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Generated at Fri, 22 Nov 2019 18:14:09 GMT exp-ck: undefined; xpa: undefined;
Electrode, Comp-701217859, DC-prod-cdc01, ENV-prod-a, PROF-PROD, VER-19.1.31, SHA-771c9ce79737366b1d5f53d21cad4086bf722e21, CID-f1688f9c-f61-16e945243c3629, Generated: Fri, 22 Nov 2019 18:14:09 GMT

Visitation - eBook

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<p><strong>A bestseller in Germany, <em>Visitation</em> has established Jenny Erpenbeck as one of Europe’s most significant contemporary authors.</strong></p> <p>A forested property on a Brandenburg lake outside Berlin lies at the heart of this darkly sensual, elegiac novel. Encompassing over one hundred years of German history, from the nineteenth century to the Weimar Republic, from World War II to the Socialist German Democratic Republic, and finally reunification and its aftermath, <em>Visitation</em> 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, while relating the passions and fates of its inhabitants. Elegant and poetic, <em>Visitation</em> forms a literary mosaic of the last century, tearing open wounds and offering moments of reconciliation, with its drama and its exquisite evocation of a landscape no political upheaval can truly change.</p>

Customer Review Snapshot

4 out of 5 stars
13 total reviews
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Most helpful positive review
Definitely a 5-star read. This book is about time, durability, existence, perception, memory. A piece of land has existed seemingly forever - a lovely opening chapter describes its emergence during the ages, how it came to be a meadow and a lake up against the edge of a mountain, 24000 years ago. It is part of the local landscape, subject to the clear rules of nature, year in, year out. A mysterious "gardener" helps the local community maintain it, with unvarying protocols (and occasional improvements), just like the unvarying local protocols on marriage, on death, on religion, on life generally. These are described carefully, beautifully, repeatedly. "Nothing" happens - although clearly things must have done, as there are hints of suicides, trysts, childbirths, escapes of one kind or another. Then, the latest owner, having no son to leave it to (but 4 daughters - what's that about?), sells it off in three pieces, and a lot more happens. The rest of the book tells, not always linearly or chronologically, but clearly enough if you read a bit more slowly than usual, the stories of the people who acquire the pieces of land. At first, these are all hopeful stories of life enhancement and expansion, but this is Germany in the 1930's, so soon enough come hyperinflation, the rise of the Nazis, expropriation of Jewish property, the need to hide, to escape or fail to escape, the War, the Holocaust, the Russian occupation, the oppressions of the East German regime, and eventually the fall of the Berlin Wall and the quest for repatriation of ownership. Some people are "winners", some of the time, most are "losers" most of the time. Some lose their homes, their fortunes, their possessions, others lose their families, their lives. The houses and the land live in their memories, events recalled and stories re-told, when they are exiled or dying, or even when they are there. Eventually, all this will end, a short season of madness in a long history of a place. Existence will carry on, bigger than the individuals, although for them, it has been all their time. This is where I wish I was a much better reader and analyst, so I could really tell you what makes this such a special book. It is short, and beautiful, and worth reading more than once.

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A bestseller in Germany, Visitation has established Jenny Erpenbeck as one of Europe’s most significant contemporary authors.

A forested property on a Brandenburg lake outside Berlin lies at the heart of this darkly sensual, elegiac novel. Encompassing over one hundred years of German history, from the nineteenth century to the Weimar Republic, from World War II to the 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, while 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 exquisite evocation of a landscape no political upheaval can truly change.

Visitation - eBook

Specifications

Read This On
Android,Ereader,Desktop,IOS,Windows
Is Downloadable Content Available
Y
Digital Reader Format
Epub (Yes)
Language
en
Publisher
Kobo
Author
Jenny Erpenbeck
ISBN-13
9780811219310
ISBN-10
0811219313

Customer Reviews

5 stars
4
4 stars
5
3 stars
4
2 stars
0
1 star
0
1-5 of 13 reviews

Definitely a 5-star re...

Definitely a 5-star read. This book is about time, durability, existence, perception, memory. A piece of land has existed seemingly forever - a lovely opening chapter describes its emergence during the ages, how it came to be a meadow and a lake up against the edge of a mountain, 24000 years ago. It is part of the local landscape, subject to the clear rules of nature, year in, year out. A mysterious "gardener" helps the local community maintain it, with unvarying protocols (and occasional improvements), just like the unvarying local protocols on marriage, on death, on religion, on life generally. These are described carefully, beautifully, repeatedly. "Nothing" happens - although clearly things must have done, as there are hints of suicides, trysts, childbirths, escapes of one kind or another. Then, the latest owner, having no son to leave it to (but 4 daughters - what's that about?), sells it off in three pieces, and a lot more happens. The rest of the book tells, not always linearly or chronologically, but clearly enough if you read a bit more slowly than usual, the stories of the people who acquire the pieces of land. At first, these are all hopeful stories of life enhancement and expansion, but this is Germany in the 1930's, so soon enough come hyperinflation, the rise of the Nazis, expropriation of Jewish property, the need to hide, to escape or fail to escape, the War, the Holocaust, the Russian occupation, the oppressions of the East German regime, and eventually the fall of the Berlin Wall and the quest for repatriation of ownership. Some people are "winners", some of the time, most are "losers" most of the time. Some lose their homes, their fortunes, their possessions, others lose their families, their lives. The houses and the land live in their memories, events recalled and stories re-told, when they are exiled or dying, or even when they are there. Eventually, all this will end, a short season of madness in a long history of a place. Existence will carry on, bigger than the individuals, although for them, it has been all their time. This is where I wish I was a much better reader and analyst, so I could really tell you what makes this such a special book. It is short, and beautiful, and worth reading more than once.

A fever dream of a nov...

A fever dream of a novel where characters and time are fluid but place stays the same. Largely dark with moments of beauty, it swoops in and out of German history including a harrowing look at the Holocaust. The chapters examine periods in the lives of people who are connected to a particular piece of property with each visitation bordered by a shorter chapter about 'The Gardener'. Although we become intimate with their darkest hours, the characters are barely described (think The Arichitect, The Family Friend, The Cloth Manufacturer etc.) Very, very recommended if you like nontraditional narrative that helps get to the heart of things.

This book is a must-re...

This book is a must-read. The language is so strong and colourful. I wasn't able to put it aside. It's the story about a house and a landscape which saw a lot of different inhabitants starting before WWII and ending nowadays. It's the story from a Jewish family who lost this house due to WWII but also the stories from people who were living in East Germany. There was a gardener who seemed the only one who had met all those different residents and also was the only one who knew how to care for the landscape and the wishes of every new owner. Alternately their is a chapter about the gardener and a resident. In each chapter there is the whole story of the person, where she/he cames from, his profession, all his family links, his love life, his anxieties and happiness. It's written with a great love and understanding for each character.

The Visitation is th...

The 'Visitation' is the biography of a place, the trees and plants that grow there, the home built in that place, and the people who live, inhabit, visit, work, and pass through the place; but it's also more than that. It's about inclusion and exclusion and the consequences of both, about relationships with each other and with a place, about attachment and engagement and letting go. It's about permanence and impermanence and ephemerality (of place and time). Each paragraph is a discrete prose poem, a small detail of a story that stands on its own, that build on each other and collectively build into a whole; the writing is brilliant. Erpenbeck chooses each word with care and Bernofsky, the translator, is excellent. A surprising and astonishing novel.

This is not the kind o...

This is not the kind of book that you can just read, put aside and move on to something else. Well, I guess you could do that if you were totally unfeeling and insensitive and able to deflect all attempts to break through your hard outer crust. This book stabbed me through the heart and while the dagger was in there, it was twisted...hard. Deceptively brief (a mere150 pages) the book seemed a lot longer to me because I found myself dwelling on many of the carefully crafted sentences and the overall subject matter forced me to linger over certain passages, trying to get my brain to determine where we were in the 20th century and what exactly the author was trying to say. Because above all it is a book of multiple layers, and it is the exploration and dissection of these layers that takes time and patience. So not an easy read, but well worth the effort. The main protagonist of the story is a piece of land in the Brandenburg section of Germany, just outside of Berlin, and the house that sits on it. The Prologue explains how the land came to be going back 24,000 years when "a glacier advanced until it reached a large outcropping of rock that now is nothing more than a gentle hill above where the house stands." The story is told by the twelve individuals who make their home in the house from the early years of the 20th century until just after the fall of the Berlin Wall in the 1980's. The one constant is the gardener who takes loving care of the property throughout. The fate of the house and its land closely mimics the lot of Germany in the last century through two world wars and the establishment and then dismantling of East Germany. The property is divided and subdivided many times over the years and, in the end, the house is dismantled, returning the land to what it was in the early 20th century. The author brilliantly established the tone of the brutality of this time with her use of stark language while still maintaining a feeling of reconciliation and healing. Her spare, poignant prose took my breath away: "The 6th Army capitulated outside Stalingrad, and already the morning of that day she was overcome by hot flashes, the sweat covering the space between her lips and nose like a mustache of tiny droplets, this sweat was embarrassing, but it would have embarrassed her even more to wipe it away, the Russians were marching toward Poland, and she felt dizzy, often several times a day, so that she had to steady herself by grasping table edges and door handles so as not to fall down, and finally, just as the Allies were landing in Normandy, even weeping returned to her body, taking hold of it and refusing to leave again, like a long forgotten creditor come to collect on a debt she no lo0nger recalled." (Page 53) Weaving the story back and forth in time, this is a very difficult read that will not be for everyone but if you are up to the challenge, you will certainly be rewarded.

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Electrode, Comp-389266859, DC-prod-cdc02, ENV-prod-a, PROF-PROD, VER-30.0.3-ebf-2, SHA-8c8e8dc1c07e462c80c1b82096c2da2858100078, CID-e011b927-ba7-16e9454d57929c, Generated: Fri, 22 Nov 2019 18:16:58 GMT