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On the Natural History of Destruction By W.G. Sebald,

  • Title: On the Natural History of Destruction
  • Author: W.G. Sebald
  • ISBN: 9780375504846
  • Page: 196
  • Format: Hardcover
  • W.G Sebald completed this extraordinary and important and already controversial book before his untimely death in December 2001 On the Natural History of Destruction is W.G Sebald s harrowing and precise investigation of one of the least examined silences of our time In it, the acclaimed novelist examines the devastation of German cities by Allied bombardment,W.G Sebald completed this extraordinary and important and already controversial book before his untimely death in December 2001 On the Natural History of Destruction is W.G Sebald s harrowing and precise investigation of one of the least examined silences of our time In it, the acclaimed novelist examines the devastation of German cities by Allied bombardment, and the reasons for the astonishing absence of this unprecedented trauma from German history and culture.This void in history is in part a repression of things such as the death by fire of the city of Hamburg at the hands of the RAF too terrible to bear But rather than record the crises about them, writers sought to retrospectively justify their actions under the Nazis For Sebald, this is an example of deliberate cultural amnesia his analysis of its effects in and outside Germany has already provoked angry and painful debate.Sebald s incomparable novels are rooted in meticulous observation his essays are novelistic They include his childhood recollections of the war that spurred his horror at the collective amnesia around him There are moments of black humour and, throughout, the unmatched sensitivity of Sebald s intelligence This book is a vital study of suffering and forgetting, of the morality hidden in artistic decisions, and of both compromised and genuine heroics.From the Hardcover edition.
    On the Natural History of Destruction W G Sebald completed this extraordinary and important and already controversial book before his untimely death in December On the Natural History of Destruction is W G Sebald s harrowing and prec

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    1. STORIA MOLTO INNATURALE DELLA DISINTEGRAZIONEUn Sebald insolito per me, pi per forma che per contenuto, trattandosi sostanzialmente sempre di memoria e malinconia La forma, dicevo per me insolita perch qui ha veste di lezioni conferenze, non di narrazione inoltre, in appendice, un pamphlet polemico, anche questo insolito, perch la polemica non si addice al Sebald che ho conosciuto finora Mentre molto gli si addice l ironia, che in questo ultimo breve saggio raggiunge vette alpestri l ironia semp [...]

    2. Besides the essay on area bombing, of which I was interested and which was the main reason for me purchasing this book, I was very pleasantly surprised by a review of Jean Avery s work, which I can t wait to read now Beautifully written on the part of Sebald and with such consideration towards victims, such strong belief that we must understand both the perpetrator and the victim in any criminal process such as the WWII genocide was To hear of mothers who pack their burned and mummified children [...]

    3. Guardare indietro e distogliere subito lo sguardoA partire dal 1942 circa, gli Alleati iniziarono un piano sistematico di bombardamenti delle citt tedesche, che mirava prevalentemente a distruggere abitazioni e a uccidere civili Difficilmente si pu pensare che questi bombardamenti fossero finalizzati all abbreviazione del conflitto, visto che i civili non partecipavano alla guerra e certamente non c era, in Germania, una opinione pubblica da convincere.Perch , allora, la sola Royal Air Force sga [...]

    4. This posthumous collection is a curious mixture The bulk of the book consists of an adapted lecture series on the bombing of German cities, the unprecedented nature of the destruction in cities such as Hamburg and the curious lack of references to it in most German post war literature This is powerful, moving and thought provoking The remainder of the book is a series of essays on three German writers, none of whom I knew anything about, and although this was interesting in what it said about th [...]

    5. This book contains four essays, the final three which I did not read dealing with three writers I do not know Alfred Andersch, Jean Am ry, Peter Weiss The opening essay, which anchors the book and is 48% of the book deals with the interesting topic of the German cultural amnesia regarding the devastation they suffered from the allied bombing of German cities The essay is clear and contains some interesting points Sebald believes that contemporary Germans suffer from a sort of cognitive disconnec [...]

    6. You would think the massive air raids on Germany in World War II, the most dramatic experience the German people have ever gone through, would be a subject Germans couldn t stop talking about The exact opposite is the case But why Sebald goes to the bottom of this phenomenon in the four essays that make up this book He comes up with a thorough, convincing and riveting explanation German authors are largely to blame The first essay traces this out The second names a famous German author as an exa [...]

    7. Had this been reviewed fairly by my fellow Goodreaders, I probably would have gone up to 3 stars, but instead I find myself thrown into a position of aggression Had this been written by, e.g Peter Weiss, not only would it not have x hundred ratings it wouldn t even have been published Thankfully for lovers of mildly diverting amateur history and effective literary polemic i.e probably not you , it was written by Sebald, and so is not only published, but published in cheap paper back by a major [...]

    8. This posthumous volume of Sebald s non fiction writing is a major contribution to German literary criticism and politico cultural analysis Accompanying his reflections on the traumatic impact of the air war against German cities are essays studying the very diverse reactions of three witnesses of that time as reflected in their post war literary works In AIR WAR AND LITERATURE, originally presented as the Zurich Lectures, Sebald delves deeply into some very uncomfortable questions The air war on [...]

    9. I was wary when I started this I bought this a few weeks ago based on the strength of a recommendation from somebody I normally trust, unaware that it was a series of four lectures And normally that means I ll be bored to tears Bad flashbacks ensued from two semesters of studying German literature, an altogether stultifying experience thanks to the toothless and ossified lecturers at my university The first lecture, on collective memory regarding the air raids and aftermath, takes about 50% of t [...]

    10. On the Natural History of Destruction is perhaps the the work of Sebald s that I ve enjoyed the least thusfar This means it was still fucking transcendent.The reason I didn t enjoy it as much is a fairly simple one I just haven t read most of the authors he references in his long essays about, among Peter Weiss, Alfred Andersch, or the various Tr mmerlitteratur authors I did enjoy the essay on Jean Am ry it s a wonderful meditation on an author, who, like Sebald, embodies the spirit of internati [...]

    11. This book was loaned me by a friendly coworker It was the first explicit account I d ever read of the allied bombing of Germany during World War II Since then I ve followed up with further studies of allied bombing strategies against the Germans and Japanese, their intentions and their actual accomplishments.In addition to describing the devastation imposed upon urban centers, the author meditates upon the subsequent virtual silence of most German speaking writers as regards these events.

    12. L argomento oltremodo interessante e l esposizione di Sebald lo rende anche affascinante E la storia di un buco nero in una coscienza collettiva e verrebbe da dire che ben gli sta La letteratura si dimenticata di certa Storia, ma fortunatamente il cinema no, e Germania anno zero di Rossellini li per ricordare, a chi ne avesse voglia, la perversione di quei momenti.

    13. Espiazione.Non ho sicuramente le competenze storiche, n tantomeno quelle letterarie, per commentare questo saggio di W.G Sebald, in realt pi che un saggio la raccolta parziale di alcune conferenze tenute dall autore sul tema Guerra aerea e letteratura e un analisi critica sulla figura e sulla produzione letteraria dello scrittore tedesco Alfred Andersch, per cui mi limiter ad alcune riflessioni personali.Sebald era nato nel maggio del 1944, afferma per cui di appartenere al novero di coloro che, [...]

    14. Sebald investigates what he sees as a remarkable absence in German literature of any account of the devastating Allied bombing of German cities He thinks the absence must be attributible to a collective repression of a traumatic experience He investigates the few examples of postwar literature that describe the bombing of cities and finds only one or two examples that he thinks avoid cliche and obvious psychological coping mechanisms The book is a mix of history the most interesting bits and lit [...]

    15. So why did German intellectuals and writers refuse to talk about the destruction of their country by the allies The destruction of every major city and all the cultural artefacts contained therein Not sure that Sebald actually answers the questions but he points the reader at other sources Thought provoking.

    16. It is scarcely possible for me to imagine the actual consequences of aerial bombardment on my city Or any city I can read that the RAF dropped a million tons of bombs on Germany, and that over half a million civilians died as a result I even know, because I ve read it in this book, that for every person in Cologne there was 31.1 cubic metres of rubble by the time we were done with it But in meaningful terms this hardly affects me I can barely visualise what 31 cubic metres of anything looks like [...]

    17. This series of essays marks Sebald s attempt to understand post war German literature, particularly as it comments on or, in his contention, fails properly to describe the Allied destruction of German cities Sebald s Z rich lectures, titled Air War and Literature, occupy the bulk of the book Sebald argues that post war Germany continually succumbs to a self imposed amnesia, evident in architecture, art, and literature The Z rich essay is at once observational and polemical, and sometimes self co [...]

    18. It s interesting to see Sebald s literary style applied to a historical essay In this book, Sebald offers a very sharp analysis on Germany s recent history and, as in all of his work, on the construction of a national, collective, memory And it s also very interesting to notice how connected all of his works are, and how, in the end, all of his books are one, in a certain way.P.S Another interesting book on the same subject is Andreas Huyssen s analysis on what he called urban palimpsests book s [...]

    19. Title is misleading It s really a meditation on the collective psyche of 1950s Germanywhich, as you can imagine, was pretty fucked up.

    20. A k as Can Yay nlar n n bizim lkemizde hemen hemen hi kimse i in bi ey ifade etmeyen bu kitab neden evirtip yay nlad n anlamak zor Kitap, Alman halk n n 2 D nya Sava s ras nda a r bombard man alt nda kalm olmay neden ve nas l haf zas n n derinliklerine itmi oldu unu ele alan olduk a akademik bir al ma in garibi kitab n te birlik k sm na konuyla ba lant s n tam zemedi im ayr bir b l m n eklenmi olmas Alman insan n n psikolojisi zerine ara t rma yapan birisi d nda kimse i in anlam olmad n d nd m b [...]

    21. La verdad es que Sebald se est convirtiendo a pasos agigantados en mi descubrimiento del a o Entre lo incisivo tal vez rozando lo pol mico, pero siempre con un gran punto de raz n y lo desgarrador de sus reflexiones sobre un periodo que apenas lleg a vivir he encontrado un reflejo casi perfecto de todas las inquietudes que he sentido alguna vez sobre la Segunda Guerra Mundial, Alemania y la herida que provoc en esta la imparable maquinaria del Tercer Reich.

    22. How to represent that which escapes representation Such was German literature s central imperative after the war to wrest memory from the wreckage confronting the angel of history and render palpable a collective deluge which no channel of expression could subsume Sebald articulates in these essays and in his own literary output the means by which to write, however asymptotically, a form of language faced with the trauma of the past and the paralysis of the present obliquely with restraint resis [...]

    23. This is an amazing book that takes up the trauma of World War II and its memory or lack of it in German literature or historical reporting For me the most memorable essay in the volume in the one that takes up the absence of discussion of the effects of Allied carpet bombing of cities on the German psyche Sebald shows us how impossible it is to take in the magnitude of trauma caused by the levelling of German cities He discusses the role of silence on this topic in German literature and treats s [...]

    24. I read it once before and it stuck in my mind the way that Sebald s work always does And like his nominal fiction books, returning to it is almost gratifying than picking it up for the first time That said, it s a brutal piece of writing, and there are many passages in it that are profoundly harrowing.Sebald wants to explore the reasons for the collective silence and questionably willful amnesia that the German people experienced after the area bombing of their cities in the final years of WWII [...]

    25. This is the first Sebald non fiction I ve read and while the subject is important and parts of it were interesting it didn t particularly engage me The book is a collection of essays on different writers but all focusing on Sebald s main question why German writers have failed to come to terms with the destruction the air war wreaked on Germany and the the sense of unparalleled national humiliation felt by millions in the last years of the war However, the inadequate and inhibited nature of the [...]

    26. The late Sebald is an extraordinary writer His intelligence, capacity of understanding and compassion, writing style, and huge knowledge make for illuminating reading and this book, a collection of essays that deal with the German catastrophe of Nazism and how it impacted the generations after WWII through the eyes of literature, is an essential book for anyone interested by the subject Among other things, Sebald relates the horrific bombings that destroyed most of Germany in details that are so [...]

    27. Many people misread this book as a lamentation of unacknowledged German suffering in the Second World War It is that, of course, but it is also much Sebald himself laments the ways that Germans themselves independent of outside interference have come to commemorate their own victimization They look and look away at the same time , indirectly confronting that legacy From this vantage point of undressed historical wounds, a portrait of Germany s human catastrophes emerges that seems as explicable [...]

    28. I put off reading Sebalds non fiction essays and lectures for a while because I didn t want to break the spell he has cast me into a dream of a memory where personal narrative meets with historical and architectural facts I was right to have put it off As an avid Sebald admirer I appreciate this work because it is all very specific to his core exploration into the widespread amnesia and avoidance of German writers and intellectuals after the second world war to acknowledge and attempt in some wa [...]

    29. How could be this book controversial It pushed on themes which were long time taboo and not discussed openly The suffering of civilians under heavy bombardment followed by touching the biography and works of Alfred Andersch and Peter Weiss.The part about the reflection of the RAF bombardment in contemporary German literature was skillfully touching the national postraumatic stress glued together with sense of guild to national amnesia about horrid impact of the bombardment of the civilian target [...]

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