Bild på författaren.

W. G. Sebald (1944–2001)

Författare till Austerlitz

33+ verk 14,368 medlemmar 306 recensioner 157 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

He studied German language and literature in Freiburg, Switzerland and Manchester. He has taught at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England since 1970. He became a professor of European literature in 1987. From 1989 to 1994 was the first director of the British Centre for Literary visa mer Translation. He was born in Wertach in Allgau, Germany in 1944. (Bowker Author Biography) visa färre
Foto taget av: Art by Zero

Verk av W. G. Sebald

Austerlitz (2001) 4,040 exemplar
Utvandrade : fyra berättelser (1992) 2,419 exemplar
Svindel. Känslor (1990) 1,588 exemplar
Campo Santo (2003) 496 exemplar
After Nature (1988) 465 exemplar
Logi på landet (1998) 340 exemplar
Unrecounted (2003) 159 exemplar
For Years Now (2001) 61 exemplar
Young Austerlitz (2005) 53 exemplar

Associerade verk

The Tanners (1985) — Inledning, vissa utgåvor455 exemplar
Granta 68: Love Stories (1999) — Bidragsgivare — 149 exemplar
Air Raid (2008) — Efterord — 41 exemplar
Ralph Doughby's Esq. Brautfahrt (2006) — Bidragsgivare, vissa utgåvor7 exemplar


Allmänna fakta



First edition.
bowlees | 95 andra recensioner | Nov 27, 2023 |
Not refuting accusations of Pastiche.

A young imitator of Sebald, who retains his description of the flight of birds suspended in air for eternity, and a felicity for fin-de-siècle authors suffering from, alternatingly, homosexuality and venereal disease; though we know Kafka not to have been so somber and Stendhal so maudlin.
Joe.Olipo | 24 andra recensioner | Sep 19, 2023 |
In 1967, our unnamed narrator meets Jacques Austerlitz for the first time at Antwerp Central Station where they share a discussion on the finer points of the architectural structure and historical significance of the same. Austerlitz is a lecturer of art history at a college in London with a passionate interest in the architectural history of heritage sites and buildings which is made more obvious through the numerous lengthy and detailed descriptions of the buildings and places visited throughout the narrative. Over the next thirty years they continue to meet irregularly in different locations throughout Europe and Austerlitz shares fragments of the story of his life and background with our narrator.

In 1939, four-year-old Jacque Austerlitz arrived in Britain on kindertransport from Czechoslovakia and was taken in by Calvinist preacher and former missionary, Emyr Elias and his wife who lived in a manse in Bala, Wales. He has almost no memories of his life before that and is only made aware of this part of his origin in 1949 by the headmaster of the private school near Oswestry he had been attending since 1946. He is told that his real name is Jacques Austerlitz and not Dafydd Elias, the name given to him by his foster parents. Unfortunately, his foster parents pass on before he can garner any further details from them.

“No one can explain exactly what happens within us when the doors behind which our childhood terrors lurk are flung open.”

Jacques finds support and companionship in André Hilary , teacher of history at his school who later assists in his naturalization process and a younger student, Gerald Fitzpatrick , their friendship lasting the duration of Gerald’s lifetime till his untimely death many years later. He holds fond memories of his many visits to the Andromeda Lodge in Barmouth with Gerald where Gerald’s naturalist Uncle and Grand-uncle fuel his fascination with landscapes and nocturnal insects and birds, moths in particular.

“Newton really thought that time was a river like the Thames, then where is its source and into what sea does it finally flow? Every river, as we know, must have banks on both sides, so where, seen in those terms, where are the banks of time? What would be this river’s qualities, qualities perhaps corresponding to those of water, which is fluid, rather heavy, and translucent? In what way do objects immersed in time differ from those left untouched by it?”

Much of the prose is dedicated to our protagonist Austerlitz’s fascination with and descriptions of old buildings, railway stations and heritage sites. Throughout the narrative, the author gives subtle hints to the protagonist’s search for links to his past as he describes the history of the various places and buildings he visits in Europe. When he finds an unused waiting room in Liverpool Station he experiences a vivid flash of memory of a younger version himself in that waiting room with his rucksack (he is seen to carry a rucksack with him on all his travels) and his foster parents receiving him at the station. When he hears a radio broadcast about children brought to Britain via kindertransport he starts piecing his family history together. His search leads him to Prague where he finds Vera, who had been his nanny while a student at Prague University and was also his mother’s friend and neighbor. Speaking to Vera, he starts to recollect fragmented memories of his childhood, the adjoining area and the language. Vera informs him that his father, Maximilian Aychenwald, had left for Paris just before the Nazi occupation of Prague preceding his family who was to join him later but was never heard from again. His mother, Agata, a singer and actress from an affluent family had stayed on after he was sent to Britain only to have all her assets confiscated and herself transported with others to Theresienstadt. The narrative progresses with Austerlitz’s travels and research into the fate of his parents and the toll of his discoveries on his mental and physical well-being as is shared with the narrator.

“We take almost all the decisive steps in our lives as a result of slight inner adjustments of which we are barely conscious.”

Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald is not an easy book to review. To be honest, I find reviewing the book more complicated than it was to read. At the center of the novel is the Holocaust and Jacques Austerlitz , displaced from his family in an effort to save him from a far worse fate. Combining fact and fiction, the author, instead of going into graphic detail about the horrors of the death camps and the plight of the detainess , discusses the injustices of that period and the impact of the same in post war Europe , but in a more restrained tone. Life in the ghettos and camps , looting of possessions, displacement of families and the ultimate fate of those sent to locations further “east” are alluded to but in connection to Jacque Austerlitz’s story and his research into existing records and documentation that would give him more information on his parents’ respective fates, which takes place almost half a century after the events. Particularly poignant was his discovery of an abridged version of a Nazi propaganda film on the Theresienstadt ghetto to which his mother had been sent and his remastering of it to a fourth of its original speed in which he searches for a glimpse of his mother of whom he has faint recollection. Austerlitz is a deep, meditative and thought-provoking novel about a man searching for his true identity and his exploration of past events of which he has but a fleeting memory. We bear witness to the protagonist’s efforts in finding a sense of belongingness in a world that he observes and interprets but more often than not feels detached from.

The narrative progresses at a slow pace, at times excruciatingly slow, with a deep melancholic tone that is reinforced by old black and white photographs of landscapes, ruins, architecture and much more interspersed throughout the prose. The passages are long and the complex sentences are often hard to follow. I did have to go back and reread parts of the narrative more than once. The longest sentence spanning roughly eight pages is that in which the protagonist shares his description of , and observations on, his visit to Theresienstadt. Brilliant and beautiful in its complexity, Austerlitz, the novel, is an immersive experience that is well worth the time invested.
… (mer)
srms.reads | 95 andra recensioner | Sep 4, 2023 |
Libro e breve e doloroso che fa rivivere la barbarie dei bombardamenti a tappeto: quelli sulla Germania dimenticati dagli altri (perchè i tedeschi se l'erano cercata) sia dai tedeschi (tra ammenda dei prorpi errori e autodifesa mentale).
Nella memoria restano soprattutto l'esigenza di bombardare perchè ormai le bombe erano costruite nonchè la descrizione sconvolgente del rogo di Amburgo e delle sue conseguenze anche psicologiche: per non dimenticare l'orrore della guerra specie in giorni come i nostri che ne vedono un'altra in Europa.… (mer)
catcarlo | 15 andra recensioner | Aug 16, 2023 |



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Associerade författare

Jan Peter Tripp Photographer
Andrea Köhler Afterword
Ria van Hengel Translator
Ada Vigliani Translator
Michael Hulse Translator
Anthea Bell Translator
Radovan Charvát Translator
James Wood Introduction
Michael Roloff Translator
Jos Valkengoed Translator
Jo Catling Translator
Iain Galbraith Translator


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