Austerlitz free read ☆ 6

W.G. Sebald ç 6 read & download

Obeying an instinct he only dimly understands he follows their trail back to the world he left behind a half century before There faced with the void at the heart of twentieth century Europe he struggles to rescue his heritage from oblivion Διάβασα σε αυτό το μυθιστόρημα την τρίτη πιο συναισθηματικά φορτισμένη φράση που έχω συναντήσει ποτέ σε λογοτεχνικό έργο Η πρώτη είναι η αρχή του θρήνου της Αντιγόνης «Ω τάφε μου ω νυφιάτικό μου ω αιώνια βαθιά στη γη σκαμμένη κατοικιά μου» Η δεύτερη είναι τα λόγια του γιατρού Πασκάλ στην «Περιουσία των Ρουγκόν» στο πεδίο της μάχης «Elle est morte» Και η τρίτη υπάρχει σε αυτό το βιβλίο είναι κραυγή της ηλικιωμένης Βέρας που αναφωνεί «Jacuot dis est ce ue c'est vraiment toi?» Και στις τρεις περιπτώσεις έχουμε μια σπουδή επάνω στην απώλεια Η χαμένη ζωή τα χαμένα όνειρα το χαμένο παρελθόν Και ο Αούστερλιτς ο κεντρικός ήρωας της ιστορίας του Sebald είναι χαμένος Ψάχνει να βρει κάτι το οποίο δεν υπάρχει πλέον και συνεπώς είναι καταδικασμένος να υποφέρει από ένα αδιάκοπο αίσθημα κενού που τον αρρωσταίνει και το καταρρακώνει ψυχικά και σωματικά Ο ανώνυμος αφηγητής ίσως μια εκδοχή του ίδιου του συγγραφέα τον συναντά τυχαία τον χάνει και τον ξαναβρίσκει κι από ένα σημείο και μετά ο Αούστερλιτς τον διαλέγει για να του διηγηθεί την ιστορία του την περιπέτειά του στην προσπάθειά του να βρει πληροφορίες σχετικά με τους χαμένους γονείς του και το λησμονημένο του παρελθόνΟ τρόπος που λειτουργεί ο μηχανισμός της μνήμης τα ερεθίσματα που ξεκλειδώνουν εικόνες από το παρελθόν σε αυτό το έργο ερμηνεύεται και διερευνάται με μια μέθοδο που θυμίζει κάτι από την ενδοσκόπηση του Προυστ χωρίς ωστόσο να έχει την βεβαιότητα και τη λεπτομερή καταγραφή που αποτυπώνεται στο «Αναζητώντας τον χαμένο χρόνο» Γιατί στην προκειμένη περίπτωση ο ήρωας δεν θυμάται Παλεύει να θυμηθεί προσπαθεί να διασώσει κάτι μέσα από τα σπαράγματα της μνήμης Δεν καταφέρει και σπουδαία πράγματα αλλά με τη φαντασία του και με ελάχιστα χειροπιαστά τεκμήρια φωτογραφίες κυρίως αλλά και αποκόμματα εισιτηρίων καρέ από δυσεύρετα φιλμ και επιτόπιες έρευνες συνομιλίες με αυτόπτες μάρτυρες και βιβλιογραφικές καταγραφές κτλ προσπαθεί να αναπληρώσει τα κενά Είναι επιστήμονας ο Αούστερλιτς αλλά δυστυχώς ανήκει σε εκείνη την θλιβερή κατηγορία των ωραίων μυαλών που έχουν μεγάλο πρόβλημα διαχείρισης του υλικού τους Κι έτσι όλα παραμένουν μισοτ Engendering Song understands he follows their trail back to the world he left behind a half century before There faced with the void at the heart of twentieth century Europe he struggles to rescue his heritage from oblivion Διάβασα σε αυτό το μυθιστόρημα την τρίτη πιο συναισθηματικά φορτισμένη φράση που έχω συναντήσει ποτέ σε λογοτεχνικό έργο Η πρώτη είναι η αρχή του θρήνου της Αντιγόνης «Ω τάφε μου ω νυφιάτικό μου ω αιώνια βαθιά στη γη σκαμμένη κατοικιά μου» Η δεύτερη είναι τα λόγια του γιατρού Πασκάλ στην «Περιουσία των Ρουγκόν» στο πεδίο της μάχης «Elle est morte» Και η τρίτη υπάρχει σε αυτό το βιβλίο είναι κραυγή της ηλικιωμένης Βέρας που αναφωνεί «Jacuot dis est ce Listening Woman by Tony Hillerman Summary & Study Guide ue c'est vraiment toi?» Και στις τρεις περιπτώσεις έχουμε μια σπουδή επάνω στην απώλεια Η χαμένη ζωή τα χαμένα όνειρα το χαμένο παρελθόν Και ο Αούστερλιτς ο κεντρικός ήρωας της ιστορίας του Sebald είναι χαμένος Ψάχνει να βρει κάτι το οποίο δεν υπάρχει πλέον και συνεπώς είναι καταδικασμένος να υποφέρει από ένα αδιάκοπο αίσθημα κενού που τον αρρωσταίνει και το καταρρακώνει ψυχικά και σωματικά Ο ανώνυμος αφηγητής ίσως μια εκδοχή του ίδιου του συγγραφέα τον συναντά τυχαία τον χάνει και τον ξαναβρίσκει κι από ένα σημείο και μετά ο Αούστερλιτς τον διαλέγει για να του διηγηθεί την ιστορία του την περιπέτειά του στην προσπάθειά του να βρει πληροφορίες σχετικά με τους χαμένους γονείς του και το λησμονημένο του παρελθόνΟ τρόπος που λειτουργεί ο μηχανισμός της μνήμης τα ερεθίσματα που ξεκλειδώνουν εικόνες από το παρελθόν σε αυτό το έργο ερμηνεύεται και διερευνάται με μια μέθοδο που θυμίζει κάτι από την ενδοσκόπηση του Προυστ χωρίς ωστόσο να έχει την βεβαιότητα και τη λεπτομερή καταγραφή που αποτυπώνεται στο «Αναζητώντας τον χαμένο χρόνο» Γιατί στην προκειμένη περίπτωση ο ήρωας δεν θυμάται Παλεύει να θυμηθεί προσπαθεί να διασώσει κάτι μέσα από τα σπαράγματα της μνήμης Δεν καταφέρει και σπουδαία πράγματα αλλά με τη φαντασία του και με ελάχιστα χειροπιαστά τεκμήρια φωτογραφίες κυρίως αλλά και αποκόμματα εισιτηρίων καρέ από δυσεύρετα φιλμ και επιτόπιες έρευνες συνομιλίες με αυτόπτες μάρτυρες και βιβλιογραφικές καταγραφές κτλ προσπαθεί να αναπληρώσει τα κενά Είναι επιστήμονας ο Αούστερλιτς αλλά δυστυχώς ανήκει σε εκείνη την θλιβερή κατηγορία των ωραίων μυαλών που έχουν μεγάλο πρόβλημα διαχείρισης του υλικού τους Κι έτσι όλα παραμένουν μισοτ

review Austerlitz

Austerlitz

S to England on a Kindertransport in the summer of 1939 one Jacues Austerlitz is told nothing of his real family by the Welsh Methodist minister and his wife who raise him When he is a much older man the fleeting memories return to him and ”It seems to me then as if all the moments of our life occupy the same space as if future events already existed and were only waiting for us to find our way to them at last And might it not be continued Austerlitz that we also have appointments to keep in the past in what has gone before and is for the most part extinguished and must go there in search of places and people who have some connection with us on the far side of time so to speak?”I have trouble writing about Sebald I read The Emigrants and The Rings Of Saturn back to back a few years ago and didn’t bother writing reviews on this site I just added them to my favorites and gave the reuisite 5 stars Perhaps this silence that comes after reading Sebald is in some ways my attempt to not trivialize or minimize the effect reading his books produces; on the other hand it might be that Sebald says what needs to be said in just the way it has to be said; that it is difficult to follow Sebald because there is a certain emotional dusk or twilight that his prose produces that then inevitably calls forth a kind of night one wants to silently dwell on the words and images because they seem so fragile almost sacred I’m not hyperbolizing this experience Sebald is to me the inheritor and refiner perhaps the perfector of not only the whole body of 20th century literature of exile but also one of the last great rememberers the conscience that carries the lessons of the disasters of the 20th century He represents the dying flame of Old World European literary scholars a Sir Thomas Browne roaming the post Relativity age The trance like or oneiric uality of his prose seems to me the voice of Time but Time evacuating itself of its properties time falling into the inner place where it dissolves within ourselves as Memory His prose captures the essence of experience in the process of always being lost and recovered the tenses of our lives that are always flickering into substance and de substantiating before we might grab hold and define themThis is a personal and a universal achievement For all of his books are in some way about collective disappearance and the attempts we make the various means and tactics we as individuals employ to keep oblivion at bay They are about how universal experience weaves the fate of the individual thus the recurring themes of historical conseuence war colonialism etc In this sense Austerlitz is a pinnacle of Sebaldean prose as it directly confronts through a single person the universal history of destruction Its main concern is the possibility of the universal forgetting of the lessons of the Holocaust to the obliterating work of Time and the caprice of Memory within the individual This book is populated with ghosts wavering beings mists fogs smoke things that obscure grand facades of buildings housing empty labyrinths vacant wind sung streets gloaming forests cemeteries overgrown with time’s lichen and tendrils processions of those diminished by death suddenly appearing glimmering into and retreating out of this world The prose of course wanders walks explores Sebald is pretty much only digression in all of his books beautiful melancholy digression akin to the process of meditative reflection itself the prose drifts associates follows leads down desolate halls disappears into dusty vaults peers through windows at empty landscapes in winter light watches the clouds above silently pass away But in all of this an utterly human voice is rising and ebbing revealing guiding a tenderness pervades the melancholy and to me the word melancholy almost always implies something achingly beautiful and tender as well as something struck with sadness and loss A reach for the eternal and Ideal within the irretrievable So Austerlitz and Sebald comes to find that place where hopeless hopes inves Planet of the Bugs us to find our way to them at last And might it not be continued Austerlitz that we also have appointments to keep in the past in what has gone before and is for the most part extinguished and must go there in search of places and people who have some connection with Fishes of the Open Ocean us on the far side of time so to speak?”I have trouble writing about Sebald I read The Emigrants and The Rings Of Saturn back to back a few years ago and didn’t bother writing reviews on this site I just added them to my favorites and gave the reuisite 5 stars Perhaps this silence that comes after reading Sebald is in some ways my attempt to not trivialize or minimize the effect reading his books produces; on the other hand it might be that Sebald says what needs to be said in just the way it has to be said; that it is difficult to follow Sebald because there is a certain emotional dusk or twilight that his prose produces that then inevitably calls forth a kind of night one wants to silently dwell on the words and images because they seem so fragile almost sacred I’m not hyperbolizing this experience Sebald is to me the inheritor and refiner perhaps the perfector of not only the whole body of 20th century literature of exile but also one of the last great rememberers the conscience that carries the lessons of the disasters of the 20th century He represents the dying flame of Old World European literary scholars a Sir Thomas Browne roaming the post Relativity age The trance like or oneiric Out of Bounds (Boundaries, uality of his prose seems to me the voice of Time but Time evacuating itself of its properties time falling into the inner place where it dissolves within ourselves as Memory His prose captures the essence of experience in the process of always being lost and recovered the tenses of our lives that are always flickering into substance and de substantiating before we might grab hold and define themThis is a personal and a Grass, Sky, Song universal achievement For all of his books are in some way about collective disappearance and the attempts we make the various means and tactics we as individuals employ to keep oblivion at bay They are about how Otter Chaos! (Otter Chaos universal experience weaves the fate of the individual thus the recurring themes of historical conseuence war colonialism etc In this sense Austerlitz is a pinnacle of Sebaldean prose as it directly confronts through a single person the The Illusionists universal history of destruction Its main concern is the possibility of the O Último Testamento (Maggie Costello, universal forgetting of the lessons of the Holocaust to the obliterating work of Time and the caprice of Memory within the individual This book is populated with ghosts wavering beings mists fogs smoke things that obscure grand facades of buildings housing empty labyrinths vacant wind sung streets gloaming forests cemeteries overgrown with time’s lichen and tendrils processions of those diminished by death suddenly appearing glimmering into and retreating out of this world The prose of course wanders walks explores Sebald is pretty much only digression in all of his books beautiful melancholy digression akin to the process of meditative reflection itself the prose drifts associates follows leads down desolate halls disappears into dusty vaults peers through windows at empty landscapes in winter light watches the clouds above silently pass away But in all of this an One for My Baby utterly human voice is rising and ebbing revealing guiding a tenderness pervades the melancholy and to me the word melancholy almost always implies something achingly beautiful and tender as well as something struck with sadness and loss A reach for the eternal and Ideal within the irretrievable So Austerlitz and Sebald comes to find that place where hopeless hopes inves

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Austerlitz the internationally acclaimed masterpiece by “one of the most gripping writers imaginable” The New York Review of Books is the story of a man’s search for the answer to his life’s central riddle A small child when he come MY FULL REVIEW“No one can explain exactly what happens within us when the doors behind which our childhood terrors lurk are flung open”― WG Sebald AusterlitzTurning the pages of the novel Austerlitz makes for one powerful emotionally wrenching experience Here's what esteemed critic Michiko Kakutani wrote as part of her New York Times review We are transported to a memoryscape a twilight fogbound world of half remembered images and ghosts that is reminiscent at once of Ingmar Bergman's Wild Strawberries Kafka's troubling fables of guilt and apprehension and of course Proust's Remembrance of Things Past''With his lyrical poetic language German born W G Sebold reminds me of the Nobel prize winning French author Patrick Modiano Mr Sebold blends fact and fiction in his tale of an unnamed narrator meeting and befriending a historian of European architecture by the name of Jacues Austerlitz Also included are than six dozen photographs along with a number of illustrations and chartsThe we come to know Austerlitz in his recounting of his past how he arrived in Britain in 1939 as a refugee age four from Nazi infested Czechoslovakia how he was adopted and raised by an older Welsh minister and his wife how as an adult he returned to Prague and located a close friend of his vanished mother and father how he then further traced the fate of his parents the our hearts open not only to Austerlitz and his family but all the many men and women and children who suffered the brutality and madness of the Nazis I suspect one reason Mr Sebold included the many black and white photographs as part of his novel goes back to what art critic Robert Hughes noted about the Holocaust photography captured the ghastliness of the atrocities in a way other forms of art could not In an attempt to retain the tone of this deeply moving literary work I have included black and white photographs of my own choosing to accompany direct uotes from the novel It was only by following the course time prescribed that we could hasten through the gigantic spaces separating us from each other And indeed said Austerlitz after a while to this day there is something illusionistic and illusory about the relationship of time and space as we experience it in traveling which is why whenever we come home from elsewhere we never feel uite sure if we have really been abroadAs it was I recognized him by the rucksack of his and for the first time in as far back as I can remember I recollected myself as a small child at the moment when I realized that it must have been to this same waiting room I had come on my arrival in England over half a century agoAfter ninety seconds in which to defend yourself to a judge you could be condemned to death for a trifle some offense barely worth mentioning the merest contravention of the regulations in force and then you would be hanged immediately in the execution room next to the law court where there was an iron rail running along the ceiling down where the lifeless bodies where pushed a little further as reuired Most of them were silent some wept uietly but outbursts of despair loud shouting and fits of frenzied rage were not uncommon“The darkness does not lift but becomes yet heavier as I think how little we can hold in mind how everything is constantly lapsing into oblivion with every extinguished life how the world is as it were draining itself in that the history of countless places and objects which themselves have no power or memory is never heard never described or passed on” The longer I think about it the it seems to me that we who are still alive are unreal in the eyes of the dead that only occasionally in certain lights and atmospheric conditions do we appear in their field of vision”


9 thoughts on “Austerlitz

  1. says:

    Of all the kinds of reviews to write the ecstatically enthusiastic ones are the worst I think No matter how much you try to pepper your review with big words and thoughtful commentary you inevitably end up sounding like a gum chomping tween girl suealing the paint off the walls about some boy band that looks like it should be directed to a hormone therapy ward Being openly enthusiastic about virtually anything can be tough—because it makes you vulnerable It's like this in a moment of weakness you blurt out your unchecked passion for this or that and along comes some dismissive asshole who deflates your earnest affection with a bit of cheap snark Mike Reynolds's review of The Road comes to mind here But he's one of my favorite dismissive assholes Very much in the same way that I just now condescendingly patted the musical tastes of tween girls on the head and sent them on their way in the previous paragraph—when in fact some of them would clearly cut a bitch to get within fellating distance of a Jonas brother or whatever twerps they happen to be listening to this weekAnd WG Sebald's Austerlitz is an especially difficult book for me to get all OMFG about because it's not the kind of book that everyone is going to like I myself know a few people who would probably rather undergo dangerous elective surgery than plow through three hundred pages of slow burning rumination about memory and particularly the Holocaust Austerlitz is a specialized novel for a specialized audience—which certainly isn't to say a smarter or refined audience Because that's rude to say I guess even though it may be trueI glanced through a couple of the negative reviews of this book on Goodreads and they were especially idiotic Their idiocy is not derived from their dislike of the book however but from the reasons they cite for disliking it There was one woman in particular God love her as my high school Old Testament teacher Father Bly would say dismissively who lamented the lack of entertainment value in the book And it was clear from contextual clues that 'entertainment' implied an escapist reasonably upbeat and eventful narrative I hate this so much Art and yes—books are art isn't here to pacify you; it's not another tool at your disposal in the cultural toolbox to turn you into a drooling thoughtless catatonic You really weren't put here to spend all your off time golfing and sticking your hand down your pants in front of the television I thought this was fairly obviouslyThere's this nitwit I work with for instance who is traumatized by any day that isn't sunny warm and encouraging who refuses to see any movie that isn't expressly feel good and who proudly never reads books of any kind—because they would divert her from truly fun and mindless activities It should go without saying that although I am a non violent person I occasionally have fantasies about entering her office with a sledgehammer and destroying everything in sight You should see the look on her dumb face when I show up at the door with that sledgehammer Priceless This is what twenty first century Middle America does to a manAnyway Did I mention it is just before 4 AM when I am writing this? I was restless in bed not because of this review mind you and I thought I'd get the review of this book over with Did you just see that? I said 'get it over with' But why do I need to write a review at all? It's not like the entire online community is waiting breathlessly for me to weigh in with my opinion of this or any book Well let me tell you why Because if I read a book and I really really really love it as I loved Austerlitz I have to scream about it like a girl at a Justin Bieber concert I become evangelical about these things It's a compulsionThe ironic thing is that I've discharged my burden without actually telling you much of anything about this book or why you should or should not read it Which is kind of a shame I guess I'm hoping my enthusiasm will speak for itself But in an eleventh hour bid at relevance let me say this If you enjoy slow meditative labyrinthine remembrances about I suppose our alienation from our own past then read this book But if you only want to be 'entertained' from now until the moment that you die then what are you even doing here? Killing time?


  2. says:

    TOUTE LA MÉMOIRE DU MONDEIl film “Austerlitz” è del 2015 con Denis Lavant nel ruolo del protagonista l’attore feticcio di Leos Carax diretto dal praghese Stan Neumann Il film non ha circolato se non per ualche festival il suo pubblico ristretto è stato confinato alla critica che lo ha definito UMO nel senso di Unidentified Movie Object gli UFO sono unindentified Flying ObjectDi fronte a pagine monolitiche prive di interruzioni e a capo con periodi lunghi ricerca del dettaglio e freuenti digressioni ci si può perdere ma non ui Le fotografie bellissime spezzano la lettura e più ci si avvicina alla fine e più sembra che aumentino e compaiano anche le prime interruzioni i primi spazi bianchi proprio uando il libro sta per finire e io non lo volevo affatto lasciare volevo che continuasse senza sosta C’è ancora tanta memoria del mondo che Sebald può raccontareO forse no? È davvero tutta ui come nel breve bellissimo documentario di Alain Resnais sulla Biblioteca Nazionale di Parigi Toute la mémoire du monde?Altra immagine tratta dall’UMOGli articoli e commenti che ho letto su uest’opera insistono sulla ripetizione ossessiva della parola viaggio Sebald ci porta di ua e di là per l’Europa avanti e indietro nel tempo e della domanda se si tratti di fiction o di non fiction Il viaggio è essenzialmente temporale un viaggio nella Storia e soprattutto nella Memoria Per uanto riguarda l’altra uestione direi che uesto libro è la uintessenza del romanzo e che del genere ‘romanzo’ utilizza espedienti vari e ingegnosi l’intreccio di materiali diversi storia riflessione filosofica cronaca fotografia architettura pittura botanica entomologia la ricerca indagine il cambiamento dei punti di vista costantemente due il narratore e Austerlitz e di uando in uando ne entra un terzo Vera sopra tutti ma anche altri testimonicommentatoriportatori di informazioni che Austerlitz più o meno casualmente incontra e incrocia le scatole cinesi il racconto nel racconto al punto che io per tutto il tempo della lettura ho avuto in mente film “F For Fake” di Welles “L'hypothèse du tableau volé” e sempre di Ruiz “Les trois couronnes du matelot” con uella incredibile fotografia di Sacha Vierny che da sola genera immagini e atmosfera e attesa e Cortazar emi imbattei in una fotografia di grande formato raffigurante una stanza tutta caselle dal pavimento al soffitto in cui oggi vengono conservati i documenti dei prigionieri reclusi nella cosiddetta fortezza piccola di Terezín p299 301Se Sebald è rintracciabile nel narratore in tutto o in parte se invece sia Austelitz o un mix dei due che cosa cambia? Se i fatti narrati sono accaduti veramente se la ‘realtà’ entra in scena non è più romanzo? Come se la ‘realtà’ non avesse bisogno della letteratura per diventare verità Sebbene pubblicato nel 2001 è composto con scrittura di cento anni prima e atmosfere anche precedenti contemporaneamente rimane figlio della fine del secondo millennio per costruzione narrativa e uso delle magnifiche fotografiee ui sull’altra fotografia disse Věra dopo ualche istante ui ci sei tu Jacuot nel febbraio del 1939 più o meno sei mesi prima della tua partenza da Praga Avevi avuto il permesso di accompagnare Agáta a un ballo in maschera in casa di uno dei suoi influenti ammiratori e apposta per l’occasione ti confezionarono uesto costume tutto bianco Jacuot Austerlitz páže růžové královny è scritto sul retro per manod i tuo nonno che proprio in uei giorni era in visita da noi p197 198Io sono stato rapito da subito dalle descrizioni e divagazioni architettoniche che con me trovano terreno fertile e lettore interessato pronto a riconoscere la bellezza delle parole e dei mattoni delle fortezze militari e delle stazioni e delle banche di tutte le 'cattedrali' che il capitalismo ha dedicato alla propria glorificazione Ma le fortezze che sembravano inespugnabili sono diventate inutili nel giro di pochi decenni uando nuove armi e nuove tattiche d’assedio le hanno superate uello che doveva essere perfezione del lavoro della razionalità della durata risulta presto molto imperfetto cattedrale nel deserto Così come spingendo all’eccesso il paragone operazione che mi fa venire i brividi come tutta la perfezione tecnica l’azione degli ‘specialisti’ nazisti nello spianare la strada alla razza ariana e a un mondo ‘liberato’ da impuri ha causato orrori e sfracelli ma si è dissolta nella sua stessa perversa finta logica nella stessa maniacalità perfezionistae continuo a guardare uel viso nel contempo estraneo e familiare disse Austerlitz faccio scorrere all’indietro la pellicola volta per volta e vedo l’indicatore del tempo nell’angolo a sinistra in alto dello schermo i numeri che le nascondono in parte la fronte i minuti e i secondi da 1053 a 1057 e i centesimi di secondo che girano talmente in fretta da non poter essere né decifrati né trattenuti p267 268 Austerlitz si muove per l’Europa e nella sua memoria racconta con parole cariche di malinconia e angoscia parla al narratore ma è un lungo monologo che sembra ininterrotto non interrotto né dall’ascoltatore né dal tempo Sta parlando a se stesso? È da ui che proviene il senso di straniamento? È Sebald o Austerlitz che teme le parole non siano sufficienti e rimangano traballanti senza il puntello senza la ‘verità’ delle fotografie? In realtà anche le immagini sono un magnifico raffinato artificio letterario In fondo ai replicanti di ‘Blade Runner’ venivano fornite proprio fotografie per costruire una loro memoria personale e privata basata sulla finzione sull’artificio E le prime foto nel libro sono di occhi occhi di uccelli rapaci notturni e occhi di uomini occhi che fissano il lettore occhi che forse guardano le altre foto dell’opera per cercare la memoria perduta per cercare un’identità dimenticata e uindi sconosciuta e alla fine forse per trovare solo amnesia Austerlitz crede di riconoscere la madre che ha perduto e dimenticato e poi improvvisamente e apparentemente scoperto e ritrovato crede di riconoscerla in un fotogramma Ma ha bisogno della memoria della conoscenza degli occhi di Věra per capire che è un’illusione sua madre non è uella non è in uell’immagine e lì fra le lettere cartelle personali programmi di sala e ritagli di giornale ingialliti mi sono imbattuto nella fotografia priva di indicazioni di un’attrice la uale pareva coincidere con il ricordo offuscato che avevo di mia madre p269Dov’è allora la verità? Nella stanza tutta caselle dal pavimento al soffitto dove oggi sono conservati i documenti di tutti uelli reclusi e scomparsi a Terezín?Libro magnifico Magnifico e azzecatissimo regalo di un’amica Opera ardita che si spinge in alto come la torre di Babele e forse proprio uesto ha determinato il caos e l’inconcludenza di uesto mio commentoImmagine che non viene da Austerlitz ma come sempre una persona fotografata di spalle si carica di mistero e suspense Mistero e suspense di cui il romanzo di Sebald è pregno


  3. says:

    MY FULL REVIEW“No one can explain exactly what happens within us when the doors behind which our childhood terrors lurk are flung open”― WG Sebald AusterlitzTurning the pages of the novel Austerlitz makes for one powerful emotionally wrenching experience Here's what esteemed critic Michiko Kakutani wrote as part of her New York Times review We are transported to a memoryscape a twilight fogbound world of half remembered images and ghosts that is reminiscent at once of Ingmar Bergman's Wild Strawberries Kafka's troubling fables of guilt and apprehension and of course Proust's Remembrance of Things Past''With his lyrical poetic language German born W G Sebold reminds me of the Nobel prize winning French author Patrick Modiano Mr Sebold blends fact and fiction in his tale of an unnamed narrator meeting and befriending a historian of European architecture by the name of Jacues Austerlitz Also included are than six dozen photographs along with a number of illustrations and chartsThe we come to know Austerlitz in his recounting of his past how he arrived in Britain in 1939 as a refugee age four from Nazi infested Czechoslovakia how he was adopted and raised by an older Welsh minister and his wife how as an adult he returned to Prague and located a close friend of his vanished mother and father how he then further traced the fate of his parents the our hearts open not only to Austerlitz and his family but all the many men and women and children who suffered the brutality and madness of the Nazis I suspect one reason Mr Sebold included the many black and white photographs as part of his novel goes back to what art critic Robert Hughes noted about the Holocaust photography captured the ghastliness of the atrocities in a way other forms of art could not In an attempt to retain the tone of this deeply moving literary work I have included black and white photographs of my own choosing to accompany direct uotes from the novel It was only by following the course time prescribed that we could hasten through the gigantic spaces separating us from each other And indeed said Austerlitz after a while to this day there is something illusionistic and illusory about the relationship of time and space as we experience it in traveling which is why whenever we come home from elsewhere we never feel uite sure if we have really been abroadAs it was I recognized him by the rucksack of his and for the first time in as far back as I can remember I recollected myself as a small child at the moment when I realized that it must have been to this same waiting room I had come on my arrival in England over half a century agoAfter ninety seconds in which to defend yourself to a judge you could be condemned to death for a trifle some offense barely worth mentioning the merest contravention of the regulations in force and then you would be hanged immediately in the execution room next to the law court where there was an iron rail running along the ceiling down where the lifeless bodies where pushed a little further as reuired Most of them were silent some wept uietly but outbursts of despair loud shouting and fits of frenzied rage were not uncommon“The darkness does not lift but becomes yet heavier as I think how little we can hold in mind how everything is constantly lapsing into oblivion with every extinguished life how the world is as it were draining itself in that the history of countless places and objects which themselves have no power or memory is never heard never described or passed on” The longer I think about it the it seems to me that we who are still alive are unreal in the eyes of the dead that only occasionally in certain lights and atmospheric conditions do we appear in their field of vision”


  4. says:

    There’s something reminiscent of an archaeological dig about Austerlitz – the uest to piece back together a missing life by sifting through layers of the past The finds often appearing random and impenetrable until eventually a cypher is discovered Austerlitz reads like the autobiography of an academic recounted in instalments to the stranger he repeatedly meets in various locations who has lived a hermetic and fruitless life You’re never uite sure if you’re reading biography or fiction a puzzle enhanced by the inclusion of many photographs purporting to be a documentation of Austerlitz’s life We soon learn that he has always shied away from the knowledge of who he really is that he was sent on a Kindertransport by his mother when the Nazis invaded Prague where he lived as a child Very late in life he sets about trying to discover what happened to his mother and father It’s no coincidence that Austerlitz shares his name with a train station as train stations are a constant conduit for transition and connection and ever present is the towering menace they can evoke in the light of the holocaust The best parts of this novel are always when he explores the relationship of buildings to history when he confronts the ghosts that haunt buildings There’s a brilliant indictment of the horrible new Bibliothèue Nationale in Paris which we discover was formerly the site of the warehouses where the Nazis stored looted treasure from the Parisian Jews Also moving is when he visits the concentration camp at Theresienstadt where his mother was interned and even so when he acuires a copy of the Nazi propaganda film of the ghetto and slows it down in the hope of catching a glimpse of his mother’s face among all the Jewish prisoners forced to act out a grotesue charade of wellbeing In the slowed down version the upbeat music of the soundtrack becomes an insufferable mournful dirge Translated from German the voice is deadpan weathered almost monotonous and no doubt might alienate some readers I can’t say it was a prose style that enamoured me much


  5. says:

    I first came across the writings of WG Sebald by complete accident wandering in a bookstore I accidentally caught the edge of a table and sent three or four books hurtling to the floor one was Sebald's 'Vertgo' a book that was unfamiliar to me but one that caught my attention Although it didn't set the world on fire for me in ways I had hoped for it was no doubt the work of a true ingenious writer who pushed the boundaries of fiction into new territory Within just three pages of reading 'Austerlitz' and faced with four sets of eyes starring at me including an owl and a philosopher I lingered for a while starring right back at them and felt this work would be different in a good way and go on to fulfil my expectations and it did to a degree For the most part Sebald's narrative cast a hypnotic spell over me I was awestruck glued to the pages and filled with a deep sensation that I can't uite put my finger on Not many other writers have left me feeling this way And yet by it's conclusion I still couldn't help feeling like a glass of water half empty rather than one half full I felt something special building in it's last third only to feel the novel fizzle out somewhat knocking back it's lasting impressionAusterlitz is in many ways so close to being a literary tour de force using the language of extended and ostensibly inconseuential melancholy to describe the life of Jacues Austerlitz whom he Sebald we presume first meets in the railway station in Antwerp studying the architecture of its waiting room It is hard to tell just how much of the narrative if any is true although it reads precisely like it was Regardless it's remarkably done Added throughout are grey out of focus photographs of people and places which lend it veracity The hero of the book or properly the anti hero since he essentially does nothing especially useful with his life was born in Prague the son of a moderately successful opera singer and the manager of a small slipper making factory who was also active in left wing politics The rise of the Nazi party in Germany and the subseuent German invasion of Czechoslovakia meant that his father had to flee to Paris never to be seen or heard from again his letters to his family confiscated by the German authorities His mother managed to arrange for her son to be sent on a Kindertransport to London He was adopted by a Nonconformist preacher and his wife near Bala in North Wales By way of long gloomy maundering accounts of his life which sometimes have the character of shaggy dog stories the narrator builds up a sense of his persona which is essentially a deeply melancholy one bereft of any friendships or a sense that he truly belongs in this world So what are we to make of all of this? in a ways the account is emblematic of many ostensibly ineffectual lives of an academic intelligence wasted in a grandiose intellectual project that reuires years of taking notes but never leads to the grand book that should have resulted from it until the narrator decides to burn all the accumulation of material in a small bonfire in the garden of his terrace house But at the same time and in a way that is highly distinctive the book provides a strangely transcendent and hypnotic sense of the power of history and of the relationship between an individual and the accidents of their life I thought the Holocaust may feature heavily but it only makes up a small proportion of the book although when it does go into details it's a powerful account of the devastation wrought by the dispersal of the Jews from Prague and their treatment by the Nazis Austerlitz fails to make sense of his brutalised young self while wandering round the concentration camp at Terezen where his mother was confined which causes him to break down when he later remembers what happened The book shimmers with something akin to menace We are starting to become aware that Austerlitz is carrying around a terrible secret The drama of his life however is that he does not know what that secret is He is a man burdened by memories that he does not possess But little by little sheer chance cracks the carapace and the memories come flooding backSebald's use of the old and architectural detail biography and travelogue is uite brilliant and generally his characters are totally fixated by histories and by that especially of 19th century Europe for the lessons it carries about how apparent rationalism can turn monstrous In this as in the book's use of flashbacks ominous journeys and panoramic descriptions there are the faint echoes of Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness' And for all the uniuely lulling rhythm of Sebald's sentences and the trademark eerie precision of his language his Antwerp fort has limbs and claws other influences too begin to suggest themselves The sense here of people being dwarfed and oppressed by systems is familiar from Kafka and Foucault even the libraries where the narrators loiter are depicted as infinitely oppressive institutions At it's heart though it's simply a story about a life Sebald includes passages with the rawness of a rare good memoir and the momentum of a rarer still convincing historical epic There is even a wide screen battle scene as Austerlitz listens to his boarding school history teacher recount the Napoleonic War confrontation of the same name The Russian and Austrian troops had come down from the mountain sides like a slow avalanche I see cannonballs suspended for an eternity in the air victims flinging up There were moments that were extraordinarily affecting and the haunting meandering journey through time place and even genre makes me feel so glad to have read this It is no doubt a uniue book by a writer who stood out from the crowd And it saddens me to think of all the future work Sebald never got to produce Had he been around today then I am sure he would have been a Nobel recipient by now


  6. says:

    ”It seems to me then as if all the moments of our life occupy the same space as if future events already existed and were only waiting for us to find our way to them at last And might it not be continued Austerlitz that we also have appointments to keep in the past in what has gone before and is for the most part extinguished and must go there in search of places and people who have some connection with us on the far side of time so to speak?”I have trouble writing about Sebald I read The Emigrants and The Rings Of Saturn back to back a few years ago and didn’t bother writing reviews on this site I just added them to my favorites and gave the reuisite 5 stars Perhaps this silence that comes after reading Sebald is in some ways my attempt to not trivialize or minimize the effect reading his books produces; on the other hand it might be that Sebald says what needs to be said in just the way it has to be said; that it is difficult to follow Sebald because there is a certain emotional dusk or twilight that his prose produces that then inevitably calls forth a kind of night one wants to silently dwell on the words and images because they seem so fragile almost sacred I’m not hyperbolizing this experience Sebald is to me the inheritor and refiner perhaps the perfector of not only the whole body of 20th century literature of exile but also one of the last great rememberers the conscience that carries the lessons of the disasters of the 20th century He represents the dying flame of Old World European literary scholars a Sir Thomas Browne roaming the post Relativity age The trance like or oneiric uality of his prose seems to me the voice of Time but Time evacuating itself of its properties time falling into the inner place where it dissolves within ourselves as Memory His prose captures the essence of experience in the process of always being lost and recovered the tenses of our lives that are always flickering into substance and de substantiating before we might grab hold and define themThis is a personal and a universal achievement For all of his books are in some way about collective disappearance and the attempts we make the various means and tactics we as individuals employ to keep oblivion at bay They are about how universal experience weaves the fate of the individual thus the recurring themes of historical conseuence war colonialism etc In this sense Austerlitz is a pinnacle of Sebaldean prose as it directly confronts through a single person the universal history of destruction Its main concern is the possibility of the universal forgetting of the lessons of the Holocaust to the obliterating work of Time and the caprice of Memory within the individual This book is populated with ghosts wavering beings mists fogs smoke things that obscure grand facades of buildings housing empty labyrinths vacant wind sung streets gloaming forests cemeteries overgrown with time’s lichen and tendrils processions of those diminished by death suddenly appearing glimmering into and retreating out of this world The prose of course wanders walks explores Sebald is pretty much only digression in all of his books beautiful melancholy digression akin to the process of meditative reflection itself the prose drifts associates follows leads down desolate halls disappears into dusty vaults peers through windows at empty landscapes in winter light watches the clouds above silently pass away But in all of this an utterly human voice is rising and ebbing revealing guiding a tenderness pervades the melancholy and to me the word melancholy almost always implies something achingly beautiful and tender as well as something struck with sadness and loss A reach for the eternal and Ideal within the irretrievable So Austerlitz and Sebald comes to find that place where hopeless hopes invest the human experienceBut really this “review” is simply an excuse to provide some links to a few Lieder ohne Worte throughout my reading of Austerlitz this was the music floating through mind of coursehttpwwwyoutubecomwatch?vCKtkHh


  7. says:

    W G Sebald's Austerlitz is an austere but beautiful narrative within a narrative about identity and loss with the Holocaust as a looming backdrop The narrator unnamed records conversations with Joseph Jacues Austerlitz whom he meets a few times by chance and later at the whim of Austerlitz This secondary narrator talks about his life before discovering his origins and the incredible uest across the Czech Republic Germany and France to find memories of his mother and father There were moments that were soul crushing but also moments of great Proustian beauty Containing no chapters or paragraph indentations and just three breaks that I recall demarcated by asterisks it is hard to interrupt oneself during reading itA few uotes I enjoyedthey were the last members of a diminutive race which had perished or had been expelled from its homeland and that because they alone survived they wore the same sorrowful expressions as the creatures in the zoo Page 6we even seemed to hear the heavy calvary clashing and felt like a weakness sensed in our own bodies whole ranks of men collapsing beneath the surge of oncoming force Page 100In doing this job which in its pointlessness reminded me of the eternal punishments that we are toldwe must endure after death Page 188I cannot give any precise description of the state of mind this realization induced; I felt something rending within me and a sense of shame and sorrow or perhaps something different something inexpressible because we have no word for it just as I had no words when the two strangers came over to me speaking a language I did not understand Page 193 4At some point in the past I thought I must have made a mistake and now I am living the wrong life Page 298I came to the conclusion that in any project we design and develop the size and degree of complexity of the information and control systems inscribed in it are the crucial factors so that the all embracing and a absolute perfection of the concept can in practice coincide indeed must ultimately coincide with its chronic dysfunction and constitutional instability Page 393Jacobson writes that it was truly terrifying to see such emptiness open up a foot away from firm ground to realize that there was no transition only this dividing line with ordinary life on one side and its unimaginable opposite on the other Page 414Reading the text in Austerlitz and seeing the photos are haunting but necessary to fully appreciate the beauty and pathos of this essential work about the 20th C'a greatest catastrophe


  8. says:

    Austerlitz fascinated me but I couldn't say I loved it Reading this book gave me the feeling of being jet lagged somewhere in a strange city at three o'clock in the morning having strange revelations that would seem bizarre in the daylight Not a feeling I dislike by any means Sebald's attempts to find a prose style to match his explorations of memory and loss are beautiful and haunting but for me at least the effect was soporific than exhilarating Maybe ‘hypnotic’ is a better word The sentences ramble carefully the sense reaching you faintly through a multiple framing effect whereby the story is told by Jacues Austerlitz to our distant Sebaldesue narrator meaning the sentences have a characteristic double tagging device for reported speech which gives them a steady sleepy rhythm Can't you tell me the reason she asked said AusterlitzSometimes so Lemoine told me said AusterlitzOne sentence near the end sprawls across eight or nine pages the clauses fading in and out of each other dreamily like an interesting train of thought that goes through your mind just before you drop off to sleep The number of paragraph breaks in the whole book can be counted on one hand All this is in the service of recreating the effects of memory as Sebald sees it its unreliability its fluidity compared to the rigid unchangeability of actual past eventsEspecially past tragedy Because what Austerlitz is remembering is something he has spent his life trying to repress his early childhood as part of a Jewish family in Prague in the 1930s Hence his meditations on architecture or natural history in the early part of the book all seem to be skirting round something else as yet unnamed; and when finally he begins to trace the fate of his parents there is a series of complex and rewarding thematic call backs which tie the novel together very beautifully an illustration seen in a Welsh children's Bible for instance of Israelites camped out in the desert is echoed later by a description of a Nazi encampment in central Europe Austerlitz's own name seems to be working hard with its associations of war; and indeed it's only a few central letters away from the most infamous Holocaust site of all – one that's never mentioned in this book but which can be intimated from comments about family members ‘sent east’This is not a ‘Holocaust novel’ in the usual sense though – its real subject is not exactly what happened in the middle of the last century but rather how Europe can and should remember it Europe as a whole – this is a novel that deliberately ranges over cities and languages from across the whole continent The vital importance of remembering and also the complete futility of trying And the futility also of expressing what we feel about it because for Sebald language is always at best a poor approximation of reality ‘something which we use in the same way as many sea plants and animals use their tentacles to grope blindly through the darkness enveloping us’ I disagree with this assessment and I think Sebald's novel is in itself a weighty counter argument But nevertheless it's a very moving thesis written with a great deal of artistry and if I felt admiration than affection for it that's perhaps just because I read it in a state of cold wonder at what he was managing to describe – ‘a kind of wonder’ as Sebald says elsewhere ‘which is in itself a form of dawning horror’


  9. says:

    Διάβασα σε αυτό το μυθιστόρημα την τρίτη πιο συναισθηματικά φορτισμένη φράση που έχω συναντήσει ποτέ σε λογοτεχνικό έργο Η πρώτη είναι η αρχή του θρήνου της Αντιγόνης «Ω τάφε μου ω νυφιάτικό μου ω αιώνια βαθιά στη γη σκαμμένη κατοικιά μου» Η δεύτερη είναι τα λόγια του γιατρού Πασκάλ στην «Περιουσία των Ρουγκόν» στο πεδίο της μάχης «Elle est morte» Και η τρίτη υπάρχει σε αυτό το βιβλίο είναι κραυγή της ηλικιωμένης Βέρας που αναφωνεί «Jacuot dis est ce ue c'est vraiment toi?» Και στις τρεις περιπτώσεις έχουμε μια σπουδή επάνω στην απώλεια Η χαμένη ζωή τα χαμένα όνειρα το χαμένο παρελθόν Και ο Αούστερλιτς ο κεντρικός ήρωας της ιστορίας του Sebald είναι χαμένος Ψάχνει να βρει κάτι το οποίο δεν υπάρχει πλέον και συνεπώς είναι καταδικασμένος να υποφέρει από ένα αδιάκοπο αίσθημα κενού που τον αρρωσταίνει και το καταρρακώνει ψυχικά και σωματικά Ο ανώνυμος αφηγητής ίσως μια εκδοχή του ίδιου του συγγραφέα τον συναντά τυχαία τον χάνει και τον ξαναβρίσκει κι από ένα σημείο και μετά ο Αούστερλιτς τον διαλέγει για να του διηγηθεί την ιστορία του την περιπέτειά του στην προσπάθειά του να βρει πληροφορίες σχετικά με τους χαμένους γονείς του και το λησμονημένο του παρελθόνΟ τρόπος που λειτουργεί ο μηχανισμός της μνήμης τα ερεθίσματα που ξεκλειδώνουν εικόνες από το παρελθόν σε αυτό το έργο ερμηνεύεται και διερευνάται με μια μέθοδο που θυμίζει κάτι από την ενδοσκόπηση του Προυστ χωρίς ωστόσο να έχει την βεβαιότητα και τη λεπτομερή καταγραφή που αποτυπώνεται στο «Αναζητώντας τον χαμένο χρόνο» Γιατί στην προκειμένη περίπτωση ο ήρωας δεν θυμάται Παλεύει να θυμηθεί προσπαθεί να διασώσει κάτι μέσα από τα σπαράγματα της μνήμης Δεν καταφέρει και σπουδαία πράγματα αλλά με τη φαντασία του και με ελάχιστα χειροπιαστά τεκμήρια φωτογραφίες κυρίως αλλά και αποκόμματα εισιτηρίων καρέ από δυσεύρετα φιλμ και επιτόπιες έρευνες συνομιλίες με αυτόπτες μάρτυρες και βιβλιογραφικές καταγραφές κτλ προσπαθεί να αναπληρώσει τα κενά Είναι επιστήμονας ο Αούστερλιτς αλλά δυστυχώς ανήκει σε εκείνη την θλιβερή κατηγορία των ωραίων μυαλών που έχουν μεγάλο πρόβλημα διαχείρισης του υλικού τους Κι έτσι όλα παραμένουν μισοτελειωμένα κρυπτικά δυσερμήνευτα και απροσδιόριστα Αυτές οι φωτογραφίες που περιλαμβάνονται στο βιβλίο μου έκαναν από την αρχή μεγάλη εντύπωση Από το ξανθό αγοράκι στο εξώφυλλο του βιβλίου μέχρι το μικρό δάσος της εθνικής βιβλιοθήκης της Γαλλίας όλες είναι αληθινές φωτογραφίες τις οποίες τοποθετεί εικονογραφικά ο συγγραφέας σε στρατηγικά σημεία του έργου έτσι ώστε να υπογραμμίζουν τα λεγόμενά του με μια επίφαση αληθοφάνειας Αλλά ακόμα δεν έχω καταλάβει την τεχνική με την οποία δένει το υλικό του ή πιο απλά τί ήρθε πρώτο η φωτογραφία δηλαδή η εικόνα ή το κείμενο; Γιατί πέρα από την κεντρική διήγηση του ήρωα που ψάχνει πληροφορίες για τους γονείς του υπάρχουν πολλές μικρότερες και συντομότερες ιστορίες πολύ χαλαρά δεμένες στον κορμό του έργου στην ουσία είναι παρεκβάσεις από το κεντρικό θέμα που ωστόσο μέσα από τις φωτογραφίες ή μάλλον χάρη σε αυτές λειτουργούν σαν συνδετικοί κρίκοι και συνιστούν ένα ενιαίο και αριστοτεχνικά δεμένο σύνολο Και το θέμα με αυτές τις φωτογραφίες είναι πως δεν τις στήνει και δεν τις δημιουργεί ο συγγραφέας επί τούτου προϋπήρχαν και τις συνέλεξε και τις ενσωμάτωσε έτσι ώστε να μοιάζουν σαν να φτιάχτηκαν για να συνοδεύσουν τις ιστορίες του τόσο ταιριαστές και απολύτως κατατοπιστικές είναι Πολλές φορές ξεπερνούν σε ζωντάνια ακόμα και τις πιο λεπτεπίλεπτες και περίτεχνες περιγραφές του βιβλίου όπως ας πούμε η εικόνα της μελαχρινής γυναίκας που υποτίθεται πως είναι η Άγκαθα η μητέρα του Αούστερλιτς Διάβασα σε κάποιες κριτικές πως σε κάποιους αναγνώστες ο κεντρικός ήρωας μοιάζει ανολοκλήρωτος και φασματικός Για εμένα ισχύει το αντίθετο βρήκα πως είναι πολύ χειροπιαστός και ανθρώπινος Τον συμπάθησα και μου φάνηκε πως είχε μεγάλη συνέπεια Είναι ο τρόπος έκθεσης των γεγονότων που βρήκα κάπως ψυχρό αυτές οι αφηγήσεις μέσα στις αφηγήσεις που δεν αποτελούν την τυπική λογοτεχνική αναπαράσταση σαν να θέλει ο συγγραφέας να μας υπενθυμίζει αδιάκοπα πως όσα αναφέρει έχουν γίνει ήδη και έχουν ήδη τελειώσει και πως πρόκειται για μια συνάντηση ανάμεσα σε ζωντανούς και πεθαμένους Σε ένα σημείο παραθέτει κιόλας μια όμορφη εξήγηση για το ποιόν αυτών των νεκρών όταν λέει«Ο Έβαν έλεγε ιστορίες για τους πεθαμένους που χάθηκαν πρόωρα που καταλάβαιναν πως στερήθηκαν τα όσα δικαιωματικά τους ανήκαν και ήθελαν να επιστρέψουν πίσω στη ζωή Κι αν είχες την ικανότητα τότε μπορούσες να τους βλέπεις κάθε τόσο έτσι έλεγε ο Έβαν Με την πρώτη ματιά θύμιζαν κανονικούς ανθρώπους αλλά αν κοιτούσες προσεχτικότερα φαίνονταν το θολό περίγραμμά τους σαν να τρεμοπαίζει Και ήταν συνήθως κάπως κοντύτεροι από αυτό που ήταν όσο ζούσαν γιατί η εμπειρία του θανάτου έλεγε ο Έβαν μας μειώνει όπως ένα κομμάτι από ύφασμα λινό που μπαίνει μετά το πρώτο πλύσιμο Οι πεθαμένοι τις περισσότερες φορές περπατούσαν μοναχοί τους ωστόσο κάποιες φορές έβγαιναν σε μικρές παρέες Τους είχαν δει να φορούν στολές με ζωηρά χρώματα ή τυλιγμένους σε γκρίζους μανδύες να πορεύονται επάνω στον λόφο πάνω από την πόλη ακολουθώντας τον απαλό ρυθμό ενός τυμπάνου και ελάχιστα ψηλότεροι από τους αγροτικούς φράχτες τους οποίους διαπερνούσαν» Αυτές οι ιστορίες μου θύμισαν την συνήθεια που έχουμε στον τόπο μου όταν κάποιος θέλει να σε ρωτήσει αν πρόλαβες να γνωρίσεις κάποιον που έχει πλέον πεθάνει δεν σε ρωτάει αν τον πρόλαβες ζωντανό σε ρωτάει αν «τον θυμήθηκες» Όχι αν τον «θυμάσαι» αλλά αν «τον θυμήθηκες» κι έτσι κάπως διαχωρίζουν όσα ανήκουν στο παρελθόν γιατί τελικά η δική μας αλλοιωμένη εικόνα είναι αυτό που παραμένει όταν όλα βυθίζονται στην πιο αναπόφευκτη λήθη αυτή που συνοδεύει τον θάνατο Θυμήθηκα επίσης διαβάζοντας την προσπάθεια του ήρωα να συνδέσει το παρελθόν του με μια ξεχασμένη γλώσσα μια από τις γλώσσες που άκουσε κατά την παιδική του ηλικία πως η λέξη «veverka» που σημαίνει σκίουρος ακούγεται παρόμοια με εκείνη που χρησιμοποιούμε κι εμείς στον τόπο μου γι’ αυτό το ζωάκι Εμείς τα λέμε βερβερίτσες και πιστεύω πως τα βήτα είναι για την απαλή γούνα της ουράς τους τα ρω για την ταχύτητά τους να σκαρφαλώνουν επάνω στα δέντρα και να χάνονται και τα έψιλον για τον ενθουσιασμό που πυροδοτεί συχνά το συναπάντημα με αυτά τα χαριτωμένα πλασματάκια Κι είναι αυτές οι γλωσσικές θεωρίες που υποστηρίζουν πως κάνουμε λέξεις από ήχους και οι ήχοι αποτυπώνουν εικόνες και συναισθήματα Υπάρχουν επίσης πολλές αχνές αλλά ισχυρές βιβλικές εικόνες μέσα στο έργο το μωρό που σώζεται σε ένα καλάθι τα τείχη της Ιεριχούς και ο μεγάλος κατακλυσμός η φυγή στην Αίγυπτο και η πορεία μέσα στην έρημο και φαίνεται πως όλες οι εκδοχές τους μοιραία επαναλαμβάνονται με διαφορετικούς τρόπους μέσα στην ιστορία της ανθρωπότητας Κάποιοι θα σωθούν και κάποιοι θα βουλιάξουν και είναι το υδάτινο στοιχείο αυτό που καλύπτει τα πάντα τελικά αυτό που διασώζει τα χρώματα και την πιο σπάνια και ακριβοθώρητη ομορφιά«Θυμάμαι είπε ο Αούστερλιτς πως κάποτε ο Αλφόνσο διηγήθηκε σε εμένα και στον ανιψιό του πως όλα σβήνονται μπροστά στα μάτια μας και πως ήδη πολλά από τα ωραιότερα χρώματα έχουν χαθεί παντοτινά ή συνεχίζουν να υπάρχουν εκεί που δεν τα πιάνει ανθρώπου μάτι στους υποβρύχιους κήπους βαθιά κάτω από την επιφάνεια της θάλασσας Στα μικράτα του μας είπε συνήθιζε να περπατάει πάνω στους άσπρους βράχους του Ντέβον και της Κορνουάλης εκεί που τα κύματα αιώνες τώρα είχαν σκάψει κοιλότητες και σπηλιές θαυμάζοντας την ανεξάντλητη ποικιλία της λεπτεπίλεπτης φαντασμαγορίας που ταλαντευόταν ανάμεσα στα ζωικά φυτικά και ορυκτά βασίλεια τα ζωόφυτα τα κοράλλια τις θαλάσσιες ανεμώνες τα εχινόδερμα τα ανθόζωα και τα οστρακόδερμα που η παλίρροια τα ξέβραζε δυο φορές τη μέρα ανάμεσα στα φύκια που τρεμούλιαζαν ολόγυρά τους και σαν τραβιόταν το νερό αποκάλυπταν την εξαίσια ιριδίζουσα ζωή τους μέσα στις λακκούβες εκθέτοντας ξανά στο φως και στον αέρα όλες τις αποχρώσεις του ουράνιου τόξου το σμαραγδί το κρεμεζί και το τριανταφυλλί το κίτρινο της ώχρας και το βελούδινο μαύρο»Υπάρχει σε ένα σημείο η ιστορία της εθνικής βιβλιοθήκης της Γαλλίας που μεταφέρθηκε από το παλιό κτίριο στο καινούργιο Το νέο είναι μοντέρνο είναι σύγχρονο και εντυπωσιακά τεράστιο Ωστόσο ο ήρωας το απεχθάνεται θεωρεί πως δεν είναι αρκετά φιλικό για τον αναγνώστη σε σύγκριση με το παλιό Θεωρεί πως αποτελεί ένα μνημείο εγωισμού και μεγαλομανίας χτισμένο επάνω σε έναν τόπο όπου παλιότερα είχε συντελεστεί ένα μεγάλο έγκλημα Και τώρα υπάρχει εκεί ένα μικρό δάσος ανάμεσα στα βιβλία ορατό από τις τεράστιες τζαμαρίες ένα δάσος από δέντρα μεταφυτευμένα εξόριστα από την αλλοτινή τους κατοικία και συχνά τα πουλιά ζαλισμένα πέφτουν νεκρά χτυπώντας με δύναμη επάνω στα τζάμια που σαν αόρατο φρούριο περιβάλλουν τα βιβλία Τελικά είναι αυτό ακριβώς αυτές οι αόρατες οχυρώσεις που βαστούν αποτελεσματικότερα ασύγκριτα καλύτερα από τις άλλες τις πέτρινες και υλικές εκδοχές τους Και τελικά έτσι νομίζω πως ο καθένας πρέπει να διαλέξει αν αυτό θα αποτελεί ένα είδος προστατευτικής μόνωσης ή μια μορφή απομόνωσης μια δυσδιάκριτη αλλά απτή φυλακή


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