Monday, January 05, 2009

Reading THE RINGS OF SATURN by WG Sebald

I can't sleep - so I have got up and am reading a little more of WG Sebald's THE RINGS OF SATURN. I'm on the last few pages now, and I have just the same sensations when I read this as I did when I read AUSTERLITZ a couple of years ago. There is a sort of recognition that makes me actually smile. It is there in each paragraph: the walls of the room contracting as they cool; the family that drifts, each member whimsically existing without purpose; even the empty fields and the tendency of certain characters to shut themselves away from the world.

At the end of it I couldn't really tell you what I've read. It's as though I've spread a patchwork quilt over my head and I am reading a story from each square of fabric. Sometimes the squares and the stories are incomplete, but it doesn't matter at all. All that matters is that I read, and the patterns and the stories intertwine, and will make exactly as much sense as my life; as anyone's life.

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Blogger SueG said...

Sebald's work is amazing, I agree. I haven't read this one, but The Emigrants amazed me. Saturn has been on my list to read, now I'll go do it! Thanks.

Mon Jan 05, 12:16:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

And I haven't read THE EMIGRANTS - but I shall now, too. So thank you back, Sue.

Mon Jan 05, 04:10:00 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

Happy New Year Clare To You And Your Blog!
May 2009 be sCRumPtIOus!

Tue Jan 06, 05:53:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thanks Jan! I hope yours is too!

Tue Jan 06, 08:36:00 pm  
Blogger Alethea said...

Thank you - sounds like an endorsement, and I look forward to finding a copy. Happy new year to you, as well!

Wed Jan 07, 07:55:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Hello Alethea...though I'm wondering if I could also call you H (or maybe Erica):-)

Wed Jan 07, 08:52:00 am  
Blogger Alethea said...

Oh, Heather is fine. I'm not bothering much anymore about this, but the Google account was configured already and I am lazy when leaving comments.

Wed Jan 07, 09:07:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thank you Heather. I have added your other blog on my side bar for easy reference.

Wed Jan 07, 09:18:00 am  
Blogger Anne S said...

It sounds like you enjoyed The Rings of Saturn. I have just acquired his AUSTERLITZ novel, which I have not read before and am looking forward to getting stuck into it.

The only other of his books, besides Rings, that I have read, is Vertigo which was terrific as well.

Wed Jan 07, 10:09:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Right, thank you Anne, I'll get VERTIGO as well. I think I'll leave a gap though before launching into Sebald again. Much as I love his writing, I found SATURN very similar in style to AUSTERLITZ and so I don't want to overdose!

Wed Jan 07, 10:24:00 am  
Blogger Susangalique said...

I was dancing round my room to this song this morning getting some morning groove exercise and I thought that you might like it too. Another one that gets me up and moving is Wolf Like Me by TV onthe Radio

Wed Jan 07, 01:07:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thanks Susangalique - good video! I like the paper planes flying around in black and white, plus it's the sort of dancing you can do while sitting at your desk:-)

Wed Jan 07, 01:27:00 pm  
Blogger Readymade said...

I empathise -- was trying to explain the book to a colleague this morning and found myself tongue-tied. Re-reading it now and wish I could read it out loud in public.

Thu Jan 15, 01:16:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Exactly, Readymade, that's just how it is - when I read Sebald I just want someone else to read him too!

Fri Jan 16, 12:34:00 pm  
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