Paperback º Schwindel Gefühle Epub Þ

Paperback º Schwindel Gefühle Epub Þ

Schwindel Gefühle ➹ [Reading] ➻ Schwindel Gefühle By W.G. Sebald ➮ – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Vertigo, W G Sebald's first novel, never before translated into English, is perhaps his most amazing and certainly his most alarming Sebald—the acknowledged master of memory's uncanniness—takes th Vertigo, W G Sebald's first novel, never before translated into English, is perhaps his most amazing and certainly his most alarming Sebald—the acknowledged master of memory's uncanniness—takes the painful pleasures of unknowability to new intensities in Vertigo Here in their first flowering are the signature elements of Sebald's hugely acclaimed novels The Emigrants and The Rings of Saturn An unnamed narrator, beset by nervous ailments, is again our guide on a hairraising journey through the past and across Europe, amid restless literary ghosts—Kafka, Stendhal, Casanova In four dizzying sections, the narrator plunges the reader into vertigo, into that swimming of the head, as Webster's defines it: in other words, into that state so unsettling, so fascinating, and so stunning and strange, as The New York Times Book Review declared about The Emigrants, that it is like a dream you want to last forever.


10 thoughts on “Schwindel Gefühle

  1. °°°·.°·..·°¯°·._.· ʜᴇʟᴇɴ Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος ·._.·°¯°·.·° .·°°° ★·.·´¯`·.·★ Ⓥⓔⓡⓝⓤⓢ Ⓟⓞⓡⓣⓘⓣⓞⓡ Ⓐⓡⓒⓐⓝⓤⓢ Ταμετούρο Αμ °°°·.°·..·°¯°·._.· ʜᴇʟᴇɴ Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος ·._.·°¯°·.·° .·°°° ★·.·´¯`·.·★ Ⓥⓔⓡⓝⓤⓢ Ⓟⓞⓡⓣⓘⓣⓞⓡ Ⓐⓡⓒⓐⓝⓤⓢ Ταμετούρο Αμ says:

    Ψυχεδελικός περίπατος παρέα με τη μνήμη και τη λήθη και ξάφνου μπροστά μας εμφανίζεται μια μεγάλη αγάπη που δεν θα καταπιεί ποτέ η λησμονιά.

    Πως να μην ρίξεις όλα τα αστέρια του ουρανού σε αυτό το αίσθημα ιλίγγου και συνειδητής λογοτεχνικής μελαγχολίας;

    Το παράξενο γεγονός του έρωτα μας εξηγεί ο Σταντάλ και μας μεταφέρει σε ιστορικές μάχες, απέραντα πεδία πτωμάτων,πολλές ερωμένες,απογοητεύσεις,αρρώστιες και το τελευταίο ταξίδι ανάμεσα σε φαντασία και πραγματικότητα.
    Ενα ταξίδι που απολαμβάνουμε για τις αλησμόνητες ώρες σιωπής και τον χιμαιρικό έρωτα ως ψεύτικη συναλλαγή ευτυχίας.


    Αρχικά ξεκινάμε απο τη Βιέννη είμαστε ακούραστοι περιπλανητές και κάνουμε μεγάλες και κουραστικές πεζοπορίες.
    Κάπου συναντάμε τον ποιητή Δάντη,είναι κι αυτός εξόριστος απο τη λήθη του,μα δεν προλαβαίνουμε να του μιλήσουμε. Περπατάει βιαστικά και χάνεται.
    Ίσως φταίει η μνήμη που μας παραπλανεί κοροϊδευτικά.

    Στις νυχτερινές βόλτες μας υπάρχει σκοπός. Πρέπει οπωσδήποτε να αντιμετωπιστεί το αίσθημα δυσφορίας και ιλίγγου. Δεν είναι ώρα να γείρουμε στο «ρεύμα του χρόνου». Όχι ακόμη τουλάχιστον.

    Συνεχίζουμε στη Βενετία. Εδώ πρέπει οπωσδήποτε να ρυθμιστεί το σύστημα νομολογίας για το ερωτικό πάθος.
    Πρέπει να αθωώσουμε τον Καζανόβα πριν αρχίσει να παίρνει στα σοβαρά τις σκέψεις του περί τρέλας και ορίων της ανθρώπινης λογικής.

    Φτάνουμε στα Λουτρά της Ρίβα. Χρειαζόμαστε απομόνωση-ξεκούραση-θεραπεία- και έρωτα πλατωνικό.
    Υπάρχει ένας βασανισμένος επισκέπτης ανάμεσα στους άλλους. Φοβάται την πολυκοσμία,είναι απίστευτα μοναχικός και μόνιμα σκεπτόμενος. Μας κάνει να τον αγαπήσουμε,να τον πιστέψουμε να τον νιώσουμε ως την ψυχή όταν μας λέει μουδιασμένα ιστορίες για την αρρώστεια του και μια αποσπασματική θεωρία περί του έρωτα δίχως σωματική επαφή.

    Πριν ξεκινήσει μας ξεκαθαρίζει πως θα κάνουμε λίγο παρέα χωρίς ανταλλαγές προσωπικών στοιχείων και όταν έρθει η ώρα του αποχωρισμού θα φύγουμε απλώς αφήνοντας μόνο ευσεβείς πόθους.

    Και λεει: στον έρωτα δίχως σωματική επαφή δεν υπάρχει διαφορά ανάμεσα στο πλησίασμα και την απομάκρυνση.
    Όταν θα ανοίγαμε τα μάτια,θα ξέραμε ότι η φύση είναι η ευτυχία μας και όχι το σώμα μας,που απο καιρό πια δεν ανήκει στη φύση. Γι'αυτό κρατάνε όλοι τον λάθος αγαπημένο,και υπάρχουν σχεδον μόνο τέτοιοι,στον έρωτα έχουν τα μάτια κλειστά ή τα έχουν διάπλατα ανοιχτά απο την απληστία,το ίδιο πράγμα δηλαδή.
    Ποτέ οι άνθρωποι δεν ήταν τόσο αβοήθητοι και τόσο ασυνάρτητοι πνευματικά όσο σε αυτή την κατάσταση.
    Και τότε δεν μπορούν πια να κυριαρχήσουν στις αντιλήψεις τους.
    Υπόκειται κανείς σε μια διαρκή πίεση προς την εναλλαγή και την επανάληψη,η οποία,κάνει τα πάντα απο τα οποία προσπαθεί κανείς να κρατηθεί,ακόμη και την εικόνα του αγαπημένου προσώπου,να διαλύονται. Τέτοιες καταστάσεις λίγο απέχουν απο την τρέλα.

    Αυτά μας είπε και δεν χρειάστηκε να συστηθούμε. Δεν ήταν άλλος απο τον Φράντς Κάφκα!!

    Μόνο γι'αυτά τα λόγια περνάει στα αγαπημένα και αξέχαστα.
    Μόνο γι'αυτά τα λόγια δεν γίνεται να αποχωριστούμε πολιτισμένα.
    Μόνο γι'αυτά τα λόγια ....


    Καλή ανάγνωση!
    Πολλούς πλατωνικούς ασπασμούς!


  2. Orsodimondo Orsodimondo says:

    MIND THE GAP


    Pisanello: Affresco di San Giorgio e la Principessa. 1433-1438. Verona, Chiesa di Santa Anastasia.

    L’io narrante di Sebald è quasi sempre in un periodo delicato e doloroso della vita – conosce la desolazione degli ospedali, ha frequentato anche quelli psichiatrici – è immerso nella malinconia, ma direi anche in qualcosa di molto prossimo alla depressione. È alle prese con una forza con la quale ingaggia una lotta muta, ma strenua.


    Pisanello: Affresco di San Giorgio e la Principessa (particolare). Verona, Chiesa di Santa Anastasia.

    Immagino che quella forza sia il ricordo: ricordare o dimenticare fa ugualmente male, è un peso dal quale non ci si libera.
    Ma è qualcosa che non si può trascurare.

    Anche conservare memoria perfetta di una lacerante amnesia è preferibile al completo oblio.
    Ma le immagini che la memoria riconduce, per quanto fedeli al proprio vissuto, possono essere prese come dati di fatto, sono davvero affidabili?
    Quante più immagini del passato riesco a raccogliere, tanto più mi sembra inverosimile che si sia svolto proprio in quel modo: nulla in esso può definirsi normale, la maggior parte di quanto vi è accaduto è ridicolo, e là dove non è ridicolo suscita orrore.

    description

    L’orrore è l’eredità dell’heimat, nasce da quei dodici anni che durarono mille, durante i quali Sebald e il suo io narrante videro la luce: e, anche, dall’essersene andato via, avere abbandonato la terra natia, un gesto sentito come aver voluto dimenticare e rimuovere quel passato (ma si è comunque portato dietro l’infezione nazista, proprio come Stendhal nel primo racconto, sotto l’alias di Beyle, si porta dietro la sifilide nel suo peregrinare per l'Italia settentrionale).
    Perché, in fondo al ricordo, c’è sempre dolore, c’è sempre una colpa. Il ricordo è ‘vertigine'.

    description

    L’io narrante di Sebald parla in modo accurato, dotto, forbito, ironico, ipnotico.
    Parla col silenzio. Parla attraverso gli spazi geografici e temporali che percorre.
    Parla di paesaggi di rarefatta solitudine.
    Traccia linee di collegamento tra la mano di una donna che potrebbe essersi poggiata sulla sua spalla nella hall di un albergo di Limone sul Garda con il ricordo di anni prima a Manchester dove un’ottica cinese gli riparò gli occhiali giungendo a una vicinanza fisica quasi simile.



    Sembra sempre circondato di simboli, ha visioni, vede persone morte da tempo, fa incontri strani, è perseguitato da atmosfere gotiche, cupe, sospese, desolate.
    Si ferma a scrivere dove capita, anche nel corridoio del treno o davanti alla stazione di Desenzano, prende appunti con la matita su taccuini dimenticando tutto tutti e se stesso: scrive e afferma di non sapere cosa scrive, …ma di avere sempre più la sensazione che si trattasse di un romanzo giallo.



    L'io narrante di Sebald parla attraverso racconti che sono romanzi che sono memoir che sono saggi che sono autobiografia, diario di viaggio, ricordi personali, diari altrui, lettere, articoli di giornale, confidenze (romanzo giallo?)…
    Parla di storia e geografia e arte e botanica e architettura e musica e …
    Parla di viaggi, nel tempo e nello spazio. Sono viaggi dell’anima, che il corpo asseconda:
    Entrato in chiesa, mi sedetti un attimo per slacciarmi le stringhe delle scarpe e all’improvviso, come ricordo ancora con immutata chiarezza, non seppi più dove fossi. Nonostante il faticosissimo tentativo di ricostruire lo svolgimento delle ultime giornate – quelle che mi avevano condotto lì - non avrei neppure saputo dire se mi trovavo ancora nel mondo dei vivi o in un Altrove.

    description

    Parla, e sembra tacere.
    Parla piano, parla col silenzio e in silenzio.
    Respira e mi trasmette libertà: non solo perché è oltre la costrizione di qualsiasi genere letterario.
    È proprio questa forma di quiete che ha il profumo di libertà.

    La mia sensazione è che segua una linea più sinuosa che retta, più periferica che tesa al centro: potrebbe ridisporre queste quattro sezioni (racconti?) in un’infinita varietà di combinazioni.
    Non è in fondo questo che il narratore di Sebald afferma quando nella biblioteca civica di Verona sfogliando le raccolte dei giornali locali risalenti all’agosto e settembre 1913 scrive:
    …storie senza né capo né coda che, pensavo tra me, sarebbe stato opportuno approfondire?
    E ancora:
    …con le mie annotazioni mi trovavo ormai arrivato al punto in cui si trattava di andare avanti non si sa fino a quando oppure di lasciar perdere.

    description

    Perché in tutte le opere di Sebald ci sono le fotografie, cosa significano?
    Sono abbandonate tra le pagine come in un diario, per ricordare qualcosa, un momento particolare?
    Ma anche se si trattasse di un diario, è un diario pubblicato, la foto è stampata in un posto e un ordine precisi: vuole avvalorare il testo, confermarlo, dargli più verità?
    O siamo nel campo della letteratura postmoderna, e Sebald sta cercando di ricordarci che si tratta di un’opera di finzione, una sua invenzione (come l’attore che improvvisamente volta le spalle al palcoscenico e parla rivolto allo spettatore, squarciando il velo): in fondo, la foto non dimostra nulla, può essere quella o un’altra cosa, non abbiamo prove per collegarla al testo, se non una specie di verosimiglianza.



    Lavoriamo al buio - facciamo quello che possiamo, diamo quello che abbiamo. Il nostro dubbio è la nostra passione e la nostra passione è il nostro compito.
    Così Henry James sintetizza il lavoro dell’artista: sono parole che si applicano anche al lettore, perché quando s’incontra una vera e propria opera d'arte, come gli scritti di Sebald, è come leggere al buio, non si può mai sapere dove si verrà condotti.

    Ecco perché, quando posso, io cerco rifugio nella sua prosa, come in un cinema: quando inizio a leggerlo, è come se si spegnesse la luce e io prendessi il largo.

    description


  3. Seemita Seemita says:

    I take refuge in prose as one might in a boat.
    Laughter erupted from the adjacent table. A middle-aged lady chided a young man for his deteriorating writing skills. The young man shifted in his chair with a sheepish grin, nudging a tiny vial of admiration in his copper-brown eyes. [Were they bearer of a clandestine moment?] His neigbour was now invoking poetry gods with the adulterated whim of a ventriloquist. He quoted Baudelaire. [I think. Or was that Verlaine? Damn! My poetry quotient is not worth a tarnished dime. Anyway, back to the poet.] He is now towering over a nubile being and scanning her notes. This young thing is explaining a sonnet with gusto, snapping the air with jingling of her bangles. [Does there exist a common set of fans of both Baudelaire and Shakespeare? Of course! Stupid me! Focus!] There is a fifth person around the same table who is presently sweeping the quartet with the incisive broom of her bushy eyelashes. [Is she the decision-maker or the note-taker?] Now and then, the five rearrange their gazes that return to settle at familiar corners at regular intervals. Parchments are frayed, books are shuffled, inks are spent, dates are booked and budgets are spooled. At long length, the chairs cough to clear their temporary owners upon seeing them lock the final reminders on their phones. As they exited, I cast a long shot over their diminishing frames which appeared like five uneven jagged tips of an archipelago, with the bunching of few, declaring allegiance within the island clan.

    Sitting at a book cafe in a foreign land, I am unlikely to be privy to this fivesome's next rendezvous. But is it likely that a whiff of Baudelaire scent in another time, in another unfamiliar land, on some future date, beseech me to relive this moment? A jingling of bangles over lyrical waves, may be? Didn't I declare an unwavering twenty minutes of my life in their favor, mothering a nascent hope somewhere, of them forming a part of what I write today, and tomorrow? Or was the hope hinged on the dual legs of amnesia and disillusion where a tickle of rowdy adventure may topple the balance for good?

    As a wanderer of questionable credentials, I waited for Sebald to join me in unravelling the threads of my hotchpotch travelogue. He has an authorial hand that has penned a stunning vertiginous thesis, legitimizing a dense brethren of Beyle (view spoiler)[Stendhal (hide spoiler)]


  4. Steven Godin Steven Godin says:

    Hmm......this is a tough one, and still don't know just quite what to make of it. I Could sit on it for 24 hours and reach a different conclusion, but while it's fresh in my mind I settle for now. And speakings of minds, Sebald going by this certainly had an imaginative one, made up of fragmented memories from his youth, and historical meditation swirled with fantastical events from an overview of the life of Stendhal in 19th century Italy . The positives from Vertigo far outweigh the negatives, but I so wish it had either been an ingenious novel of vast proportions, or a travelogue memoir solely based on fact, it mixes both, with mixed results. It has given me vertigo, a sensation of whirling and loss of focus, I wish I had a feeling of equilibrium, because reviewing this is not going to be easy.

    A ghostly figure, which I will call Sebald's doppelganger, takes off from England to travel via the streets of Vienna, Venice, Milan, Verona and Innsbruck, finally ending the journey in the German village of W. (Wertach? his family home). Driven by a hypnotic prose (which was seriously good) Sebald the narrator takes readers on an almost spiritual pilgrimage, bending his own thoughts from places visited in the past, and the felling it evokes inside of him. Some pages contain old photos and drawings that accompany the text, this just adds to the feeling of buried thoughts and periods in the past, some are blurry, but then so was Sebald's mind. Kafka on a bus, his link with a pizzeria in Verona?, the image of Ludwig of Bavaria floating by in a vaporetto in Venice, the mythical figure of Gracchus the huntsman, and an ancient war, entrancingly, are spellbound into Sebald's vision. His wondering travels conjure up some wondrous landscapes through Italy, and are beautifully descriptive, casting bewilderment and daze. In a moment of confusion whilst in the Milan Cathedral, he would all of a sudden no longer have any knowledge of his surroundings, unable to determine whether he was in the land of the living or already in another place, having a force of uncertainty that pervades everything around him. This sums Vertigo up in a nutshell.

    Vertigo is not the type of book to put your feet up and relax to, on the contrary, it stimulates the mind, gets you thinking, puzzles and dazzles likewise, to a degree this reminded me in some ways of calvino's Invisible Cities, for the way it wraps you in a magical blanket. But Sebald writes with a more melancholic and haunting tone. There is sadness within, especially towards the end.
    There is a problem though of piling up too much detail and jumping from thought to thought that felt increasingly random and oblique. In terms of the readers, there are no hints about the points he was trying to raise. I don't want to call more than 50% of it's content as self-indulgent, but not to lie, it was. I can understand the whole dislocation from reality thing, but it didn't fully grasp me.
    And this coming from someone who generally does not use criticism in reviews, always looking rather for the good things, and there are plenty here. But one must be honest with ones self, otherwise doubt over ones ability to judge fairly is bought into question.
    A good solid three stars is the best I can do.


  5. Kris Kris says:

    Throughout Vertigo, W.G. Sebald, through deceptively clear prose and photographs, creates a disorienting waking dream for his readers. The novel is divided into four sections, and while there is not a straightforward plot or clear storyline, Sebald weaves thematic connections as well as specific details revisited from different perspectives to hold the novel together. Some sections read as biographies of historical figures, while others are written from the perspective of neurotic characters, traveling in Venice, Vienna, and the Tyrolean Mountains in dreamlike states.

    Nothing is stable in Sebald's world. Although maps, atlases, and sketches of terrain appear throughout the book, discrepancies between these guides and the actual sites, changed by time, development, or the gap between the ideal and reality, make these worlds difficult for the characters to navigate. Sebald uses water as another device to convey the dream-like vertigo suffered by his characters. Waves roll, vaporetti rock on the canals of Venice, the lapping of water acts as a lullaby. Buildings and works of art molder and decay. Characters attempt to find something concrete to hold onto - friends, people on the streets, a walking routine, scraps of paper to decipher - but in the end their dream-states always prevail.

    Since finishing Vertigo, I can't shake off the disorienting sense that I was dreaming along with the characters. This novel is recommended for people who don't require traditional plots, but who are interested in traveling with Sebald, witnessing his blurring of genres, and sharing in the disconcerting experience of life with his characters.


  6. Geoff Geoff says:

    ~~~

    I listen, as it were, to a soundless opera.

    Elsewhere I have called Sebald Europe’s last great rememberer, the final inheritor of the legacy of all those literary and artistic exiles of the disasters of the 20th century, sort of carrying all of that over for us into the new millennium, wandering late in the terrible century the landscape of what was built on top of those ruins and embers, surveying in a more detached mode the reconstruction smothering out the ghosts and relics, tuned to the ever-returning, ever-retreating voices of all of those marching backwards into history’s shadows. Within the fissures of all of his prose, the white space between letters, the timeless calamity resounds. Under his gaze the stream’s course not so much reverses as superimposes, a river overlapping a river overlapping a river in an endless palimpsest of fading impressions yet proving ineradicable. He bears witness to what is no longer witnessable, the centuries accumulate in his books, and become semitransparent as fog overlaying a dark morning forest whose trees in the wind resemble the slow undulation of oceans. On these oceans barques are setting sail for unknown places. They return, bereft of crew, ghost ships with holds full of enigmatic riches.

    It feels appropriate that the last of his fictions for me to read was his first novel, for Vertigo is something like Sebald’s ricorso. In it Sebald appears already fully formed - the wanderer in search of the strange interdependencies of Life and Fate. The Teutonic conscience that cannot bear the legacy of its homeland and so exiles itself. The living man ferried over Styx to the land of the dead like so many before him, but unable to find port - the hunter Gracchus. The man to whom Art and Letters are a world above the unfathomable world below, one which we carry inside of us and retreat to for meaning, for solace, for safety and for rejuvenation. His procession home is fraught with phantoms, mists, paranoia, doubling, mirror-worlds, unsettling coincidences, emergences of the same, tonal repetitions as in a piece of music, manifestations of nightmares, disconsolate memories, distant warnings, obscure signposts, and the titular unrelenting nauseating imbalance and sense of dislocation. Yet it is as achingly beautiful and melancholy and brilliant as any of his works, and found me at the perfect moment, when its celestial longing and sense of the inherent beauty in the struggle at recovering the irrecoverable (one of the main purposes of Art), of setting down in the more permanent fixture of words and images the finite, the fading, the ungraspable, its determination not to lose the hope of uncovering meaning within the cosmic occurrence of apparently meaningless collapse, however obscure and at times terrifying (”For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, which we still are just able to endure”), was much needed succor for this brother huntsman of the Black Forest, this fellow Flying Dutchman.

    Di Morte l'angelo a noi s'appressa. Già veggo il ciel discindersi.

    ~~


  7. Gorkem Gorkem says:

    Sebald, II. Dünya Savaşı sonrası Alman halkının belleklerine, baskı ve korku içinde yaşayan dünyalara bizi gene otobiyografik, deneme ve farklı öykü türlerini kendine has bir biçim içerik içinde müthiş bir okuma zevki sunuyor.

    Sebald birbirinden bağımsız yapılardan oluşan öyküleri temalar ile birbirine bağlaması ve gene Sebald'ın inanılmaz doğal anlatımı ile Beyle isimli Napolyon döneminde bir askerin (evet düşündüğümüz kişi) okuyucuya sinyaller çakarak bu kişinin aşklarını ve başarısızlıklarını okuyoruz.

    İkinci bölüm ve diğerleri cidden tarif edilmesi zor ve ancak okuma doğrultusunda tadı lezzeti beyninizde kalacak inanılmaz göndermeler ile devam ediyor. Sebald bizi tarihsel anlamda yolculuklara çıkararak yazarlar üzerinden harika göndermeler yapıyor.

    Harika bir deneyimdi.

    Herkese iyi okumalar
    10/9


  8. [P] [P] says:

    I find the wonderful German writer W.G. Sebald so difficult to review that my treatment of his second novel, The Rings of Saturn, was no more than a long story about a trip I once made with my then partner to her home in Cornwall, during which, mostly on account of her parents, I lost my mind and my girlfriend. I’m not, of course, going to go over all that again, and I couldn’t even if I wanted to, for I have forgotten much of what took place; yet the disquieting thing is that what I can recall or bring back I now doubt the veracity of. For example, my girlfriend’s parents were very rich, but I am sure that it is not the case that their admittedly large home was backed by an even larger field, in which wild horses ran; yet that – the field, the horses, the house – is my strongest memory of the week I spent in Cornwall.

    Some years ago I was at college and my philosophy teacher told me a story about how he moved to the Czech Republic, on a whim so to speak, in order to be with a Czech girl he had met whilst she was on vacation in England. When he arrived at her house she showed him in and explained that he ought to say hello to her father. He agreed and so she directed him to climb the stairs, where her father could be found in the first room on the right. My teacher may have found this odd, but in any case he climbed the stairs and entered the room and there he saw the old man, sitting in a chair, listening to Wagner, with tears streaming down his face. Now, this did not happen to me. I know that well enough, so why is it that this memory now seems as though it belongs to me? Why is it that I am able to put myself in that situation, in place of my teacher, and see, not what he saw, but my own version of it, with as much assurance as anything that has actually happened to me in my life?

    As I sit here and think about those two trips, one to Cornwall and one to the Czech Republic, both of which are a strange mixture of fantasy and fact, the proportions of each unknowable to me, I feel extremely disorientated. This disorientation is, I believe, what Sebald called vertigo, a state that is characterised by the difficulty, or a belief in the difficulty, of putting one’s feet on the ground, of being sure of yourself and of the world around you. It is this mental, and physical, state that Sebald writes about in this book, the first of his four great novels. In it he tells a series of anecdotes and stories, involving both fictional characters and real people, including himself.

    description

    Sebald’s first vertigo-sufferer is Marie-Henri Beyle, who we are told was a soldier in Napoleon’s army; he was also a writer, and is better known as Stendhal. Throughout his life Beyle’s memories and perceptions, according to Sebald, consistently played tricks on him. For example, he was convinced that the town of Ivrea, through which he once passed, would be indelibly fixed in his mind, only to find, some years later, that what he actually remembered was nothing but a copy of an engraving called Prospetto d’Ivrea.

    Beyle writes that even when the images supplied by memory are true to life one can place little confidence in them.


    For Beyle, the distinction between truth and fiction, reality and imagination, was tenuous at best. Probably the most wonderful, the most moving anecdote Sebald shares with us in this regard involves Beyle’s relationship with a possibly imaginary woman, La Ghita. Beyle, writes Sebald, claimed to have been travelling with La Ghita, to have had involved conversations with her, and to have eventually broken from her, and yet there is no definitive proof that she ever existed; in fact, the likelihood is that she was a composite of numerous women the Frenchman had known.

    As with all of Sebald’s work, in Vertigo he is concerned with melancholy outsiders, or eccentrics. Most people do not have a troubled relationship with reality, like Beyle does, but the few that do tend to not be particularly happy [or mentally stable]. This appears to be borne out when, at the beginning of the second section of the novel, Sebald, or the narrator who so closely resembles Sebald, discusses his own mental breakdown, which occurs when travelling through Vienna, Milan, Verona, Venice and Innsbruck. The narrator’s vertigo manifests itself as a kind of dread or neurotic fear, and by a sense of the uncanny. For example, at one point he tells the story of Casanova’s imprisonment and notices that the day the Italian had set for his escape is the day that he [Sebald] had visited that same prison, Doge’s Palace. When he leaves each town or city he does so as though trying to outstrip his anxiety, as though he is on the run from himself [and possibly the two shadowy figures he believes may be following him]. In the second half of this long second section, Sebald returns, seven years later, to make the same trip and visit some of the same places. This trip is a tour of his memories of those places as much as it is an actual tour of them.

    Like Beyle, Sebald is hyper-sensitive; the things that he reads and the art that he engages with often break into reality, the everyday world is often transformed by his imagination [or madness]. At one point in the book he thinks that he is following Dante, at another he mentions that he was once convinced that a black limousine driver was Melchior, one of the three magi [or wise men]. Throughout, there hangs over the book the question, What is reality? Are Sebald’s strange experiences reality? Instinctively one would want to say no, because Dante was dead at the time the narrator claims to have seen him, and yet, for me, the issue is far from clear-cut; what someone experiences, regardless of how impossible it may may seem, is their reality, is as real as anything we would accept without raising an eyebrow. The truth of the world, I once wrote, is like a cloud of blue smoke on a windy day.

    Over the years I had puzzled out a good deal in my own mind, but in spite of that, far from becoming clearer, things now appeared to me more incomprehensible than ever. The more images I gathered from the past, i said, the more unlikely it seemed to me that the past actually happened in this or that way.


    According to many of the reviews and articles I have read, Vertigo is the weakest of Sebald’s four novels, but that is not an opinion I share; for me The Emigrants is the least engaging of the bunch. However, what does distinguish this novel from the others, and perhaps accounts for some of the indifference towards it, is that it wears its influences more brazenly. Sebald’s other work all tastes subtly of Marcel Proust and Jorge Luis Borges, but here the flavour is very, very strong. The prose style, involving long complex sentences, with multiple clauses, is recognisably Proustian; and some of the ideas contained within Vertigo are not only similar to some of those found in In Search of Lost Time, but actually appear in it. Furthermore, the structure of this book, in comparison with Austerlitz and The Rings of Saturn in particular, is far from sophisticated. For example, while the opening Beyle section is thematically connected to the rest of the work, it still essentially stands alone. Later in his career Sebald would work his anecdotes and stories into his overall narrative and that gave them a satisfying flow that Vertigo does not have.

    Yet there are also positive aspects of the book that one will not find in Sebald’s more sophisticated work. First of all, it is at times pretty funny. There is a refreshing lightness of touch, or lightheartedness, in certain passages. Two incidents stand out or me in this regard, there is Sebald possibly getting hit on in a bar in Italy and a scene on a bus when he spies two kids who he thinks are dead-ringers for Franz Kafka. Here, our intrepid narrator approaches the boys and their parents, but receives a frosty reception; he asks for a photograph of the children but is turned down. They probably thought I was a pederast, Sebald notes. Ha! Martin Amis once said that all great writers are also comic writers, and I believe there is some truth in that. A comic writer does not have to mean someone like P.G. Wodehouse, but, for me, and Amis too, includes the likes of Tolstoy and Kafka. The idea is that if you understand the world, and the human condition, you cannot help but be, on occasions, funny, because life is funny; so it pleases me that Sebald has shown that he, too, could be humorous. The story of the Kafka kids also highlights another pleasing aspect of Vertigo, which is that it is more obviously fictional than the novels that came after it. One may in fact see that as a negative, but it was nice, in my opinion, to encounter a more relaxed Sebald, one trying stuff out, even some goofy stuff.


  9. Grazia Grazia says:

    Una fiammata brevissima, uno scoppio, sprizzi di scintille e poi ogni cosa si spegne.

    Gli ingredienti sono i medesimi di Austerlitz: viaggio, memorie, letteratura, arte, architettura, Storia.
    L'impasto si compone di prosa elegantissima (mai artificiosa) e fotografie in bianco e nero. Fotografie come testimonianza di vite che furono. Pensieri, associazioni, parallelismi, ricordi, ricostruzioni. Pensieri evocati che non appartengono più alle persone che li hanno concepiti perché legati ad un tempo e ad un luogo.

    La vertigine è quella che coglie nel momento in cui avviene la presa di coscienza di quanto sia effimero l'uomo, le sue pulsioni, i suoi ricordi, i suoi mutabili pensieri, i suoi tentativi di sopravvivere al tempo.

    Vite di persone, si intersecano semplicemente perché hanno solcato lo stesso suolo, hanno osservato lo stesso dipinto, in anni differenti, attraversati dagli stessi pensieri e dalle stesse pulsioni. Forse. Oppure passanti in maniera fortuita per gli stessi luoghi, senza un disegno, ma solo per pura casualità.
    Il viaggio che compie Sebald, non è (solo) un viaggio nei luoghi, è un viaggio nel tempo e nelle coscienze. Un tentativo di ricostruzione identità e individualità dissolte. Ma come mantenere ciò che è stato se i luoghi e le cose non sono in grado di testimoniare?

    Quante più immagini del passato riesco a raccogliere, continuai, tanto più mi sembra inverosimile che proprio in quel modo si sia svolto il passato: nulla in esso può definirsi normale, anzi, la maggior parte di quanto vi è accaduto è ridicolo, e là dove non è ridicolo suscita orrore.

    A Sebald non interessa raccontare una storia. Sebald regala suggestioni.


  10. Vit Babenco Vit Babenco says:

    Vertigo is about properties of human mind and memory and the story goes as a sudden paroxysm of dizziness…
    “…over the years I had puzzled out a good deal in my own mind, but in spite of that, far from becoming clearer, things now appeared to me more incomprehensible than ever. The more images I gathered from the past, I said, the more unlikely it seemed to me that the past had actually happened in this or that way, for nothing about it could be called normal: most of it was absurd, and if not absurd, then appalling.”
    It is a tale about that strange occupation we call living…
    “Mme Gherardi maintained that love, like most other blessings of civilisation, was a chimaera which we desire the more, the further removed we are from Nature. Insofar as we seek Nature solely in another body, we become cut off from Her; for love, she declared, is a passion that pays its debts in a coin of its own minting…”
    Between sanity and madness there is but a step…


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10 thoughts on “Schwindel Gefühle

  1. °°°·.°·..·°¯°·._.· ʜᴇʟᴇɴ Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος ·._.·°¯°·.·° .·°°° ★·.·´¯`·.·★ Ⓥⓔⓡⓝⓤⓢ Ⓟⓞⓡⓣⓘⓣⓞⓡ Ⓐⓡⓒⓐⓝⓤⓢ Ταμετούρο Αμ °°°·.°·..·°¯°·._.· ʜᴇʟᴇɴ Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος ·._.·°¯°·.·° .·°°° ★·.·´¯`·.·★ Ⓥⓔⓡⓝⓤⓢ Ⓟⓞⓡⓣⓘⓣⓞⓡ Ⓐⓡⓒⓐⓝⓤⓢ Ταμετούρο Αμ says:

    Ψυχεδελικός περίπατος παρέα με τη μνήμη και τη λήθη και ξάφνου μπροστά μας εμφανίζεται μια μεγάλη αγάπη που δεν θα καταπιεί ποτέ η λησμονιά.

    Πως να μην ρίξεις όλα τα αστέρια του ουρανού σε αυτό το αίσθημα ιλίγγου και συνειδητής λογοτεχνικής μελαγχολίας;

    Το παράξενο γεγονός του έρωτα μας εξηγεί ο Σταντάλ και μας μεταφέρει σε ιστορικές μάχες, απέραντα πεδία πτωμάτων,πολλές ερωμένες,απογοητεύσεις,αρρώστιες και το τελευταίο ταξίδι ανάμεσα σε φαντασία και πραγματικότητα.
    Ενα ταξίδι που απολαμβάνουμε για τις αλησμόνητες ώρες σιωπής και τον χιμαιρικό έρωτα ως ψεύτικη συναλλαγή ευτυχίας.


    Αρχικά ξεκινάμε απο τη Βιέννη είμαστε ακούραστοι περιπλανητές και κάνουμε μεγάλες και κουραστικές πεζοπορίες.
    Κάπου συναντάμε τον ποιητή Δάντη,είναι κι αυτός εξόριστος απο τη λήθη του,μα δεν προλαβαίνουμε να του μιλήσουμε. Περπατάει βιαστικά και χάνεται.
    Ίσως φταίει η μνήμη που μας παραπλανεί κοροϊδευτικά.

    Στις νυχτερινές βόλτες μας υπάρχει σκοπός. Πρέπει οπωσδήποτε να αντιμετωπιστεί το αίσθημα δυσφορίας και ιλίγγου. Δεν είναι ώρα να γείρουμε στο «ρεύμα του χρόνου». Όχι ακόμη τουλάχιστον.

    Συνεχίζουμε στη Βενετία. Εδώ πρέπει οπωσδήποτε να ρυθμιστεί το σύστημα νομολογίας για το ερωτικό πάθος.
    Πρέπει να αθωώσουμε τον Καζανόβα πριν αρχίσει να παίρνει στα σοβαρά τις σκέψεις του περί τρέλας και ορίων της ανθρώπινης λογικής.

    Φτάνουμε στα Λουτρά της Ρίβα. Χρειαζόμαστε απομόνωση-ξεκούραση-θεραπεία- και έρωτα πλατωνικό.
    Υπάρχει ένας βασανισμένος επισκέπτης ανάμεσα στους άλλους. Φοβάται την πολυκοσμία,είναι απίστευτα μοναχικός και μόνιμα σκεπτόμενος. Μας κάνει να τον αγαπήσουμε,να τον πιστέψουμε να τον νιώσουμε ως την ψυχή όταν μας λέει μουδιασμένα ιστορίες για την αρρώστεια του και μια αποσπασματική θεωρία περί του έρωτα δίχως σωματική επαφή.

    Πριν ξεκινήσει μας ξεκαθαρίζει πως θα κάνουμε λίγο παρέα χωρίς ανταλλαγές προσωπικών στοιχείων και όταν έρθει η ώρα του αποχωρισμού θα φύγουμε απλώς αφήνοντας μόνο ευσεβείς πόθους.

    Και λεει: στον έρωτα δίχως σωματική επαφή δεν υπάρχει διαφορά ανάμεσα στο πλησίασμα και την απομάκρυνση.
    Όταν θα ανοίγαμε τα μάτια,θα ξέραμε ότι η φύση είναι η ευτυχία μας και όχι το σώμα μας,που απο καιρό πια δεν ανήκει στη φύση. Γι'αυτό κρατάνε όλοι τον λάθος αγαπημένο,και υπάρχουν σχεδον μόνο τέτοιοι,στον έρωτα έχουν τα μάτια κλειστά ή τα έχουν διάπλατα ανοιχτά απο την απληστία,το ίδιο πράγμα δηλαδή.
    Ποτέ οι άνθρωποι δεν ήταν τόσο αβοήθητοι και τόσο ασυνάρτητοι πνευματικά όσο σε αυτή την κατάσταση.
    Και τότε δεν μπορούν πια να κυριαρχήσουν στις αντιλήψεις τους.
    Υπόκειται κανείς σε μια διαρκή πίεση προς την εναλλαγή και την επανάληψη,η οποία,κάνει τα πάντα απο τα οποία προσπαθεί κανείς να κρατηθεί,ακόμη και την εικόνα του αγαπημένου προσώπου,να διαλύονται. Τέτοιες καταστάσεις λίγο απέχουν απο την τρέλα.

    Αυτά μας είπε και δεν χρειάστηκε να συστηθούμε. Δεν ήταν άλλος απο τον Φράντς Κάφκα!!

    Μόνο γι'αυτά τα λόγια περνάει στα αγαπημένα και αξέχαστα.
    Μόνο γι'αυτά τα λόγια δεν γίνεται να αποχωριστούμε πολιτισμένα.
    Μόνο γι'αυτά τα λόγια ....


    Καλή ανάγνωση!
    Πολλούς πλατωνικούς ασπασμούς!

  2. Orsodimondo Orsodimondo says:

    MIND THE GAP


    Pisanello: Affresco di San Giorgio e la Principessa. 1433-1438. Verona, Chiesa di Santa Anastasia.

    L’io narrante di Sebald è quasi sempre in un periodo delicato e doloroso della vita – conosce la desolazione degli ospedali, ha frequentato anche quelli psichiatrici – è immerso nella malinconia, ma direi anche in qualcosa di molto prossimo alla depressione. È alle prese con una forza con la quale ingaggia una lotta muta, ma strenua.


    Pisanello: Affresco di San Giorgio e la Principessa (particolare). Verona, Chiesa di Santa Anastasia.

    Immagino che quella forza sia il ricordo: ricordare o dimenticare fa ugualmente male, è un peso dal quale non ci si libera.
    Ma è qualcosa che non si può trascurare.

    Anche conservare memoria perfetta di una lacerante amnesia è preferibile al completo oblio.
    Ma le immagini che la memoria riconduce, per quanto fedeli al proprio vissuto, possono essere prese come dati di fatto, sono davvero affidabili?
    Quante più immagini del passato riesco a raccogliere, tanto più mi sembra inverosimile che si sia svolto proprio in quel modo: nulla in esso può definirsi normale, la maggior parte di quanto vi è accaduto è ridicolo, e là dove non è ridicolo suscita orrore.

    description

    L’orrore è l’eredità dell’heimat, nasce da quei dodici anni che durarono mille, durante i quali Sebald e il suo io narrante videro la luce: e, anche, dall’essersene andato via, avere abbandonato la terra natia, un gesto sentito come aver voluto dimenticare e rimuovere quel passato (ma si è comunque portato dietro l’infezione nazista, proprio come Stendhal nel primo racconto, sotto l’alias di Beyle, si porta dietro la sifilide nel suo peregrinare per l'Italia settentrionale).
    Perché, in fondo al ricordo, c’è sempre dolore, c’è sempre una colpa. Il ricordo è ‘vertigine'.

    description

    L’io narrante di Sebald parla in modo accurato, dotto, forbito, ironico, ipnotico.
    Parla col silenzio. Parla attraverso gli spazi geografici e temporali che percorre.
    Parla di paesaggi di rarefatta solitudine.
    Traccia linee di collegamento tra la mano di una donna che potrebbe essersi poggiata sulla sua spalla nella hall di un albergo di Limone sul Garda con il ricordo di anni prima a Manchester dove un’ottica cinese gli riparò gli occhiali giungendo a una vicinanza fisica quasi simile.



    Sembra sempre circondato di simboli, ha visioni, vede persone morte da tempo, fa incontri strani, è perseguitato da atmosfere gotiche, cupe, sospese, desolate.
    Si ferma a scrivere dove capita, anche nel corridoio del treno o davanti alla stazione di Desenzano, prende appunti con la matita su taccuini dimenticando tutto tutti e se stesso: scrive e afferma di non sapere cosa scrive, …ma di avere sempre più la sensazione che si trattasse di un romanzo giallo.



    L'io narrante di Sebald parla attraverso racconti che sono romanzi che sono memoir che sono saggi che sono autobiografia, diario di viaggio, ricordi personali, diari altrui, lettere, articoli di giornale, confidenze (romanzo giallo?)…
    Parla di storia e geografia e arte e botanica e architettura e musica e …
    Parla di viaggi, nel tempo e nello spazio. Sono viaggi dell’anima, che il corpo asseconda:
    Entrato in chiesa, mi sedetti un attimo per slacciarmi le stringhe delle scarpe e all’improvviso, come ricordo ancora con immutata chiarezza, non seppi più dove fossi. Nonostante il faticosissimo tentativo di ricostruire lo svolgimento delle ultime giornate – quelle che mi avevano condotto lì - non avrei neppure saputo dire se mi trovavo ancora nel mondo dei vivi o in un Altrove.

    description

    Parla, e sembra tacere.
    Parla piano, parla col silenzio e in silenzio.
    Respira e mi trasmette libertà: non solo perché è oltre la costrizione di qualsiasi genere letterario.
    È proprio questa forma di quiete che ha il profumo di libertà.

    La mia sensazione è che segua una linea più sinuosa che retta, più periferica che tesa al centro: potrebbe ridisporre queste quattro sezioni (racconti?) in un’infinita varietà di combinazioni.
    Non è in fondo questo che il narratore di Sebald afferma quando nella biblioteca civica di Verona sfogliando le raccolte dei giornali locali risalenti all’agosto e settembre 1913 scrive:
    …storie senza né capo né coda che, pensavo tra me, sarebbe stato opportuno approfondire?
    E ancora:
    …con le mie annotazioni mi trovavo ormai arrivato al punto in cui si trattava di andare avanti non si sa fino a quando oppure di lasciar perdere.

    description

    Perché in tutte le opere di Sebald ci sono le fotografie, cosa significano?
    Sono abbandonate tra le pagine come in un diario, per ricordare qualcosa, un momento particolare?
    Ma anche se si trattasse di un diario, è un diario pubblicato, la foto è stampata in un posto e un ordine precisi: vuole avvalorare il testo, confermarlo, dargli più verità?
    O siamo nel campo della letteratura postmoderna, e Sebald sta cercando di ricordarci che si tratta di un’opera di finzione, una sua invenzione (come l’attore che improvvisamente volta le spalle al palcoscenico e parla rivolto allo spettatore, squarciando il velo): in fondo, la foto non dimostra nulla, può essere quella o un’altra cosa, non abbiamo prove per collegarla al testo, se non una specie di verosimiglianza.



    Lavoriamo al buio - facciamo quello che possiamo, diamo quello che abbiamo. Il nostro dubbio è la nostra passione e la nostra passione è il nostro compito.
    Così Henry James sintetizza il lavoro dell’artista: sono parole che si applicano anche al lettore, perché quando s’incontra una vera e propria opera d'arte, come gli scritti di Sebald, è come leggere al buio, non si può mai sapere dove si verrà condotti.

    Ecco perché, quando posso, io cerco rifugio nella sua prosa, come in un cinema: quando inizio a leggerlo, è come se si spegnesse la luce e io prendessi il largo.

    description

  3. Seemita Seemita says:

    I take refuge in prose as one might in a boat.
    Laughter erupted from the adjacent table. A middle-aged lady chided a young man for his deteriorating writing skills. The young man shifted in his chair with a sheepish grin, nudging a tiny vial of admiration in his copper-brown eyes. [Were they bearer of a clandestine moment?] His neigbour was now invoking poetry gods with the adulterated whim of a ventriloquist. He quoted Baudelaire. [I think. Or was that Verlaine? Damn! My poetry quotient is not worth a tarnished dime. Anyway, back to the poet.] He is now towering over a nubile being and scanning her notes. This young thing is explaining a sonnet with gusto, snapping the air with jingling of her bangles. [Does there exist a common set of fans of both Baudelaire and Shakespeare? Of course! Stupid me! Focus!] There is a fifth person around the same table who is presently sweeping the quartet with the incisive broom of her bushy eyelashes. [Is she the decision-maker or the note-taker?] Now and then, the five rearrange their gazes that return to settle at familiar corners at regular intervals. Parchments are frayed, books are shuffled, inks are spent, dates are booked and budgets are spooled. At long length, the chairs cough to clear their temporary owners upon seeing them lock the final reminders on their phones. As they exited, I cast a long shot over their diminishing frames which appeared like five uneven jagged tips of an archipelago, with the bunching of few, declaring allegiance within the island clan.

    Sitting at a book cafe in a foreign land, I am unlikely to be privy to this fivesome's next rendezvous. But is it likely that a whiff of Baudelaire scent in another time, in another unfamiliar land, on some future date, beseech me to relive this moment? A jingling of bangles over lyrical waves, may be? Didn't I declare an unwavering twenty minutes of my life in their favor, mothering a nascent hope somewhere, of them forming a part of what I write today, and tomorrow? Or was the hope hinged on the dual legs of amnesia and disillusion where a tickle of rowdy adventure may topple the balance for good?

    As a wanderer of questionable credentials, I waited for Sebald to join me in unravelling the threads of my hotchpotch travelogue. He has an authorial hand that has penned a stunning vertiginous thesis, legitimizing a dense brethren of Beyle (view spoiler)[Stendhal (hide spoiler)]

  4. Steven Godin Steven Godin says:

    Hmm......this is a tough one, and still don't know just quite what to make of it. I Could sit on it for 24 hours and reach a different conclusion, but while it's fresh in my mind I settle for now. And speakings of minds, Sebald going by this certainly had an imaginative one, made up of fragmented memories from his youth, and historical meditation swirled with fantastical events from an overview of the life of Stendhal in 19th century Italy . The positives from Vertigo far outweigh the negatives, but I so wish it had either been an ingenious novel of vast proportions, or a travelogue memoir solely based on fact, it mixes both, with mixed results. It has given me vertigo, a sensation of whirling and loss of focus, I wish I had a feeling of equilibrium, because reviewing this is not going to be easy.

    A ghostly figure, which I will call Sebald's doppelganger, takes off from England to travel via the streets of Vienna, Venice, Milan, Verona and Innsbruck, finally ending the journey in the German village of W. (Wertach? his family home). Driven by a hypnotic prose (which was seriously good) Sebald the narrator takes readers on an almost spiritual pilgrimage, bending his own thoughts from places visited in the past, and the felling it evokes inside of him. Some pages contain old photos and drawings that accompany the text, this just adds to the feeling of buried thoughts and periods in the past, some are blurry, but then so was Sebald's mind. Kafka on a bus, his link with a pizzeria in Verona?, the image of Ludwig of Bavaria floating by in a vaporetto in Venice, the mythical figure of Gracchus the huntsman, and an ancient war, entrancingly, are spellbound into Sebald's vision. His wondering travels conjure up some wondrous landscapes through Italy, and are beautifully descriptive, casting bewilderment and daze. In a moment of confusion whilst in the Milan Cathedral, he would all of a sudden no longer have any knowledge of his surroundings, unable to determine whether he was in the land of the living or already in another place, having a force of uncertainty that pervades everything around him. This sums Vertigo up in a nutshell.

    Vertigo is not the type of book to put your feet up and relax to, on the contrary, it stimulates the mind, gets you thinking, puzzles and dazzles likewise, to a degree this reminded me in some ways of calvino's Invisible Cities, for the way it wraps you in a magical blanket. But Sebald writes with a more melancholic and haunting tone. There is sadness within, especially towards the end.
    There is a problem though of piling up too much detail and jumping from thought to thought that felt increasingly random and oblique. In terms of the readers, there are no hints about the points he was trying to raise. I don't want to call more than 50% of it's content as self-indulgent, but not to lie, it was. I can understand the whole dislocation from reality thing, but it didn't fully grasp me.
    And this coming from someone who generally does not use criticism in reviews, always looking rather for the good things, and there are plenty here. But one must be honest with ones self, otherwise doubt over ones ability to judge fairly is bought into question.
    A good solid three stars is the best I can do.

  5. Kris Kris says:

    Throughout Vertigo, W.G. Sebald, through deceptively clear prose and photographs, creates a disorienting waking dream for his readers. The novel is divided into four sections, and while there is not a straightforward plot or clear storyline, Sebald weaves thematic connections as well as specific details revisited from different perspectives to hold the novel together. Some sections read as biographies of historical figures, while others are written from the perspective of neurotic characters, traveling in Venice, Vienna, and the Tyrolean Mountains in dreamlike states.

    Nothing is stable in Sebald's world. Although maps, atlases, and sketches of terrain appear throughout the book, discrepancies between these guides and the actual sites, changed by time, development, or the gap between the ideal and reality, make these worlds difficult for the characters to navigate. Sebald uses water as another device to convey the dream-like vertigo suffered by his characters. Waves roll, vaporetti rock on the canals of Venice, the lapping of water acts as a lullaby. Buildings and works of art molder and decay. Characters attempt to find something concrete to hold onto - friends, people on the streets, a walking routine, scraps of paper to decipher - but in the end their dream-states always prevail.

    Since finishing Vertigo, I can't shake off the disorienting sense that I was dreaming along with the characters. This novel is recommended for people who don't require traditional plots, but who are interested in traveling with Sebald, witnessing his blurring of genres, and sharing in the disconcerting experience of life with his characters.

  6. Geoff Geoff says:

    ~~~

    I listen, as it were, to a soundless opera.

    Elsewhere I have called Sebald Europe’s last great rememberer, the final inheritor of the legacy of all those literary and artistic exiles of the disasters of the 20th century, sort of carrying all of that over for us into the new millennium, wandering late in the terrible century the landscape of what was built on top of those ruins and embers, surveying in a more detached mode the reconstruction smothering out the ghosts and relics, tuned to the ever-returning, ever-retreating voices of all of those marching backwards into history’s shadows. Within the fissures of all of his prose, the white space between letters, the timeless calamity resounds. Under his gaze the stream’s course not so much reverses as superimposes, a river overlapping a river overlapping a river in an endless palimpsest of fading impressions yet proving ineradicable. He bears witness to what is no longer witnessable, the centuries accumulate in his books, and become semitransparent as fog overlaying a dark morning forest whose trees in the wind resemble the slow undulation of oceans. On these oceans barques are setting sail for unknown places. They return, bereft of crew, ghost ships with holds full of enigmatic riches.

    It feels appropriate that the last of his fictions for me to read was his first novel, for Vertigo is something like Sebald’s ricorso. In it Sebald appears already fully formed - the wanderer in search of the strange interdependencies of Life and Fate. The Teutonic conscience that cannot bear the legacy of its homeland and so exiles itself. The living man ferried over Styx to the land of the dead like so many before him, but unable to find port - the hunter Gracchus. The man to whom Art and Letters are a world above the unfathomable world below, one which we carry inside of us and retreat to for meaning, for solace, for safety and for rejuvenation. His procession home is fraught with phantoms, mists, paranoia, doubling, mirror-worlds, unsettling coincidences, emergences of the same, tonal repetitions as in a piece of music, manifestations of nightmares, disconsolate memories, distant warnings, obscure signposts, and the titular unrelenting nauseating imbalance and sense of dislocation. Yet it is as achingly beautiful and melancholy and brilliant as any of his works, and found me at the perfect moment, when its celestial longing and sense of the inherent beauty in the struggle at recovering the irrecoverable (one of the main purposes of Art), of setting down in the more permanent fixture of words and images the finite, the fading, the ungraspable, its determination not to lose the hope of uncovering meaning within the cosmic occurrence of apparently meaningless collapse, however obscure and at times terrifying (”For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, which we still are just able to endure”), was much needed succor for this brother huntsman of the Black Forest, this fellow Flying Dutchman.

    Di Morte l'angelo a noi s'appressa. Già veggo il ciel discindersi.

    ~~

  7. Gorkem Gorkem says:

    Sebald, II. Dünya Savaşı sonrası Alman halkının belleklerine, baskı ve korku içinde yaşayan dünyalara bizi gene otobiyografik, deneme ve farklı öykü türlerini kendine has bir biçim içerik içinde müthiş bir okuma zevki sunuyor.

    Sebald birbirinden bağımsız yapılardan oluşan öyküleri temalar ile birbirine bağlaması ve gene Sebald'ın inanılmaz doğal anlatımı ile Beyle isimli Napolyon döneminde bir askerin (evet düşündüğümüz kişi) okuyucuya sinyaller çakarak bu kişinin aşklarını ve başarısızlıklarını okuyoruz.

    İkinci bölüm ve diğerleri cidden tarif edilmesi zor ve ancak okuma doğrultusunda tadı lezzeti beyninizde kalacak inanılmaz göndermeler ile devam ediyor. Sebald bizi tarihsel anlamda yolculuklara çıkararak yazarlar üzerinden harika göndermeler yapıyor.

    Harika bir deneyimdi.

    Herkese iyi okumalar
    10/9

  8. [P] [P] says:

    I find the wonderful German writer W.G. Sebald so difficult to review that my treatment of his second novel, The Rings of Saturn, was no more than a long story about a trip I once made with my then partner to her home in Cornwall, during which, mostly on account of her parents, I lost my mind and my girlfriend. I’m not, of course, going to go over all that again, and I couldn’t even if I wanted to, for I have forgotten much of what took place; yet the disquieting thing is that what I can recall or bring back I now doubt the veracity of. For example, my girlfriend’s parents were very rich, but I am sure that it is not the case that their admittedly large home was backed by an even larger field, in which wild horses ran; yet that – the field, the horses, the house – is my strongest memory of the week I spent in Cornwall.

    Some years ago I was at college and my philosophy teacher told me a story about how he moved to the Czech Republic, on a whim so to speak, in order to be with a Czech girl he had met whilst she was on vacation in England. When he arrived at her house she showed him in and explained that he ought to say hello to her father. He agreed and so she directed him to climb the stairs, where her father could be found in the first room on the right. My teacher may have found this odd, but in any case he climbed the stairs and entered the room and there he saw the old man, sitting in a chair, listening to Wagner, with tears streaming down his face. Now, this did not happen to me. I know that well enough, so why is it that this memory now seems as though it belongs to me? Why is it that I am able to put myself in that situation, in place of my teacher, and see, not what he saw, but my own version of it, with as much assurance as anything that has actually happened to me in my life?

    As I sit here and think about those two trips, one to Cornwall and one to the Czech Republic, both of which are a strange mixture of fantasy and fact, the proportions of each unknowable to me, I feel extremely disorientated. This disorientation is, I believe, what Sebald called vertigo, a state that is characterised by the difficulty, or a belief in the difficulty, of putting one’s feet on the ground, of being sure of yourself and of the world around you. It is this mental, and physical, state that Sebald writes about in this book, the first of his four great novels. In it he tells a series of anecdotes and stories, involving both fictional characters and real people, including himself.

    description

    Sebald’s first vertigo-sufferer is Marie-Henri Beyle, who we are told was a soldier in Napoleon’s army; he was also a writer, and is better known as Stendhal. Throughout his life Beyle’s memories and perceptions, according to Sebald, consistently played tricks on him. For example, he was convinced that the town of Ivrea, through which he once passed, would be indelibly fixed in his mind, only to find, some years later, that what he actually remembered was nothing but a copy of an engraving called Prospetto d’Ivrea.

    Beyle writes that even when the images supplied by memory are true to life one can place little confidence in them.


    For Beyle, the distinction between truth and fiction, reality and imagination, was tenuous at best. Probably the most wonderful, the most moving anecdote Sebald shares with us in this regard involves Beyle’s relationship with a possibly imaginary woman, La Ghita. Beyle, writes Sebald, claimed to have been travelling with La Ghita, to have had involved conversations with her, and to have eventually broken from her, and yet there is no definitive proof that she ever existed; in fact, the likelihood is that she was a composite of numerous women the Frenchman had known.

    As with all of Sebald’s work, in Vertigo he is concerned with melancholy outsiders, or eccentrics. Most people do not have a troubled relationship with reality, like Beyle does, but the few that do tend to not be particularly happy [or mentally stable]. This appears to be borne out when, at the beginning of the second section of the novel, Sebald, or the narrator who so closely resembles Sebald, discusses his own mental breakdown, which occurs when travelling through Vienna, Milan, Verona, Venice and Innsbruck. The narrator’s vertigo manifests itself as a kind of dread or neurotic fear, and by a sense of the uncanny. For example, at one point he tells the story of Casanova’s imprisonment and notices that the day the Italian had set for his escape is the day that he [Sebald] had visited that same prison, Doge’s Palace. When he leaves each town or city he does so as though trying to outstrip his anxiety, as though he is on the run from himself [and possibly the two shadowy figures he believes may be following him]. In the second half of this long second section, Sebald returns, seven years later, to make the same trip and visit some of the same places. This trip is a tour of his memories of those places as much as it is an actual tour of them.

    Like Beyle, Sebald is hyper-sensitive; the things that he reads and the art that he engages with often break into reality, the everyday world is often transformed by his imagination [or madness]. At one point in the book he thinks that he is following Dante, at another he mentions that he was once convinced that a black limousine driver was Melchior, one of the three magi [or wise men]. Throughout, there hangs over the book the question, What is reality? Are Sebald’s strange experiences reality? Instinctively one would want to say no, because Dante was dead at the time the narrator claims to have seen him, and yet, for me, the issue is far from clear-cut; what someone experiences, regardless of how impossible it may may seem, is their reality, is as real as anything we would accept without raising an eyebrow. The truth of the world, I once wrote, is like a cloud of blue smoke on a windy day.

    Over the years I had puzzled out a good deal in my own mind, but in spite of that, far from becoming clearer, things now appeared to me more incomprehensible than ever. The more images I gathered from the past, i said, the more unlikely it seemed to me that the past actually happened in this or that way.


    According to many of the reviews and articles I have read, Vertigo is the weakest of Sebald’s four novels, but that is not an opinion I share; for me The Emigrants is the least engaging of the bunch. However, what does distinguish this novel from the others, and perhaps accounts for some of the indifference towards it, is that it wears its influences more brazenly. Sebald’s other work all tastes subtly of Marcel Proust and Jorge Luis Borges, but here the flavour is very, very strong. The prose style, involving long complex sentences, with multiple clauses, is recognisably Proustian; and some of the ideas contained within Vertigo are not only similar to some of those found in In Search of Lost Time, but actually appear in it. Furthermore, the structure of this book, in comparison with Austerlitz and The Rings of Saturn in particular, is far from sophisticated. For example, while the opening Beyle section is thematically connected to the rest of the work, it still essentially stands alone. Later in his career Sebald would work his anecdotes and stories into his overall narrative and that gave them a satisfying flow that Vertigo does not have.

    Yet there are also positive aspects of the book that one will not find in Sebald’s more sophisticated work. First of all, it is at times pretty funny. There is a refreshing lightness of touch, or lightheartedness, in certain passages. Two incidents stand out or me in this regard, there is Sebald possibly getting hit on in a bar in Italy and a scene on a bus when he spies two kids who he thinks are dead-ringers for Franz Kafka. Here, our intrepid narrator approaches the boys and their parents, but receives a frosty reception; he asks for a photograph of the children but is turned down. They probably thought I was a pederast, Sebald notes. Ha! Martin Amis once said that all great writers are also comic writers, and I believe there is some truth in that. A comic writer does not have to mean someone like P.G. Wodehouse, but, for me, and Amis too, includes the likes of Tolstoy and Kafka. The idea is that if you understand the world, and the human condition, you cannot help but be, on occasions, funny, because life is funny; so it pleases me that Sebald has shown that he, too, could be humorous. The story of the Kafka kids also highlights another pleasing aspect of Vertigo, which is that it is more obviously fictional than the novels that came after it. One may in fact see that as a negative, but it was nice, in my opinion, to encounter a more relaxed Sebald, one trying stuff out, even some goofy stuff.

  9. Grazia Grazia says:

    Una fiammata brevissima, uno scoppio, sprizzi di scintille e poi ogni cosa si spegne.

    Gli ingredienti sono i medesimi di Austerlitz: viaggio, memorie, letteratura, arte, architettura, Storia.
    L'impasto si compone di prosa elegantissima (mai artificiosa) e fotografie in bianco e nero. Fotografie come testimonianza di vite che furono. Pensieri, associazioni, parallelismi, ricordi, ricostruzioni. Pensieri evocati che non appartengono più alle persone che li hanno concepiti perché legati ad un tempo e ad un luogo.

    La vertigine è quella che coglie nel momento in cui avviene la presa di coscienza di quanto sia effimero l'uomo, le sue pulsioni, i suoi ricordi, i suoi mutabili pensieri, i suoi tentativi di sopravvivere al tempo.

    Vite di persone, si intersecano semplicemente perché hanno solcato lo stesso suolo, hanno osservato lo stesso dipinto, in anni differenti, attraversati dagli stessi pensieri e dalle stesse pulsioni. Forse. Oppure passanti in maniera fortuita per gli stessi luoghi, senza un disegno, ma solo per pura casualità.
    Il viaggio che compie Sebald, non è (solo) un viaggio nei luoghi, è un viaggio nel tempo e nelle coscienze. Un tentativo di ricostruzione identità e individualità dissolte. Ma come mantenere ciò che è stato se i luoghi e le cose non sono in grado di testimoniare?

    Quante più immagini del passato riesco a raccogliere, continuai, tanto più mi sembra inverosimile che proprio in quel modo si sia svolto il passato: nulla in esso può definirsi normale, anzi, la maggior parte di quanto vi è accaduto è ridicolo, e là dove non è ridicolo suscita orrore.

    A Sebald non interessa raccontare una storia. Sebald regala suggestioni.

  10. Vit Babenco Vit Babenco says:

    Vertigo is about properties of human mind and memory and the story goes as a sudden paroxysm of dizziness…
    “…over the years I had puzzled out a good deal in my own mind, but in spite of that, far from becoming clearer, things now appeared to me more incomprehensible than ever. The more images I gathered from the past, I said, the more unlikely it seemed to me that the past had actually happened in this or that way, for nothing about it could be called normal: most of it was absurd, and if not absurd, then appalling.”
    It is a tale about that strange occupation we call living…
    “Mme Gherardi maintained that love, like most other blessings of civilisation, was a chimaera which we desire the more, the further removed we are from Nature. Insofar as we seek Nature solely in another body, we become cut off from Her; for love, she declared, is a passion that pays its debts in a coin of its own minting…”
    Between sanity and madness there is but a step…

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