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A house on the forested bank of a Brandenburg lake outside Berlin once belonging to Erpenbeck’s grandparents is the focus of this compact beautiful novel Encompassing over one hundred years of German history from the nineteenth century to the Weimar Republic from World War II to The protagonist of the novel is a house a lakeside property outside Berlin which has witnessed history's mood swings from its origins as a pine forest owned by a local town mayor back in the 1600s CE down to our present times when the knocking down of the Berlin Wall forced it to change its inhabitants once again Before I say I’d like to say a few words about our own house a landed estate actually located in what is today central Pakistan to which I had been comparing the house outside Berlin as I read the bookMy family’s permanent address has not changed for the last 350 years My ancestors came from a town 150 km away and have lived here ever since although in recent times many of us have moved out to big cities and to other countries in search of new lives but have always endeavoured to return to our place of origin every now and then especially on festive occasions like Eid and once every few years if living abroadThe oldest part of the house dates from 1870s and the rest of what stands today was built and added in the 1930s This latter addition was done by demolishing an old extended section that was originally built sometime in the early 1700s on fallow land An uncle of mine added the latest amendments a new men’s parlour and few guestrooms in 2000s in the oldest part atop a hummock which my grandfather had left to his elder brother and moved to a newer construction in the 1930s I can give details of constructions additions demolitions caving ins earthuakes Persian tilework old furniture built to last generations the old charpoys my grandmother had brought in her dowry still in good condition after minor repairs; of births and deaths disputes and disagreements wars and famines the place changing hands from Mughal India to an independent princely state then from British India into Pakistan through which generations of its inhabitants have passed Many things have happened during that long stretch of time but no upheaval or misfortune has been great enough to dislodge us from our estateBut humanity has a uarrel with reality having for eons rejected definitions of it while seeking with the craving of an addict one new interpretation whilst destroying the world in its stubborn refusal to learn from history all that presumably for the benefit of humankind The house in Ms Erpenbeck’s novel is located at a place which has seen the worst of European history pass through its doors defiling its peace trampling its serenity destroying its meadows and in a cruel joke turning the lake as a dead end for the escapees than a spot of leisurely activity for holidayersThere is a strong sense of déjà vu in each of the stories of its characters and their families related at one time or another to the house who have fought or traded the right to own and live on the property with each other sometimes on pain of expulsion at times by force of exigency yet at others when the right of ownership was first taken away and then given back in a back and forth circus of the last one hundred years depending on which power system happened to prevail at the time And amazingly Ms Erpenbeck’s language corresponds closely to the confusions of history as it constructs itself then disintegrates and again assembles in a slightly altered formation with a degree of repetition informing the similarities between its long line of inhabitants as if words were recalcitrant banshees brought up in a knot to fill the air with their endless cries The new world is to devour the old one the old one puts up a fight and now new and old are living side by side in a single body Where much is asked is left outAugust '16

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HeimsuchungIle relating the passions and fates of its inhabitants Elegant and poetic Visitation forms a literary mosaic of the last century tearing open wounds and offering moments of reconciliation with its drama and its exuisite evocation of a landscape no political upheaval can truly chang Perhaps eternal life already exists during a human lifetime but since it looks different from what we're hoping for something that transcends everything that's ever happened since it looks instead like the old life we already knew no one recognizes it Yet Jenny Erpenbeck demonstrates here that it is possible to capture the universal by examining the particular like zooming into a Mandelbrot fractal image amazingly in only a couple of hundred pages of personal histories succeeding each other in a patch of land by a lake in Bavaria For me reading the novel was like looking at a Seurat painting like watching a time lapse video or listening to a major symphony I will try explain each analogyA Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande JattePointilism 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 As he comes closer and closer the observer discovers how the painting is created by thousands and thousands of dots in contrasting colours placed close to one another To use a recent analogy I have seen on the net huge posters assembled from individual portraits of people of different skin colours achieving the same effect Erpenbeck made it easier for me to make the association with Seurat as in the very first chapter a young girl wanders into a forest clearing and has a vision of ghostly figures strolling through the grass dressed in costumes from different time periods As the day is old and the world is old many people can stand in the same place one after the other Georg Buchner The novel becomes a dance of succesive generations leaving behind afterimages of their time spent in the meadow by the lake making the present a pointilist overlay that needs to be observed from a distance in order to perceive its deeper truth Also from one of the first stories this dance of generations is beautifully captured in the oral traditions and superstitions that are probably older than Christianity going back to our common tribal memory A collection of rules and traditions that gives structure and strength to a community by regulating all major events of a lifetime from birth to weddings to funerals This treasure chest of ancestral wisdom is getting lost in the uniformity of popular culture and globalization but I grew up in a neighborhood when the parents and grandparents generation still had knowledge of all these uirky and enchanting customs When a woman gets married she must not sew her own dress The dress may not even be made in the house where she lives It must be sewn elsewhere and during the sewing a needle must not be broken The fabric for a wedding dress must not be ripped it must be cut with scissors If an error is made while the fabric is being cut this piece of fabric may no longer be used instead a new piece of the same material must be purchased another example If a maiden wishes to know if she will marry soon she must knock on the wall of the chicken coop during the night of New Year's Eve If the first creature to emerge is a hen she's out of luck but if the rooster responds first her wish will be granted These traditions endured for a long time unchanged there wouldn't be much of a story if they were the sole focus of the book Instead the author chooses to zoom in on the period of rapid transition from late nineteen century to early in the third millenium when the whole fabric of society is ripped apart by world wars and major political movements by alienation of newer generations from their roots and by the decay of the old fashioned system of values and ethicsGiven the big picture the composite image I have talked about until now I might leave the impression that individual lives count for little in the master plan but the reverse is true as each life contains within itself the seeds of eternity An eternity defined not by stagnation but by birth growth and decay One after another they enter the meadow dance for a while in the sunshine then bow out and make space for the next visitor a rich farmer and his four daughters an arhitect his wife a Jewish cloth manufacturer a young girl who hides from the Nazis a writer an exile from a different country a pair of teenage friends some tenants an illegal suatter Most of them have names but names are less important than their interaction with the place The place having a life of its own starting with untamed forest then a summer house then a houseboat a dock a workshop a formal garden a ruin A house is your third skin after the skin made of flesh and clothing Homestead A house made to measure according to the needs of its master Eating cooking sleeping bathing defecating children guests car garden Calculating all these whethers all these thises and thats in wood stone glass straw and iron Setting out courses for lives flooring beneath feet for corridors vistas for eyes doors for silence Linking the place and the people together is a mythical figure the gardener for me an avatar of a detached deity whose only concern is maintaining the continuity of life He's the most important figure in the whole novel so maybe I should try to capture him in detailFor this I'll use the time lapse analogy You may have seen the result in wildlife documentaries a photographer sets his camera on a tripod then with a special remote timer takes a series of photos at fixed intervals When the hundreds of photos are reassembled in seuence you obtain a fast forward movie of clouds running like wild horses across the sky of a budding flower opening its petals or of a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis of the sun rising and setting in a couple of seconds of seasons chasing one another with a tree in the center of the image blooming reddening in autumn and then losing all its leaves The prologue of the novel stretches the timeline even wider following the slow dance of the glaciers as they shape the landscape flattening the plain leaving behind a talus of rubble that will be covered with soil and forest and then parrallel grooves that will fill with water to create a lake The speed slows down as we approach the XIX century and the timelapse follows the coming and going of the seasons the rising of the house and of its garden the slow decay and dissolution that follows unerringly after birth and growth The gardener is not only the caretaker of the place he is also the indifferent observer who doesn't get mixed up in family dramas in wars or in politics Following a rhythm as old as the stars he racks up the deadwood cuts the old trees and stacks the kindling for winter spreads the manure digs he holes for new trees or flowerbeds waters he lawn two times a day morning and sunset regular like clockwork or like the breath of the oceans from where life first emerged The gardener wheels up the next barrowful of soil and dumps it out To tame the wilderness and then make it intersect with culture that's what art is the householder says To avail oneself of beauty regardless of where one finds it I am reminded of a phrase from Malcolm Lowry about a derelict garden in Cuernavaca He too sees our destiny not as conuerors of time and nature but as gardeners temporary tenants Visitors whose task is not to destroy but to nurture and build beauty art new life Le gusta este jardin? ue es suyo? Evite ue sus hijos lo destruyan I've talked about geological seasonal and cyrcadian rhythms about the drumming of waves the whispers of the wind or the loud declamations of cannons All these bring me to the metaphor of the novel as a symphony where each individual characterthe farmer's daughter the arhitect the writer the gardener sings his theme on his own instrument but together they produce much than their melodies a tarantella of folk dance an andante over the peaceful waters of the lake a presto of cavalry charge and artillery a reuiem for a house in winter an ode to the joy of living Again the individual lives get lost in the bigger sound of the orchestra but that doesn't mean that they are not important that their theme songs do not reflect and enrich the basic structure of the opera Here are the last uotes that I saved from the novel All could be verses of songs or sketched ideas for a haunting melody If I came to youO woods of my youthcould youPromise me peaceonce again? Friedrich Holderlin This is the key to the gardenfor which three girls are waitingThe first is named Binkathe second BibeldebinkaThe third's name is Zickzettzack Nobel deBobel de Bibel de BinkaThen Binka took a stoneand struck Bibeldebinka's leg boneThen Zick Zett ZackNobel de Bobel de Bibel de Binkabegan to weep and moan The dandelions are the same here as back home and so are the larks They knew nothing beautiful than just letting the wind carry them along Sailing is a beautiful thing In the end there are certain things you can take with you when you flee things that have no weight such as music 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 than words could ever capture And as with all those major Romantic symphonies and concerts I'm sure a re read will reveal hidden treasures deeper meaning and brighter beauty

Jenny Erpenbeck ê Heimsuchung pdf

read doc à Heimsuchung ¸ Paperback Ü randarenewables Ñ A house on the forested bank of a Brandenburg lake outside Berlin once belonging to Erpenbeck’s grandparents is the focus of this compact beautiful novel Encompassing over one hundred years of German history from the nineteenth century to the Weimar RThe Socialist German Democratic Republic and finally reunification and its aftermath Visitation offers the life stories of twelve individuals who seek to make their home in this one magical little house The novel breaks into the everyday life of the house and shimmers through it wh Long time ago in different time in other era when the world was young yet when these hillocks were part of huge mountain range a glacier went through crushing everything on its way changing lay of the land curving rocks and forming basins which filled with water Former inhabitants lions and saber toothed tigers gone and then we entered on the scene embracing that land and naming lake between hills the Sea of the Mark Brandenburg Between silent green hummocks amid pine grooves and alder forests nearby the lake there was a house It was built by Berlin architect for his young wife He used to think that it would last for ever that they spend there the whole life But what exactly does it mean that whole life ?On the doors still fly colorful birds flowers are blooming grapes hanging Garden of Eden in twelve colored panes which beauty makes you to forget that behind them is only a common broom cupboard Creaky stairs on the second seventh and penultimate stage Wife’s room as always smelling of mint and camphor Dressing room with ingenious passageway into his atelier On the upstairs from where stretched a view on the rose bed sandy road shiny surface of the water the tiny bird soldered to the railing A house is your third skin after the skin made of flesh and clothing Homestead A house made to measure according to the needs of its master Each and every year the gardener used to come and depending on the time of year planted trimmed watered fertilized cleared weeded he lives alone in an abandoned hunting lodge at the edge of the woods he's always lived there everyone in the village knows him and yet he is only ever referred to by both young people and old as The Gardener as though he had no other name There was a time and there was a life And then time began to leak out and there was no way to stop it And life began to shrink down to the size of a tiny dark cubbyhole But while sitting in the darkness one could still remember that house and the lake that one could be sure the world still existed But what if there was no one who would remember us ? What when we finally disappear ? Who then will know about the world? Doris daughter of Ernst and Elizabeth On the wooden platform one can still hear the patter of bare feet in the bedroom still lingers faint smell of mint and camphor from the living room on the downstairs still coming the sound of a typewriter As the day is old and the world is old many people can stand in the same place one after the other Trucks already departed taking away tons of rotten debris decaying wood broken glass The bees have left their hives The gardener has disappeared In the place where once stood the house there is a gaping hole now so you can see the layers of the bygone years Slate clay sandIn the twisted pines wind is blowing The lake is still lapping against the shore But one day even it may disappear Because long ago in another time in different life when the world was still young even in the Sahara there was water too