaps dying And Rena is in the middle of it all, getting by behind a camera lens, between the sheets of strange beds, and in conversation with Subra This is a complex tale Rena is a woman who knows the redemptive powers of both art and sex, two forces that have destroyed as often as they have elevated More impressive, Rena has managed to harness both of those things after a childhood filled with loneliness and trauma, including sexual and mental abuse at the hands of a family member Many, perhaps even most, authors would have taken such a past and told a story filled with guilt, suffering, cliches, and eventually triumph And we d have read it all before, likely seen it all before, and we d be bored It is to Huston s credit that she does not take any of these shortcuts Instead, she offers a protagonist who is strong, flawed, and deeply honest It is easy to feel along with Rena even when her decisions didn t seem to make any sense, I understood why she felt compelled to make them When the narrative turned to the past, even the most shocking admissions didn t evoke sympathy, not exactly Instead, they created a study in facets these are the things that made her These are the things she internalized, and fought through, and learned to express with her camera and, sometimes, with her body Speaking of bodies, Huston writes sex with true sensuality She knows how it feels and how Rena feels when she s in that moment, without resorting to porn language, purple prose, or adolescent euphemisms Huston writes the flesh as well as she writes the mind, and her sex scenes add a corporeal layer to a very intellectual story The combination is erotic and intimate, a master stroke inways than one Infrared is not a simple book The story is complicated and fraught with emotion, but Huston tells it all in language that manages to be both simple and poetic some readers might be turned off by the often lyrical turns her prose takes, but I loved it it made scenes into characters in their own right,often than not The narrative is presented in an almost objective voice that will suddenly turn raw, or tender, or terrified, almost before you realize it This book gave me moments where I literally didn t realize I was holding my breath until I realized that I had to breathe I don t know many authors who can do that

  9. Diane Kistner Diane Kistner says:

    I ve never been a fan of ekphrasis because it s rarely done well, and Huston s effort in INFRARED is no exception It s like she started with the Florentine works of art as an organizing idea and then loosely hung some shreds of some characters flesh on the structure to try to make a book out of it The book s description and blurbs lead us to believe we are going to find something very powerful and real in these pages or at least something titillating and erotic but I found myselfthan on I ve never been a fan of ekphrasis because it s rarely done well, and Huston s effort in INFRARED is no exception It s like she started with the Florentine works of art as an organizing idea and then loosely hung some shreds of some characters flesh on the structure to try to make a book out of it The book s description and blurbs lead us to believe we are going to find something very powerful and real in these pages or at least something titillating and erotic but I found myselfthan once thinking Oh, ho, hum The secrets Predictable The revelations Predictable The sex, the lushness of language and insight Uneven and poorly integrated at best.Subra s repeated Tell me is at first a guiding light through Rena s sea of self deception, but by the end of the book it has become a contrivance along with the rest of them that has worn out its welcome The title s metaphor held a great deal of promise, but Huston did not manage to extend and explore it to the degree she could have.If I was supposed to feel sympathetic toward the main character, I did not Rena comes across as shallow, selfish, and immature Why EVER would a reader care about her If this was Huston s point, what was the point If I was supposed to feel elevated by insight or understanding, I was not the characters were too cardboard for me to care I found Huston s use of the abuse scenes somehow offensive, but not because of the content Really, would someone who had been through that and the rest of what was alluded to in these pages have grown up to be such a princess The only thing remotely authentic about this book, to me, is what happens in the last eight pages Aziz, in the end, tells it like it is And Rena s still clueless Had the first 255 pages of INFRARED been better, I would not have ended the book feeling like I d wasted my time reading it I can see that Huston is capable of some fine writing when she isn t leaning on the crutches of her devices this book, however, was not the best way for me to discover her work I give it three stars only because I think she s a writer worth watching

  10. Charles Charles says:

    This is a somewhat rambling description of a 1 week Tuscan holiday to which the main character Rena Greenblatt, a photographer in her 40 s, originally a Montrealer, but living in Paris treats her father Simon stepmother Ingrid Rena s experiments with infrared photography to explore the hidden inner aspects of her subjects views herself as an infrared sensitive film capturing hidden events As the trip unfolds, it is apparent that Rena hates it, because she dislikes her dull conventional ste This is a somewhat rambling description of a 1 week Tuscan holiday to which the main character Rena Greenblatt, a photographer in her 40 s, originally a Montrealer, but living in Paris treats her father Simon stepmother Ingrid Rena s experiments with infrared photography to explore the hidden inner aspects of her subjects views herself as an infrared sensitive film capturing hidden events As the trip unfolds, it is apparent that Rena hates it, because she dislikes her dull conventional stepmother, and also has a lot of hangups stemming from abuse by her brother as a child he is a gay jazz violinist , and her neglect by her mother a lawyer defending prostitutes who dies in a car accident when Rena is a child Rena is a sensualist who has had a great deal of varied sexual experience which she describes in explicit detail She has travelled all over the world and has had a host of lovers in every place, but her current lover Aziz, an Algerian whom she adores, works for the same publication He contacts her several times to return to Paris to do the photos for newscoverage of riots in the poor NE suburbs stemming from the electrocution of 2 adolescents who fleeing from the police, sought refuge in a transformer She refuses his appealsthose of her employer, and ends up losing her jobher lover She also gets her backpack stolen with her camera, wallet, credit cardsThe holiday is disappointing, in that they miss many major sites, due to SimonIngrid s indolencefrequent need for food At the end of the book Simon trips on a curb hitting his head is assessed in hospital, where the injury is found to be innocuous, but he is found to have a malignant brain tumor Rena facing the loss of a parent along with her other losses.A fairly good read, and very well written

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