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The Rings Of Saturn

Sebald, W. G.

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ISBN 10: 0811213781 / ISBN 13: 9780811213783
Published by New Directions, 1998
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About this Item

New York. 1998. New Directions. 1st American Edition. Very Good In Dustjacket With A 1998 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Fiction Winner Sticker On The Front. Translated from the German by Michael Hulse. 296 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Semadar Megged. 0811213781. keywords: Literature Germany Translated. inventory # 33238. FROM THE PUBLISHER - A fictional account of a walking tour through Englandís East Anglia, author W.G. Sebaldís home for more than 20 years, The Rings of Saturn explores Britainís pastoral and imperial past. Its ten strange and beautiful chapters, with their curious archive of photographs, consider dreams and reality. As the narrator walks, a company of ghosts keeps him company -- Thomas Browne, Swinburne, Chateaubriand, Joseph Conrad, Borges -- conductors between the past and present. The narrator meets lonely eccentrics inhabiting tumble-down mansions, and hears of the furious coastal battles of two world wars. He tells of far-off China and the introduction of the silk industry to Norwich. He walks to the now-forsaken harbor where Conrad first set foot on English soil and visits the site of the once-great city of Dunwich, now sunk in the sea, where schools of herring swim. As the narrator catalogs the transmigration of whole worlds, the reader is mesmerized by change and oblivion, survival and memories. Very Good In Dustjacket With A 1998 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Fiction Winner Sticker On The Front. Bookseller Inventory # 33238

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Rings Of Saturn

Publisher: New Directions

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: hardcover

Edition: 1st 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

"Ostensibly a record of a journey on foot through coastal East Anglia," as Robert McCrum in the London Observer noted, The Rings of Saturn "is also a brilliantly allusive study of England's imperial past and the nature of decline and fall, of loss and decay. . . . The Rings of Saturn is exhilaratingly, you might say hypnotically, readable. . . . It is hard to imagine a stranger or more compelling work." The Rings of Saturn - with its curious archive of photographs - chronicles a tour across epochs as well as countryside. On his way, the narrator meets lonely eccentrics inhabiting tumble-down mansions and links them to Rembrandt's "Anatomy Lesson," the natural history of the herring, a matchstick model of the Temple of Jerusalem, the travels of Sir Thomas Browne's skull, and the massive bombings of WWII. Cataloging change, oblivion, and memories, he connects sugar fortunes, Joseph Conrad, and the horrors of colonizing the Belgian Congo. The narrator finds threads which run from an abandoned bridge over the River Blyth to the terrible dowager Empress Tzu Hsi and the silk industry in Norwich. "Sebald," as The New Yorker stated, "weaves his tale together with a complexity and historical sweep that easily encompasses both truth and fiction." The Emigrants (hailed by Susan Sontag as an "astonishing masterpiece-perfect while being unlike any book one has ever read") was "one of the great books of the last few years," as Michael Ondaatje noted: "and now The Rings of Saturn is a similar and as strange a triumph."

Product Description:

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."

 

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