Utz

UtzA Great StylistNot A Word Is Wasted In Telling Of His Tale Each Sentence Is Fashioned, Polished, And Put Into Place With Microscopic CareDaily TelegraphSHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZEBruce Chatwin S Bestselling Novel Traces The Fortunes Of The Enigmatic And Unconventional Hero, Kaspar Utz Despite The Restrictions Of Cold War Czechoslovakia, Utz Asserts His Individuality Through His Devotion To His Precious Collection Of Meissen Porcelain Although Utz Is Permitted To Leave The Country Each Year, And Considers Defecting Each Time, He Is Not Allowed To Take His Porcelain With Him And So He Always Returns To His Czech Home, A Prisoner Both Of The Communist State And Of His Collection

Charles Bruce Chatwin was an English novelist and travel writer He won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel On the Black Hill 1982 In 1972, Chatwin interviewed the 93 year old architect and designer Eileen Gray in her Paris salon, where he noticed a map of the area of South America called Patagonia, which she had painted I ve always wanted to go there, Bruce told her So have

[PDF / Epub] ⚣ Utz ✈ Bruce Chatwin – Uc0.info
  • Paperback
  • 142 pages
  • Utz
  • Bruce Chatwin
  • English
  • 28 July 2018
  • 9780099770015

10 thoughts on “Utz

  1. says:

    Living Within the LieHow can one best deal with the reality of power, particularly power which is obviously arbitrary and tasteless as well as unjust This is an especially relevant issue during the regime of Trump and his vulgarising influence in world affairs Utz is wonderful comedic farce about how to deal with power at a personal as well as a political level not by confronting it but by treating it with utter disdain.The eponymous Utz is a Czech survivor of two world wars and a subsequent communist regime What sustains him is an aesthetic, specifically his appreciation for Meissen porcelain Wars, pogroms and revolutions , he used to say, offer excellent opportunities for the collector He is savvy enough to understand that power is never permanently held and that its machinations need not impede the life of the true aesthete Tyranny sets up its own echo chamber a void where confused signals buzz about at random where a murmur or innuendo causes panic so, in the end, the machinery of repression is likely to vanish, not with war or revolution, but with a puff, or the voice of falling leaves Power is its own worst enemy if we can just leave it alone, it dissipates.Utz is no avaricious materialist Collecting is a spiritual endeavour that involves treating individual pieces as if they were icons that promote entry into another world Such appreciation is impossible in a museum or public gallery where the pieces must suffer the de natured existence of an animal in the zoo In any museum the object dies of suffocation and the public gaze whereas private ownership confers on the owner the right and the need to touch His obsession with porcelain is a quest to find the substance of immortality But a collection of such objects is also a constant reminder of one s own mortality These things are the changeless mirror in which we watch ourselves disintegrate Nothing is ageing than a collection of works of art The collection presents both concrete reality and existential hope for the one oppressed by power..Even , the pieces act much as the Golem in the Jewish legends of Prague to protect, if not one s body, at least one s mind from the threats of power which abound in life So, for Utz, this world of little figures was the real world And like the Golem, and for that matter Adam himself, isn t porcelain created from clay and water These precisely crafted fragments of clay are our links to the supernatural which permit us to ignore the minor irritations of bureaucrats and customs officials no matter how expertly applied So you see, said Utz, not only was Adam the first human person He was also the first ceramic sculpture Porcelain is a philosophy of primal mankind, of freedom.Nevertheless, an aesthetic obsession, like a Golem, is prone to get out of hand unless there is a control mechanism Utz In fact has two such controls sex and an annual two weeks abroad The first keeps him grounded, the second keeps him sane It s a clever therapy and he recognizes his fortunate luxury This is a luxury which allows him to avoid the main temptation to power, that is to say power as a remedy for power s ills He knew that anti Communist rhetoric was as deadly as its Communist counterpart In any case, his annual visits abroad served mainly to remind him of the venality and useless worry that were the essential conditions of living in the West.Thus Utz s aesthetic allows him to live comfortably and without undue stress within the lie, not just the lie of Czechoslovakian Communism, but also the lie that there is anything permanent or permanently obtainable in life Not at all a bad way to deal with the power that envelopes one s existence.

  2. says:

    I am, among other things, a dealer of 19th century porcelain and some of them Meissen , so this book was unusually close to my everyday life Chatwin s passages on the pleasure and insanity of collecting particularly the intense negotiation scene were some of my favorites, though I don t know how well they d translate to the collective you.But The book s treatment of Czechoslovakia is fascinating, Utz himself is a pleasure of a character, the book is light and funny, and there s a sequence in homage to Magic Mountain that was a huge pleasure A touch OVER plotted I don t think Chatwin appreciated the joy of the simplicity of his book s first half , and some really bad hair similes are the only real issues here I read it in 80 minutes Chatwin had an exceedingly interesting life and this is a good introduction to his talents.

  3. says:

    La collezione proibita.Strano romanzo questo Utz, breve quanto intenso, multiforme e cangiante.Non avevo mai letto niente di Chatwin, ma per sentito dire o per articoli letti qua e l mi immaginavo viaggi avventurosi in terre lontane oltreoceano.Mi sono ritrovata invece a Praga, la pi misteriosa tra le citt europee , a viaggiare nella mente indecifrabile di Utz, un ricco collezionista di porcellane settecentesche della casa Meissen di Dresda di origine tedesca, ebreo per parte di madre, Utz un personaggio indecifrabile, ora ironico e sprezzante, ora romantico e nostalgico, barone per caso, ma che vive senza agi n sfarzo, unicamente del suo a per la bellezza e per la perfezione dei suoi pezzi da collezione dal valore inestimabile Chatwin, rievoca qui un fatto realmente accadutogli verso la fine degli anni Sessanta, quando gi direttore della prestigiosa casa d aste Sotheby s si rec nella Cecoslovachia pre invasione sovietica per incontrare il famoso collezionista Rudolf Just e scoprire i segreti della sua collezione.In un lungo ricordo, l io narrante del romanzo, lo stesso Chatwin appunto, cerca di scoprire che fine abbia fatto la preziosa collezione dopo la morte di Utz quella stessa collezione che l eccentrico protagonista aveva difeso con grande forza e determinazione, dal nazismo e dalla guerra prima e dal comunismo e dal marxismo poi, che sembra ora essersi volatilizzata o addirittura, nonostante le fitte maglie della burocrazia comunista, andata distrutta.Quella di Utz e delle sue statuine sembra essere una danza senza tempo, ballata sulle note di una nostalgia impalpabile, una danza delle ore scandita con lentezza dalla dedizione assoluta di Utz e dalla sua incapacit di subirne un distacco la stessa che la fedele cameriera Martha riserver al suo padrone sino alla fine dei suoi giorni.Alla fine, nonostante avranno attraversato i secoli e i confini degli imperi della Sassonia e degli Asburgo, nonostante avranno attraversato le frontiere del Reich e quelle della Cortina di ferro, nonostante tutto, sulle statuine Messen della collezione Utz, non si sar mai posato nemmeno un granello di polvere.Perch come Utz sosteneva, un oggetto chiuso nella teca di un museo deve patire l innaturale esistenza di un animale in uno zoo In ogni museo l oggetto muore di soffocamento e degli sguardi del pubblico , mentre il possesso privato conferisce al proprietario il bisogno di toccare Come un bimbo allunga la mano per toccare ci di cui pronuncia il nome, cos il collezionista appassionato restituisce all oggetto, gli occhi in armonia con la mano, il tocco vivificante del suo artefice Il nemico del collezionista il conservatore del museo In teoria, i musei dovrebbero essere saccheggiati ogni cinquant anni e le loro collezioni dovrebbero tornare in circolazionePeccato che Chatwin non abbia mai saputo del ritorno in circolazione della collezione Meissen di Just, il tesoro che sembrava svanito nel nulla Qui , se avete un account a pagamento sul Corriere della Sera.Un ultima annotazione va alla scrittura colta e raffinata di Chatwin amo i libri che fanno conoscere nuovi mondi e insegnare nuove cose amo ancor di pi i libri che sanno stimolare il lettore ad affrontare nuove letture La montagna incantata di Thomas Mann, La signora col cagnolino di Cechov, e ancora Zweig, Schnitzler, e per finire L immoralista di Andr Gide la mia piccola collezione dopo la lettura di questo romanzo E io capii, mentre Utz faceva ruotare la statuetta alla luce della candela, che lo avevo giudicato male che anche lui stava danzando che per lui il vero mondo era il mondo di quelle figurine, e che, paragonate a loro, la Gestapo, la polizia segreta e furfanti vari non erano che creature di latta Gli eventi di questo fosco secolo i bombardamenti, i Blitzkrieg, i colpi di stato, le purghe erano, per quel che lo riguardava, altrettanti rumori di fondo.

  4. says:

    I ve never read anything by Bruce Chatwin before, but judging from his biography he was an interesting fellow Born in 1940, he was employed by Sotheby s to work at their art department and quickly became their expert on antique and impressionist pieces, known for his ability to discern forgeries he eventually became the director He was later hired by The Sunday Times and published articles for the magazine while traveling across the world and visiting its remote corners he published a travel book, In Patagonia, and several novels Utz is the last of them, published in 1988 one year before the author s death from AIDS.The eponymous Utz is Kaspar Utz, a man of forgettable face but unforgettable passion for porcelain figurines Utz devoted his life to collecting his porcelain treasures, and ensuring their safety throughout the years and wars He keeps all thousand pieces in his small, two room apartment in Prague, permitted by the Czechoslovak regime to do so on the grounds that he will bequeath the entire collection to the state after his death Although Utz is the main protagonist, he is not the narrator the story begins with his funeral, and is narrated by a man who spent a little than 9 hours with Utz when he was alive, and collected the rest from his few friends.The narrator first came to Prague to research a book about the psychology of collectors which drew him to Utz, a Jewish man possibly descended from some minor Saxon nobility, and his passion for collecting porcelain His devotion to Meissen porcelains is without parallel during the war, he gave away all his other earthly belongings to secure a Czechoslovak passport and residence in Prague The narrator meets with Utz, who talks with him about porcelain, alchemy and golems much of the book is satire on the absurdity of totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, one of which Utz had to live in This is best seen in the opening scene of the book which, by the nature of being a funeral, should have been sad but because the funeral takes place in 1974 in Czechoslovakia, it s darkly humorous A man asks the narrator if he can play the organ, and upon hearing a negation he admits that he can t either, and resignedly goes to do exactly that A cleaning woman refuses to move for the coffin bearers, and they have to go around her and they have to hurry, as the state has ruled that all Christian rituals have to be done by 8.30 AM There are many such examples in the book, but I ll leave the fun of discovering to prospective readers Although Utz could have used multiple opportunities to defect to the West, he was always dragged back to Prague not by the government, but by his precious porcelain which he couldn t leave behind He always came back to the city, and this is where he eventually died which is where the book opens, and the narrator reaches full circle learning about Utz from his friends and acquaintances, he is able to present a complete vision of Utz as a person But can a person such as Utz ever truly be scrutinized and understood Like Utz s figurines, the book itself is a miniature it reads quickly, but but is packed with a multitude of references and observations from the nature of humankind to specific political and social affairs of the era I think it could be adapted excellently for stage, and for film I m surprised that no one has thought of it yet, given the success of last years s Grand Budapest Hotel If you enjoyed that film, there is a chance that you will also enjoy Utz and even if you didn t, there is little risk in dusting off this forgotten book and discovering the life of a little known Saxon baron who once held the largest porcelain collection in the whole of Bohemia.

  5. says:

    Set during the last years of Czechoslovakia before the end of communism this short novel is based around a meeting between the author, who descends down into his own novel view spoiler rather as in his travel writing there is an interplay between the potentially real and the probably fictional so to there is an uncertain shifting between the two as though the author was seeking to both expose and cover his nakedness at the same time and blurs the difference between fiction and non fiction, instead in the end there is neither, just Chatwin himself, or maybe there isn t hide spoiler

  6. says:

    Le cose, riflettei, sono meno fragili delle persone Le cose sono lo specchio immutabile in cui osserviamo la nostra disgregazione Nulla ci invecchia pi di una collezione di opere d arte Il barone Kaspar von Utz, discendente da una nobile famiglia di proprietari terrieri, si rifugia nel collezionismo quasi maniacale di porcellane, che inizia ad acquistare pian piano fin da giovane La sua collezione, composta da un numero esorbitante di pezzi importantissimi, grazie alla sua perspicacia ed attenzione riesce a sopravvivere agli orrori della guerra ed arrivare a Praga, durante il regime cecoslovacco Nelle difficili condizioni di Praga, Utz cerca di passare inosservato insieme alla sua preziosa collezione che attira ovviamente i burocrati di regime Nonostante abbia continuamente la possibilit di fuggire in occidente, l a per la sua collezione lo blocca a Praga, citt che da una parte ama ma dall altra non sopporta pi per la grettezza del regime Utz alla fine si rovina la vita rimanendo aggrappato ed intrappolato dalla meravigliosa collezione che non si sente di abbandonare come se fosse la collezione a possedere lui, piuttosto che il viceversa.Meravigliosa l erudizione di Chatwin la sua capacit di destare interesse, di insegnare e di ironizzare formidabile In questo suo piccolo ultimo libro, originale e avvincente, si passa dalle filosofie antiche all alchimia, dalla pietra filosofale e del suo legame con le porcellane all attinenza del nome porcellana con il maiale, dalla leggenda dei Golem all ebraismo, dalla storia europea del 900 alle bellezze di Praga Chatwin, tramite Utz che dedica la sua vita a collezionare cose belle ma fragili e inutili, ci suggerisce che nella vita non dobbiamo solo lavorare e guadagnare, ma dedicarci anche al culto della cultura e del bello Curiosamente, le relazioni non sono prese in considerazioneUn libro estremamente raffinato, suggestivo e appassionante.

  7. says:

    Avevo sentito accennare a Bruce Chatwin e l avevo collegato mentalmente ad uno scrittore di viaggi e avventure Incuriosita, ho voluto assaggiare e ho scelto, non so per quali motivi inspiegabili, Utz E mi sono ritrovata non in luoghi di possibili mete, n in posti esotici, n a conoscere gente per il mondo, ma, inaspettatamente, a percorrere un viaggio a ritroso per alcuni anni dell ultimo secolo, tramite le porcellane Meissen Il barone Kaspar von Utz ne possiede infatti, a Praga, una spettacolare collezione che, grazie alle sue abili manovre, era sopravvissuta alla seconda guerra mondiale e agli anni dello stalinismo in Cecoslovacchia Nel 1967 contava pi di mille pezzi, tutti stipati nel minuscolo appartamento di due stanze in via Siroka.Orl k, studioso di arte rinascimentale, sulle tracce dell Imperatore Rodolfo II viene a contatto con Utz ed Orl k a raccontarci dunque la vita solitaria dell appassionato e maniacale collezionista sempre in fuga tra Praga, Dresda, Vichy per riuscire a conservare intatto il suo fragile tesoro finch situazioni varie lo portano a una decisione drastica La scrittura essenziale, pulita, efficace, e con veli di ironia Ben organizzato il racconto, bench passi da un tempo all altro, da un luogo all altro Le vicende storiche che ne costituiscono la struttura chiariscono bene l ambiente e l atmosfera, pur rimanendo nello sfondo Pochi i personaggi, ma ben caratterizzati Con discrezione viene presentato anche il rapporto con la domestica con la quale Utz condivide fino alla morte peripezie e risoluzioni Molti poi i riferimenti culturali con cui Chatwin arricchisce la narrazione Ma sempre rimane nel lettore un alone di mistero, come se il narratore avesse voluto rispecchiare e riprodurre quella reticenza che per le necessit contingenti i personaggi attuavano un che di vago che d completezza e forza alla storia.

  8. says:

    Chatwin s sentences are as chiseled little jewels in museum cases He s part of that wonderful tradition of chilly literary craftsmanship that counts Borges, Sebald, and Nabokov among its members.Utz is the first of Chatwin s fiction works I ve read, and it bears much in common with his travel writing To be, like, ultra lame, I would make the comparison between his prose and the Meissen porcelain he writes about, but I m not Instead, I ll say that it is brilliantly, deceptively simple He just says things with as straight a face as you can imagine And the effects stay with you for a long time after, especially on that lonely train ride home, especially on that return to an empty apartment.

  9. says:

    Don t get fooled by the shortness of the booklet the story is quite rich We meet this self centered mr Utz on the day of his funeral, through the memories of an acquaintance of his Mr Utz has been a spoiled child and an eccentric adult, a bourgeoisie in a communist country He s a collector, and an addicted to porcelain But the is also delusional I get the sophistication of the story, but I don t get the story I ve been indifferent to Utz s struggling and suffering.

  10. says:

    I don t know why or when I began to be suspicious of fiction, but somewhere along the line I came to look on the reading of novels as a guilty pleasure, a distraction from the business of serious reading This is an absurd notion, of course, and it embarrasses me to write it down The undergraduate English major still lurking somewhere deep within me is really quite shocked But I make no excuse for myself I only admit the fact.I ve read a lot of Bruce Chatwin and enjoyed all of it, but I ve so far limited myself to his ostensibly non fiction works Admittedly, the line between fiction and non fiction is a hazy one with Chatwin, but I m thinking here of his travelogues like In Patagonia Curiously, then, it was a work of non fiction, Frederik Sjoberg s The Fly Trap, that sparked my interest in Utz as an example of Chatwin the novel writer.I simply loved this book I read it in two enraptured sittings and was tempted to start over again from the beginning Chatwin s eccentricities are all there the story includes memorable discursions on Renaissance alchemists, the origin of central European porcelain manufactures, and the true nature and powers of the Prague golem but they re given fresh shape and breath in the memorable characters of Utz himself, his friend Orlik, and his housekeeper Marta What s , I can t remember Chatwin s prose ever reading better than it does in Utz And while there s a certain pathos to the story, it s also very funny as in I actually laughed out loud than once I don t know what to compare it to, except maybe a Werner Herzog movie In the end, Utz may feel like a guilty pleasure, but only because I suspect it was written with me personally in mind.

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