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The Search for Heinrich Schlögel: A Novel…
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The Search for Heinrich Schlögel: A Novel (urspr publ 2014; utgåvan 2014)

av Martha Baillie (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
444468,512 (3.93)Ingen/inga
"Martha Baillie's hypnotic novel follows Heinrich Schlögel from Germany to Canada, where he sets out on a two-week hike into the isolated interior of Baffin Island. His journey quickly becomes surreal; he experiences strange encounters and inexplicable visions as shards of Arctic history emerge from the shifting landscape. When he returns from his hike, he discovers that, though he has not aged, thirty years have passed. Narrated by an unnamed archivist who is attempting to piece together the truth of Heinrich's life, The Search for Heinrich Schlögel dances between reality and dream, asking us to consider not only our role in imagining the future into existence but also the consequences of our past choices. "--… (mer)
Medlem:NzoL
Titel:The Search for Heinrich Schlögel: A Novel
Författare:Martha Baillie (Författare)
Info:Tin House Books (2014), 352 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Taggar:to-read

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The Search for Heinrich Schlögel: A Novel av Martha Baillie (2014)

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(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

This is the newest title to arrive in our mailbox from our friends at Canadian experimental publisher Pedlar Press, and I'm always glad to receive their gorgeous and well-done books, even though I have to admit that I'm usually only so-so about their actual avant-garde contents. In this case, that's a fictional biography of a man who doesn't seem at first to have done much worth writing about, but that in good Nabokovian style quickly turns into much more -- a meditation on existence by the obsessed biographer telling the tale, the dreamlike narrative of the subject's day-to-day life, and a clever collection of scanned found objects associated with the mystery, done up in Pedlar's usual beautiful design and attention to detail. Not a book for those expecting a traditional three-act tale, what you think of the story itself will depend a lot on what you think of experimental literature to begin with; but Pedlar at least always puts out some of the best-looking and most conceptually solid experimental books currently on the market, which is what makes finding a new title in the mail always a treat.

Out of 10: 8.0, or 9.0 for fans of experimental literature ( )
  jasonpettus | Apr 12, 2016 |
Heinrich is a nerdy guy, socially inept and longs to find his way into the real world. He meets and befriends another young man who convinces him to leave home (Germany) and take a hike in the Yukon. Nerd guy saves up for the trip and naively arrives for the great adventure, only to be blown off by this temporary "friend" who has come up with a new job and a new girlfriend and does not want to go out of town. He tells Heinrich to go alone. Others have done it. His excellent adventure turns into a series of tragic escapades, wild hallucinatory dreams and when he finally makes his way back to the ranger station from whence he departed, he finds that 30 years have past. Time travel? Or did the native legends carry him away, ignorant of the time he spent out there? My thanks to the author and Goodreads for a complimentary copy. ( )
  musichick52 | Apr 29, 2015 |
A nice, entertaining and fast read. It makes an excellent light read, with a bit more heft and quality than a lot of lighter works, while remaining easily digestible and interesting. It's a nice alternative to a genre novel like a mystery, when you're in that mood.

One could argue that it's not fully thought through, perhaps, and the nut of the matter is left unresolved or fuzzy. But not every book needs to be heavy or important. This one has some nice characters and an interesting setting, along with very capable and pleasurable writing. ( )
  Laura400 | Dec 22, 2014 |
This innovative novel engages on several levels. The story of a young man in search of his identity through travel to isolated places is fascinating although not particularly unique. Boillie manages to make her story unique by introducing considerations of the serious costs that such adventures may have, including loss of connection with loved ones and the familiar. Also she subtly introduces the benefits of such travel, not the least being broader understanding of another race of people.
Boillie’s approach to the narration also is intriguing. The main narrator is a archivist who is trying to solve the mystery of Heinrich Schlogel’s disappearance by collecting evidence from multiple sources including letters, journal entries, newspaper clippings, hand drawn maps, and photographs. This approach lends mystery to the investigation while revealing the specifics of Heinrich’s backstory and motivations. She asks the readers to piece together its narrator’s identity, just as she is piecing together Heinrich, who in turn is searching for himself by reading about the life of a real life northern explorer—Hearne. During his hike, Heinrich imagines contacts with his family as well as Hearne, who he derides for exploiting women on his many treks.
The exploitation of the Inuit people is a major theme of the book. She tells of Abraham Ulrikab, the Inuk from Labrador who was duped into traveling to Germany and ended up being displayed as an oddity in the Berlin zoo in 1880.To maximize profits, the Hudson’s Bay Company, attempted to create a population chronically indebted by relocation. The shooting of sled dogs was an integral part of that plan, as was the establishment of brutal residential schools. Yet she demonstrates a high level of empathy for the Inuit living in this unforgiving terrain by introducing Sarah and her granddaughter Vickie who assist Heinrich demonstrate a high level of empathy for Heinrich in his re-acclimation to a new life following his journey.
The idea of having a European become a “primitive,” a potential object of mistrust and out of sync with the flow of time lends a mysterious element to the plot. ( )
  ozzer | Oct 14, 2014 |
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"Martha Baillie's hypnotic novel follows Heinrich Schlögel from Germany to Canada, where he sets out on a two-week hike into the isolated interior of Baffin Island. His journey quickly becomes surreal; he experiences strange encounters and inexplicable visions as shards of Arctic history emerge from the shifting landscape. When he returns from his hike, he discovers that, though he has not aged, thirty years have passed. Narrated by an unnamed archivist who is attempting to piece together the truth of Heinrich's life, The Search for Heinrich Schlögel dances between reality and dream, asking us to consider not only our role in imagining the future into existence but also the consequences of our past choices. "--

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