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MIND THE GAP Pisanello Affresco di San Giorgio e la Principessa 1433 1438 Verona, Chiesa di Santa Anastasia.L io narrante di Sebald quasi sempre in un periodo delicato e doloroso della vita conosce la desolazione degli ospedali, ha frequentato anche quelli psichiatrici immerso nella malinconia, ma direi anche in qualcosa di molto prossimo alla depressione alle prese con una forza con la quale ingaggia una lotta muta, ma strenua.Pisanello Affresco di San Giorgio e la Principessa p MIND THE GAP Pisanello Affresco di San Giorgio e la Principessa 1433 1438 Verona, Chiesa di Santa Anastasia.L io narrante di Sebald quasi sempre in un periodo delicato e doloroso della vita conosce la desolazione degli ospedali, ha frequentato anche quelli psichiatrici immerso nella malinconia, ma direi anche in qualcosa di molto prossimo alla depressione 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, un peso dal quale non ci si libera.Ma qualcosa che non si pu trascurare.Anche conservare memoria perfetta di una lacerante amnesia 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 pi immagini del passato riesco a raccogliere, tanto pi mi sembra inverosimile che si sia svolto proprio in quel modo nulla in esso pu definirsi normale, la maggior parte di quanto vi accaduto ridicolo, e l dove non ridicolo suscita orrore.L orrore l eredit 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 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 Perch , in fondo al ricordo, c sempre dolore, c sempre una colpa Il ricordo vertigine.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 ripar gli occhiali giungendo a una vicinanza fisica quasi simile Sembra sempre circondato di simboli, ha visioni, vede persone morte da tempo, fa incontri strani, 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 pi 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 pi dove fossi Nonostante il faticosissimo tentativo di ricostruire lo svolgimento delle ultime giornate quelle che mi avevano condotto l non avrei neppure saputo dire se mi trovavo ancora nel mondo dei vivi o in un Altrove.Parla, e sembra tacere.Parla piano, parla col silenzio e in silenzio.Respira e mi trasmette libert non solo perch oltre la costrizione di qualsiasi genere letterario proprio questa forma di quiete che ha il profumo di libert.La mia sensazione che segua una linea pi sinuosa che retta, pi periferica che tesa al centro potrebbe ridisporre queste quattro sezioni racconti in un infinita variet di combinazioni.Non 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 scrivestorie senza n capo n coda che, pensavo tra me, sarebbe stato opportuno approfondire E ancoracon 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.Perch 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, un diario pubblicato, la foto stampata in un posto e un ordine precisi vuole avvalorare il testo, confermarlo, dargli pi verit 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, pu 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 la nostra passione e la nostra passione il nostro compito Cos Henry James sintetizza il lavoro dell artista sono parole che si applicano anche al lettore, perch quando s incontra una vera e propria opera d arte, come gli scritti di Sebald, come leggere al buio, non si pu mai sapere dove si verr condotti.Ecco perch , quando posso, io cerco rifugio nella sua prosa, come in un cinema quando inizio a leggerlo, come se si spegnesse la luce e io prendessi il largo (((FREE PDF))) ⇞ Svindel. Känslor ⇲ Svindel K nslor fr nr den f rsta av Sebalds fyra egenartade, fotoillustrerade ess romaner Den f ljdes av De utvandrade Saturnus ringar, en engelsk vallfart,och Austerlitz,Svindel K nslor handlar i fyra stycken med ett sjuttiotal bilder och ur ett italienskt perspektiv om skapande melankoli och minneskonst hos Henri Beyle, alias Stendhal, om Casanova i de venetianska blyk llarna, om paranoia och italienska restaurangbes k, om Doktor K, dvs Kafka, p badsemester vid Gardasj n och om f rfattaren p bes k i sitt barndomshem I Svindel K nslor f rs ker Sebald fortfarande uppr tth lla en skillnad mellan ena sidan sina favoritf rfattare, som han avhandlar vid sitt skrivbord, och andra sidan sig sj lv och sin egen historia, som han helst funderar p p resande fot Men man ser ocks hur de b da mnena alltmer glider ihop man ser hur den typiska Sebald stilen f ds den vandrande f rfattaren I take refuge in prose as one might in a boatLaughter 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 eyesWere they bearer of a clandestine momentHis neigbour was now invoking poetry gods with the adulterated whim of a ventriloquist He quoted BaudelaireI think Or was that Verlaine Damn My poetry quotI take refuge in prose as one might in a boatLaughter 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 eyesWere they bearer of a clandestine momentHis neigbour was now invoking poetry gods with the adulterated whim of a ventriloquist He quoted BaudelaireI think Or was that Verlaine Damn My poetry quotient is not worth a tarnished dime Anyway, back to the poetHe 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 banglesDoes there exist a common set of fans of both Baudelaire and Shakespeare Of course Stupid me FocusThere is a fifth person around the same table who is presently sweeping the quartet with the incisive broom of her bushy eyelashesIs she the decision maker or the note takerNow 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 , Dr.K view spoiler Kafka hide spoiler and himself Insinuated by a nebulous world, painted in lush resins of metaphors and teeming ruminations, I dived into his mystic valley forgetting about my inadvertent vertigo attacks But he tendered assurances of safety and like a gentleman, kept his promise My descent was marked by walks in Vienna and stays in Venice arty trips to Verona were a revelation where Pisanello waved a enigmatic hello from the celebrated ruins A shadow of Dante shimmered past at a high point where Casanova was jostling for a foothold When Beyle left a key to his timid memories with Sebald, the latter, with an eye of a savant, opened only those doors to the visitor which the visitor had the capacity to overcome After all, vulnerability is not a vanity to be dragged on insensitive roads Like every able guide, Sebald too, kept a secret or two under his hat that he dazzled me with when I least expected it He had come to know of my love for Mr.K and peppering an object of love with dust of doubt and loss is a ravenous thing to undertake But he executed the spraying with such poignancy that I was forced to ponder if these very flaws accentuated the grandiose of Dr.K He also guided me into the dilettante alleys of his childhood with the transparency of a new born s eyes He scrapped the bark of his insecurities to reveal a luminous skin that bore its sheen in my adulating mind Why should bleeding be lamented if oozing blood washes toxic wastes of soul Well, I didn t mind bleeding a little myself And with those blood stained palms, I finally touched his spine that stood sparkling at one of the shelves of this cafe I was waiting in Sitting amid the penned memories of literary luminaries, he smiled through the puzzled face of a little child view spoiler Austerlitz hide spoiler And I instantly knew I had to befriend the child if I have to learnof his craft and lend dignity to my travelogue I swiftly reached out to hold his hand before anyone molly coddled him to elsewhere With another memory of Sebald tightly held under my arm, I walked out, thinking if there was any way to escape the vertigo Note If my vague albeit sincere review of Sebald s writing has somewhat muddled up your appetite, trust these guys to tell you why you need to read Sebald Hmmthis 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, Hmmthis 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 amelancholic 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 callthan 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 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, tr 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 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 adetached mode the reconstruction smothering out the ghosts and relics, tuned to th 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 adetached 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 thepermanent 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 terrifyingFor 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 Gi veggo il ciel discindersi. Sebald, II D nya Sava sonras Alman halk n n belleklerine, bask ve korku i inde ya ayan d nyalara bizi gene otobiyografik, deneme ve farkl yk t rlerini kendine has bir bi im i erik i inde m thi bir okuma zevki sunuyor Sebald birbirinden ba ms z yap lardan olu an yk leri temalar ile birbirine ba lamas ve gene Sebald n inan lmaz do al anlat m ile Beyle isimli Napolyon d neminde bir askerin evet d nd m z ki i okuyucuya sinyaller akarak bu ki inin a klar n ve ba ar s zl klar n Sebald, II D nya Sava sonras Alman halk n n belleklerine, bask ve korku i inde ya ayan d nyalara bizi gene otobiyografik, deneme ve farkl yk t rlerini kendine has bir bi im i erik i inde m thi bir okuma zevki sunuyor Sebald birbirinden ba ms z yap lardan olu an yk leri temalar ile birbirine ba lamas ve gene Sebald n inan lmaz do al anlat m ile Beyle isimli Napolyon d neminde bir askerin evet d nd m z ki i okuyucuya sinyaller akarak bu ki inin a klar n ve ba ar s zl klar n okuyoruz kinci b l m ve di erleri cidden tarif edilmesi zor ve ancak okuma do rultusunda tad lezzeti beyninizde kalacak inan lmaz g ndermeler ile devam ediyor Sebald bizi tarihsel anlamda yolculuklara kararak yazarlar zerinden harika g ndermeler yap yor.Harika bir deneyimdi.Herkese iyi okumalar10 9 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 nothan 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 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 nothan 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.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 meincomprehensible than ever Theimages I gathered from the past, i said, theunlikely 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 influencesbrazenly 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 Further, 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 ssophisticated 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 isobviously 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 arelaxed Sebald, one trying stuff out, even some goofy stuff 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 pi alle persone che li hanno concepiti perch legati ad un temp 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 pi alle persone che li hanno concepiti perch legati ad un tempo e ad un luogo.La vertigine 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 perch 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 casualit.Il viaggio che compie Sebald, non solo un viaggio nei luoghi, un viaggio nel tempo e nelle coscienze Un tentativo di ricostruzione identit e individualit dissolte Ma come mantenere ci che stato se i luoghi e le cose non sono in grado di testimoniareQuante pi immagini del passato riesco a raccogliere, continuai, tanto pi mi sembra inverosimile che proprio in quel modo si sia svolto il passato nulla in esso pu definirsi normale, anzi, la maggior parte di quanto vi accaduto ridicolo, e l dove non ridicolo suscita orrore A Sebald non interessa raccontare una storia Sebald regala suggestioni 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 meincomprehensible than ever Theimages I gathered from the past, I said, theunlikely 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 abs 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 meincomprehensible than ever Theimages I gathered from the past, I said, theunlikely 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 , 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