The theme of my challenge is poetry and books inspired by art and/or art inspired by literature.
is for The Goldfinch
“The Goldfinch” painted by Carel Fabritius in 1654 is a realistic picture of a bird chained to its perch. It is normally exhibited in The Hague. This tiny painting with its broad brushstrokes was already renowned before Donna Tartt published her book “The Goldfinch” in 2013.
When I started to read The Goldfinch, I found myself caught up in the enormity of the explosion which took Theo’s mother from him so suddenly and with the depth of love and attachment he had for her. I wanted the best for him, as his mother would have wished but life constantly played tricks, despite his inventiveness. The fact that he was carrying around an incredibly valuable painting, without discovery was symbolic, ironic, absurd.
This very long book contains a large cast of characters, good and evil, both caricatures and solid, believable people. Boris the Russian teenager, with his doubtful morals, is both humorous and depressing. The ethereal Pippa, whom Theo first saw before the explosion gives hope for his future as he travels from New York to Las Vegas and finally to Amsterdam.
I found the last part of the book incredibly disappointing and yet I had to read on. Could Theo act for himself and escape the downward spiral? Did The Goldfinch give him hope of escape? That is for you to judge.
Incidentally, Carel Fabritius died in a massive gunpowder explosion, so the potential he showed was never fully achieved.