Stock Image

The Rings of Saturn

Sebald, W. G.; Hulse, Michael

7,288 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0811213781 / ISBN 13: 9780811213783
Published by New Directions Publishing Corporation, New York, New York, U.S.A., 1998
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Dawn Treader Bookshop (Ann Arbor, MI, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since June 5, 1997

Quantity Available: 2

Buy Used
Price: US$ 95.00 Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 5.00 Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

Sebald's first book after his highly acclaimed American debut novel, "The Emigrants." Translated by Michael Hulse from the German, including many black and white photographs from the byegone, moody British landscape Sebald writes about. Stripe from black marker on bottom edge, just touching front jacket flap, otherwise fine. Bookseller Inventory # 201162

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: The Rings of Saturn

Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First American Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Shortlisted for the 1998 Los Angeles Times Book Award in Fiction: "Stunning and strange . . . Sebald has done what every writer dreams of doing. . . . The book is like a dream you want to last forever. . . . It glows with the radiance and resilience of the human spirit."―Roberta Silman, The New York Times Book Review

The Rings of Saturn, with its curious archive of photographs, records a walking tour of the eastern coast of England. A few of the things that cross the path and mind of its narrator (who both is and is not Sebald) are lonely eccentrics. Rembrandt's "Anatomy Lesson", the natural history of the herring, Borges, a matchstick model of the Temple of Jerusalem, Sir Thomas Browne's skull, recession-hit seaside towns, Joseph Conrad, the once-thriving silk industry of Norwich, Swinburne, the dowager Empress Tzu Hsi, and the massive bombings of WWII.

Mesmerized by the mutability of all things, the narrator catalogs the transmigration of whole worlds: "On every new thing, there lies already the shadow of annihilation."

 

Review:

In August 1992, W.G. Sebald set off on a walking tour of Suffolk, one of England's least populated and most striking counties. A long project--presumably The Emigrants, his great anatomy of exile, loss, and identity--had left him spent. Initially his tour was a carefree one. Soon, however, Sebald was to happen upon "traces of destruction, reaching far back into the past," in a series of encounters so intense that a year later he found himself in a state of collapse in a Norwich hospital.

The Rings of Saturn is his record of these travels, a phantasmagoria of fragments and memories, fraught with dizzying knowledge and desperation and shadowed by mortality. As in The Emigrants, past and present intermingle: the living come to seem like supernatural apparitions while the dead are vividly present. Exemplary sufferers such as Joseph Conrad and Roger Casement people the author's solitude along with various eccentrics and even an occasional friend. Indeed, one of the most moving chapters concerns his fellow German exile--the writer Michael Hamburger.

"How is it that one perceives oneself in another human being, or, if not oneself, then one's own precursor?" Sebald asks. "The fact that I first passed through British customs thirty-three years after Michael, that I am now thinking of giving up teaching as he did, that I am bent over my writing in Norfolk and he in Suffolk, that we both are distrustful of our work and both suffer from an allergy to alcohol--none of these things are particularly strange. But why it was that on my first visit to Michael's house I instantly felt as if I lived or had once lived there, in every respect precisely as he does, I cannot explain. All I know is that I stood spellbound in his high-ceilinged studio room with its north-facing windows in front of the heavy mahogany bureau at which Michael said he no longer worked because the room was so cold, even in midsummer..."

Sebald seems most struck by those who lived or live quietly in adversity, "the shadow of annihilation" always hanging over them. The appropriately surnamed George Wyndham Le Strange, for example, remained on his vast property in increasing isolation, his life turning into a series of colorful anecdotes. He was "reputed to have been surrounded, in later years, by all manner of feathered creatures: by guinea fowl, pheasants, pigeons and quail, and various kinds of garden and song birds, strutting about him on the floor or flying around in the air. Some said that one summer Le Strange dug a cave in his garden and sat in it day and night like St. Jerome in the desert."

In Sebald's eyes, even the everyday comes to seem extraterrestrial--a vision intensified in Michael Hulse's beautiful rendition. His complex, allusive sentences are encased in several-pages-long paragraphs--style and subject making for painful, exquisite reading. Though most often hypersensitive to human (and animal) suffering and making few concessions to obligatory cheeriness, Sebald is not without humor. At one point, paralyzed by the presence of the past, he admits: "I bought a carton of chips at McDonald's, where I felt like a criminal wanted worldwide as I stood at the brightly lit counter, and ate them as I walked back to my hotel." The Rings of Saturn is a challenging nocturne, and the second of Sebald's four books to appear in English. The excellent news is that his novel Vertigo is already slated for translation. --Kerry Fried

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

The Dawn Treader Book Shop has been selling used and rare books in Ann Arbor since 1977. In that time we have grown from a tiny basement shop to a spacious storefront offering over seventy thousand titles. THE BOOKLOVER'S GUIDE TO THE MIDWEST describes the Dawn Treader as 'An absolutely fabulous bookshop, with something for everyone,' which was their highest praise for any shop in the Midwest. We buy books and libraries in all areas, from early printing to modern fiction. We are especially interested in the sciences and humanities; modern first editions, including science-fiction, fantasy, and mysteries; and early travel and exploration. Please let us know if you are interested in selling. We have used bindery equipment for sale as well. Contact Corby for more information.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

Dawn Treader Bookshop.
514 East Liberty
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

dawntreaderbooks@gmail.com
Phone: 734-995-1008
William Gillmore- President

Payment with order. Check, Money Order, Visa, MasterCard & Discover. Please make checks payable to: Dawn Treader Book Shop. **Please note that we try to be very detailed in our descriptions of a book's defects, but we always welcome any further questions you may have.**

Once the order is confirmed, please make checks or money orders payable and send to:

Dawn Trea...

More Information
Shipping Terms:

Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express

Check Money Order PayPal