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The Underpainter

de Jane Urquhart

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
6971026,729 (3.71)81
The Underpainter is a novel of interwoven lives in which the world of art collides with the realm of human emotion. It is the story of Austin Fraser, an American painter now in his later years, who is haunted by memories of those whose lives most deeply touched his own, including a young Canadian soldier and china painter and the beautiful model who becomes Austin's mistress. Spanning decades, the setting moves from upstate New York to the northern shores of two Great Lakes; from France in World War One to New York City in the '20s and '30s. Brilliantly depicting landscape and the geography of the imagination, The Underpainter is Jane Urquhart's most accomplished novel to date.… (més)
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» Mira també 81 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 10 (següent | mostra-les totes)
This is set around the time of the first world war and is about a painter and artist and his interaction with a few friends in North America and Canada.

After he looses his mother, his father makes some investments in silver and makes a fortune, enabling Austin to become and artist and be independent. A friend who he went with to dances, and had an infatuation with a girl, is sent off to war in the trenches.

Austin becomes a painter, and develops a relationship with a lady who is older than him, both as a lover and as a model for him. He paints and draws her nude over fifteen summers, and learns that her, father who was a miner had effectively worked for his father as an investor. George return from the war with shell shock and brings a nurse who cared for his as a partner. His relationship with Austin, which was always strained, never really improves.

It is a book that is about the selfishness of relationships and the tragedy of war and loss. It doesn't have a hugely strong plot, and the main character is someone who is not someone that you would ever warm to.

However, the book is beautifully written, almost effortless at times, and is compelling in its descriptions.
( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
artfully written. lovely writing,haunting. ( )
  LauGal | Aug 16, 2016 |
Sensitive, moving, and beautiful. Urquhart's spare language makes simple events more powerful. Her words paint scenes which appear clear and unblemished but come to be deeply complex. Her characters are strong but vulnerable.

Deciding to write about Austin Fraser, and how she manipulates the timing of words, dialogue and events to make us understand his life, his relationships, and his effect on others is brilliant.

The Underpainter slowly reveals the different layers of Austin's life; undoing his efforts at hiding and erasure.

Do read! ( )
  Bookish59 | Mar 26, 2016 |
I almost stopped reading this book several times. First because I was having a little trouble following the time periods; which were reflections and memories, and which were present day. Then I came to dislike the main character, Austin, given his self-centeredness, his blindness to the needs of others, his unrelenting privacy. But somehow, Urquhart's prose charmed me into staying and I came to want to know how things turned out. Her writing is beautiful, brilliant, shimmering as the prolonged northern light she describes so well as Austin's obsession. I came to care about all of the characters that Austin couldn't really see or know. It is a book that will stay with me for a long while, especially in this anniversary year of the start of WWI and the elements of life that can make art.

Thank you, LT, for recommending this book for me years ago. I kept it on my wishlist and then TBR shelf for a long time and now value the time I spent reading it. ( )
  Lcwilson45 | Jul 4, 2014 |
This 1997 winner of Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award is the third novel I’ve read by this talented writer.

It’s told from the point of view of painter Austin Fraser, living in his old age in his childhood hometown of Rochester NY. The setting moves from upstate New York to the northern shores of Lake Ontario and Lake Superior – both Canadian locations. It’s told in flashbacks from Austin’s present (1970s) to 1914 and the ensuing years. I was struck by the different affects that the declaration of war in 1914 had on Canada, and on the United States.

The title refers to the method which Austin now uses for all his paintings: blank white over an “underpainting”. Why he paints like this is revealed as the story is.

Urquhart weaves her story skillfully, building to a heart-rending climax.

Read this if: you appreciate beautiful prose and understated stories; or you’re interested in the contrast between the effects of WWI on Canada and its closest neighbour the United States.
4 stars ( )
  ParadisePorch | Jan 17, 2013 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 10 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Die Kanadierin Jane Urquhart hat mit ihrem Roman "Übermalungen" großen Erfolg gehabt. Das sinnlich und metaphernreich formulierte Buch erhielt den renommiertesten Literaturpreis Kanadas, den Governor's General Award. Dies liegt sicherlich auch an dem kühlen, ruhigen Erzählton, der jeglichen Kitsch vermeidet. Liebe, Freundschaft, Verlust und Schuld sind die zentralen Themen des Romans.
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (6 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Jane Urquhartautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Jonkheer, ChristienTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Knecht, PeterTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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"Although an even north light is preferable in the greater number of cases, direct bright sunlight is sometimes useful in examining blacks and other very dark colors." - Ralph Mayer, The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques
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For Tony Urquhart, whose spirit is visible in art, in life
For Amy Quinn, who discovered the letters, and knew
For Ellen Seligman, with affection and gratitude
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The woman is standing near the window in the downstairs front room of a log house on the north shore of Lake Superior.
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The Underpainter is a novel of interwoven lives in which the world of art collides with the realm of human emotion. It is the story of Austin Fraser, an American painter now in his later years, who is haunted by memories of those whose lives most deeply touched his own, including a young Canadian soldier and china painter and the beautiful model who becomes Austin's mistress. Spanning decades, the setting moves from upstate New York to the northern shores of two Great Lakes; from France in World War One to New York City in the '20s and '30s. Brilliantly depicting landscape and the geography of the imagination, The Underpainter is Jane Urquhart's most accomplished novel to date.

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