But another is Infestation, which is much more apt. As the gardener becomes old and frail, the house also starts showing its age. That and an entry to the world of dreams, which for me is usually what fiction is all about. Many German authors writing in the twenty-first century cast a historical gaze on the previous one, focalizing that gaze through individual or family narratives. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. Many like her were born and raised in then East Germany. You cannot become attached to any one owner, certainly, but over time you grow sentimental about the property itself, almost as if it were some property in your family, as if it had a finite life span itself which most all structures do and you were bearing witness of its narrative.
You will be rewarded, promise. There is something soothing and reassuring about his constant reemergence, as he spans the seasons, adding topsoil, sowing grass seed, gathering fallen branches, coaxing nuts from their soft husks, stacking logs in the woodshed. Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck, tr by Susan Bernofsky 150pp, Portobello, £10. In the 1990s Erpenbeck started a writing career in addition to her directing. On the doors still fly colorful birds, flowers are blooming, grapes hanging.
The End of Days is a story of the 20th century traced through the various possible lives of one woman. A Jewish family builds a bath house on one lot for day trips to the lake, while an architect constructs a marvelous house on the adjacent portion as a gift to his new wife. It's not that I want to experience them all for my own, mind you. Using her zooming lens, the author condenses many decades of twentieth century German history into time-specific, intricate and intimate glimpses into the lives of twelve different residents and their families living on the property. The sentences were short, declarative, often containing repetitive information cordoned off into dependent clauses that were then displaced at the end of the sentence. The interwoven stories drift back and forth in time, nowhere more moving than in the fate of the bright Jewish girl, Doris, who passionately holds onto life right up to the final bullet. Also: extensive passages are dedicated to pure information marriage rituals, property rights, land formations, etc.
Built by a young architect at the turn of the century, it sees two world wars and several different regimes. The dandelions are the same here as back home, and so are the larks. I am reminded of a phrase from Malcolm Lowry about a derelict garden in Cuernavaca. And life began to shrink down to the size of a tiny dark cubbyhole. The consequence of linear time is its one-way-ness, we can never go back. There is the architect from Berlin who builds his wife the thatched-roof house on the lake.
Sold as a novel, it is really more of a novel in stories, centered around a plot of land on a lake and a house that apparently German writer Erpenbeck's family once owned. Most of them have names, but names are less important than their interaction with the place. That said, one sometimes wishes that Visitation would leave a little more to the imagination. That's what I will take with me from the reading of Jenny Erpenbeck masterful novel : an impression of light and shadow in a meadow, a timelapse of a house and a forest, a romantic symphony that says much more than words could ever capture. And the reader recognizes commonalities in the structure, the grounds, the plants.
The main character of Visitation is not a person, but a house. But humanity has a quarrel with reality, having for eons rejected definitions of it while seeking, with the craving of an addict, one more new interpretation, whilst destroying the world in its stubborn refusal to learn from history, all that presumably for the benefit of humankind. The structure of the book is unusual, and resembles Simon Mawer's , in which a place remains constant while a shifting cast of occupants, tenants, invaders and usurpers uses and abuses it for a variety of different purposes. Home, the first part of the German title, is everything here, but it is more about leaving or losing one's home, and even the episodes of return are fraught with sadness. But I am not a lover of paperback books, or Kindle, or any of the other electronic devices out there. The gardener is the only constant across owners.
It was built by Berlin architect for his young wife. You cannot stop the clock nor cover the mirrors. Any book of this quality must have a translator who can keep pace and give the work its intended gravitas. In the novel that followed, The End of Days, the twentieth century is presented from a very different point of view than in Visitation. The dress may not even be made in the house where she lives. Although their bodies would grow old, their hope for mankind's salvation from greed and envy would, they thought, remain young for a long time, the errors of mortals were mortal, but their work was immortal. No, not even the house, but the land that the house sits on is the main character.
Our dubious connection to Nature, our desire and ability to create beauty and the million ways we invent to rape her and her creatures. Each chapter follows one of the occupants, and is followed by a brief interlude focusing on the gardener who is the only figure who links every section of the story, though his role changes as he gets older. Beautifully translated by Susan Bernofsky, Visitation is a literary masterpiece created by a writer who clearly demonstrates that even the most unutterable horrors can acquire an eerie, frightening beauty in the hands of a truly gifted artist. Can one create oneself a lasting home? She then completed a two-year apprenticeship Jenny Erpenbeck born 12 March 1967 in East Berlin is a German director and writer. I was reminded of this when the claims were made on the parcels of Klara's Woods after the reunification of Germany by the relatives of those who had originally purchased the parcels. A writer moves in, returning from exile in Russia.
There is a stillness, reserve, and lack of sentimentality about the story which paradoxically fills us with emotion. A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte Pointilism is a late form of Impressionism, where the viewer starts from a distance, looking at ghostly siluettes like dancing shadows moving in a sunny landscape. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication. Perhaps the humans with their incessant need for successive generations and compounding piles of data and script will save it. Often when I read books that are poetic in nature see: , , even I feel disconnected from the characters by a veil of constructed beauty. Visitation depicts a house and plot of land that change ownership three times over the course of the century.