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  • Broché
  • Editeur : RANDOM HOUSE TRADE @ (2001)
  • ISBN-10: 158836061X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1588360618
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
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In the second half of the 1960s I traveled repeatedly from England to Belgium, partly for study purposes, partly for other reasons which were never entirely clear to me, staying sometimes for just one or two days, sometimes for several weeks. Lire la première page
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Par Frenchbyrd le 6 juin 2013
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
An exceptional book, I cannot praise it highly enough, its lyrical descriptions of time and place, the central enigma and the intriguing story are quite simply exceptional
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1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par HORAK le 18 décembre 2003
Format: Broché
This book tells the story of Jacques Austerlitz. In 1939, he was sent to England on a Kinderstransport and placed in a foster family. His parents quickly erase from Jacques all knowledge of his identity and he grows up ignorant of his past. Later in life, Austerlitz made a career as a historian of architecture and found the past returning to haunt him – having avoided all clues that might reveal his origin. He is thus forced to explore what happened to him fifty years before. And so begins a journey into the darkest moments of European history. This book combines fiction, memoir, travelogue and philosophy. It is also richly illustrated with very moving pictures and photographs. Sebald is one of the most extraordinary writers of the 20th century and Austerlitz’s story is mesmeric.
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Amazon.com: 150 commentaires
146 internautes sur 153 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A completely breathtaking experience 19 octobre 2001
Par Grady Harp - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
For those readers fortuate enough to have read W.G. Sebald's inimitable novels "The Emigrants" and "The Rings of Saturn" this latest book by one of the most unique and important literary voices writing today will only add to the admiration building for Sebald and his hauntingly beautiful "Austerlitz." That the work was written in German and translated by the sensitive Anthea Bell somehow adds to the universal impact of Sebald's mind and peculiar technique of telling stories. There are no paragraphs, no chapters, and only an occasional inch of space to bring pause to the writing. True, the technique of placing photographs of "fictional places" encountered by the writer's characters does allow some visual pause, but those pauses are purely additive.
Sebald writes about a man (Austerlitz) who despite his lushly satisfying intellectual life of an architectural historian finds himself in search of his roots. That those roots were blurred by the atrocites of Hitler's Kindertransport program (Jewish children were sent to England by parents hoping for their safety as the wings of evil flapped menacingly in the air) only makes Austerlitz' journey to self discovery the more poignant. His revisiting the sites of his true parents in Prague and Marienbad and Terezinbad, Paris, and Belgium produce some of the most beautifully wrought elegies found in the written word. His walking among the horrors of the obsessive compulsive Hitlerian Final Solution Program is devasting in the way that only researching one's history from time-lapsed memories and visual stimuli can create.
Some readers may be put off by the intial rambling technique of getting to the journey that fills the first quarter of this book, not helped by getting adjusted to the pages-long sentences and lack of chapters or pauses. But reflect on the fact that our own minds never stop when obsessed with the desire to know and understand our place in the universe and these inital trivial roadblocks will fade. Eventually Sebald's style ... you into not only a story of great magnitude, passion, and tenderness, it does so with some of the most liquidly gorgeous prose you are likely to encounter.
This is the finest of Sebald's books to date. Here is an incredible talent who, thankfully, is steadily producing one fine book after another. Astonishing!
134 internautes sur 142 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Great Loss in the World of Literature 21 décembre 2001
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
The literary/intellectual world has lost one of its more scintillating stars, when W.G. Sebald, spurred by a heart attack, ran his car into an oncoming traffic and died last week. He was 57 years old. I still haven't recovered fully from the news, since this man's work has deeply influenced my thoughts and the way I read.
'Austerlitz', then, is a beautiful swansong. It is eminently more accessible than his previous books, 'The Emigrants', 'The Rings of Saturn', and 'Vertigo'. It is not to say that Austerlitz is any less ruminative than his earlier work, but there's more of a divested narrative thrust in Austerlitz, and it makes for a breezier (can any Sebald work be 'breezy'?) reading (although Sebald altogether does away with paragraphs and chapters for the most part).
The translation by Anthea Bell... I haven't made up my mind about it. Michael Hulse had translated Sebald's earlier books (published by New Directions), and although Bell's translation seems sonorous and good, some of the tough, intransigent lyricism of Hulse's translation seems to be missing here.
If you're interested in reading Sebald, definitely start with this haunting novel. Sebald does harrowing things with themes of memory and identity, never giving into portraying the horrors of history with broad, sentimental brushstrokes as many storytellers tend to do.
After 'Austerlitz', 'The Emigrants' should be a good follow up read. Then 'The Rings'... and 'Vertigo'.
There's a book of Sebald that is supposed to come out next year on Germany's participation in the WWII that was criticized by many Germans as being too... well, as being too starkly honest.
There is one more unpublished novel that is on its way to publication next year in the states (already published in Germany under the title, "Luftkrieg").
I only wonder if there will be any writer in the near future who will speak so eloquently about the act of remembering. Could anyone summon the ghost of Sebald one day, the way Sebald himself had conjured so magically and unforgettably, the spirit of Kafka? One can only wish.
69 internautes sur 72 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Beautiful Elegy 1 mars 2002
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Those of us who love Sebald's writing, love it passionately. I don't think this is an author with whom you can take a middle-of-the-road stance. Either you can't stand his books, or you adore them. I happen to adore them and feel very saddened that Austerlitz must be his last.
I think many people are put off by Sebald's long sentences, which can go on for two or three pages or more, as well as his long paragraphs that can go on for forty or fifty pages or more. If they are, they shouldn't be. Sebald wrote beautiful, crystalline prose and his books are surprisingly easy to read.
Sebald's books are not conventionally plotted, nor should they be. They are not conventional stories but meditations, revelations, evocations and elegies instead. They end up asking more questions than they answer and, in that way, they stay with you and become a part of you more than most conventionally plotted works ever do.
Austerlitz, my favorite Sebald work, is set in various train stations across Europe and chronicles a series of conversations that take place over a thirty year period. These conversations take place between the narrator of the book (who is never named) and a fellow traveler (Austerlitz) whom the narrator first encounters in the main train station in Antwerp, Belgium.
The book is slow to start, but gradually, we learn more and more about the mysterious Austerlitz. A native of Prague, Austerlitz learns from his nanny that he was sent out of that city (by train) prior to the arrival of the Nazis. Hence, train stations become very important to him for, in a sense, they symbolize his very survival.
A student of architecture, Austerlitz immediately captivates the narrator with his lectures on that subject as well as on art, time and various other subjects. As their friendship deepens and grows, the narrator learns that Austerlitz feels a deep void in the center of his soul that he cannot seem to fill and that it is this void that has spawned his desire to learn, to know. For in knowing about other things, Austerlitz hopes to one day find out who he, himself, really is.
Although this book is not broken up into chapters, Sebald, as in his three previous novels, has used photographs to accompany the text. These photographs, which Austerlitz analyzes in the hope of learning something new about himself, also serve as stopping points for the reader.
Austerlitz is a brilliant and beautiful meditation about time and memory, about how memory is preserved and how it is destroyed. About the preservation of life in memory's presence and the presence of death in its absence.
The characters in Austerlitz, as well as the characters in Sebald's previous novels, try very hard to keep memory alive. They do not want the strand of the past to disintegrate and leave them feeling disoriented.
The pace of Austerlitz is perfect...just like the pace one feels when traveling by train, at least in Europe. There is the rush through the station to catch the train and find one's seat, then the slow and easy pace once the train pulls out and begins its journey.
There is something ephemeral about this book, just as there should be. After all, time and memory are both ephemeral and fleeting and this is a book about both. Austerlitz is an eloquent, elegant and beautiful book. It is a book deserving to read by anyone who loves beautiful prose.
26 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Just as I was about to give up......... 26 juin 2002
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
As other reviewers have stated this can be a difficult book to read. The author's style, which is to ignore stylistic standards really did not cause me any pause. The difficulty was in his incredible but complex prose. Throughout the entire book, I felt that I was only picking up the surface meaning and that repeated readings would reveal several more layers.

After reading approximately 1/3 of the book, I was ready to give up. However, at this point the novel began to detail Austerlitz's search for his identity. Austerlitz's journey to Prague drew me in, increased the pace of my reading and held my interest until the end. Will I read it again and discover what cannot be found by a single reading? Only time will tell.

This is not a book for everyone. You have to be patient. If you read for simple entertainment, forget it. It was a true intellectual exercise and one I am glad I partook of.
22 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Who are we if our past is taken from us? 5 octobre 2001
Par Mark Richard McCulloh - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Seemingly out of the blue, Sebald has delivered another utterly unique creation. "Austerlitz" is a haunting meditation on the mystery of identity, the passing of time, and the interconnectedness of experience. The Sebaldian digressions are as fascinating as the Sebaldian coincidences are unsettling. A German who knows only too well the German obsession with itemizing, accounting, and tidying up, Sebald succeeds in demonstrating like no other writer I know the unspeakable orderliness and cruelty of the Final Solution. He does so by example, focusing on the life of a Czech orphan who grows up in a foster home in Wales. There is much about the book that is poignant and sad, but nothing that is sentimental.
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