The Rings of Saturn

The Rings of Saturn

Book - 1998
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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." 
Publisher: New York : New Directions Publishing, c1998.
ISBN: 9780811213783
0811213781
Characteristics: 296 p. :,ill. ;,21 cm.

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diesellibrarian Mar 05, 2018

This book is a joy to read, for its erudition and for the pathos that runs through it like an underground river. This book is a also heartbreaking read, to the extent that the various narratives upon which the author embarks unfailingly illustrate how the greatest "triumphs" of humanity... Read More »


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diesellibrarian Mar 05, 2018

This book is a joy to read, for its erudition and for the pathos that runs through it like an underground river. This book is a also heartbreaking read, to the extent that the various narratives upon which the author embarks unfailingly illustrate how the greatest "triumphs" of humanity (our great empires and dynasties and weapons and cities and so on) are hubris and vanity, each shot though with the DNA of failure and decline. At any rate, the most eloquent requiem to the human race that I have yet encountered. Sobering but rewarding.

kevinbrash Mar 13, 2013

At once a stream of consciousness, history and travelogue, yet it becomes like experiencing an erudite's dream. The narrator, who seems to cling to humanism despite all the evidence to the contrary, is particularly a compelling companion on this journey through space and time.

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