Sepharad From one of Spain s most celebrated writers an extraordinary inspired book at once fiction history and memoir that draws on the Sephardic diaspora the Holocaust and Stalin s purges to tell a twe

  • Title: Sepharad
  • Author: Antonio Muñoz Molina Margaret Sayers Peden
  • ISBN: 9780156034746
  • Page: 462
  • Format: Paperback
  • From one of Spain s most celebrated writers, an extraordinary, inspired book at once fiction, history, and memoir that draws on the Sephardic diaspora, the Holocaust, and Stalin s purges to tell a twentieth century story.Shifting seamlessly from the past to the present and following the routes of escape across countries and continents, Mu oz Molina evokes people real and iFrom one of Spain s most celebrated writers, an extraordinary, inspired book at once fiction, history, and memoir that draws on the Sephardic diaspora, the Holocaust, and Stalin s purges to tell a twentieth century story.Shifting seamlessly from the past to the present and following the routes of escape across countries and continents, Mu oz Molina evokes people real and imagined who come together in a richly allusive pattern from Eugenia Ginsburg to Grete Buber Neumann, the one on a train to the gulag, the other heading toward a Nazi concentration camp from a shoemaker and a nun who become lovers in a small Spanish town to Primo Levi bound for Auschwitz From the well known to the virtually unknown all of Molina s characters are voices of separation, nostalgia, love, and endless waiting.Written with clarity of vision and passion, in a style both lyrical and accessible, Sepharad makes the experience our own.A brilliant achievement.

    One thought on “Sepharad”

    1. On page 140, the author appears to describe a vision for this book:"For two or three years I have flirted with the idea of writing a novel, imagined situations and places, like snapshots, or like those posters displayed on large billboards at the entrance to a movie theater. That these stills were never in narrative sequence made them all the more powerful, freed them of the weight and vulgar conventions of a scenario; they were revelations in the present, with no before or after. When I didn't [...]

    2. A revelationpidary new insight into so many of my own intellectual and emotional obsessions, both an intimate portrait of mourning, the loss of youth, growing up, travel, and the trains taken and untaken, and a history of the 20th century and beyond. Most reminded me of reading Proust.

    3. "Sepharad" is one of the most beautifully written books I have read in a *long* time--most refreshing for a reader who loves language and history. My only problem with this book is that it was billed as a novel. Those looking for a linear tale of suspense that takes place in single setting will be disappointed in this book. This is not a page-turner, but it is worth the work. It reads more like a collection of prose poems linked by characters that appear, disappear, and reappear, mirroring their [...]

    4. Esta novela es la historia del viaje del autor desde su Úbeda natal a un concepto de España múchisimo más amplio en tiempo y espacio : en tiempo, desde 1492 y la expulsión de los judíos hasta nuestros días, y en el espacio, desde Úbeda hasta todos los países y todas las ciudades donde hay o han habido gente que conservaba una llave, unas canciones, un apellido o algún otro recuerdo de ese país de que fueron expulsados sus ancestros y que ellos llamaban "Sefarad". Cada capítulo es otr [...]

    5. It took me a while to figure out this novel, but what kept me interested throughout was the excellent storytelling, the excellent voices of the narrators, and the way Molina keeps you off-balance with changing person, voice, and story.What does hold the various stories together is the way they all show the effects of totalitarianism on individuals, real and invented. A lot is about exile and self-imposed exile, even exile while still living in one’s homeland. There is a lot of nostalgia, confu [...]

    6. Wow, this is a book after my own heart. It says on the cover that it's a novel, but I don't think so. Really its a collection of stories which are mostly personal, but with many recurring motifs and themes that link them together. If you are Spanish, or Jewish, or love 20th century European history, or traveling, or have migrated from a provincial city to a major capital, this book will speak to you. The book is made up of 17 "chapters" each of which can really stand on its own as an independent [...]

    7. I tried. If I had a shelf for, is-it-just-me-or-does-the-emperor-have-no-clothes, this would be on it. It got great reviews from all the snobby publications, and I simply couldn't make heads or tails of it. I didn't get any sense of a novel, and I never quite learned who the narrator (narrators?) was. It felt like each chapter was meant to be its own short story, but within each of those, several different tales were being told in an almost stream-of-consciousness way. One minute we're Catholic [...]

    8. afortunadamente y luego de 300 páginas de algunas historias algo cansinas, decidí continuar con este libro. aunque me tomó mucho tiempo, me gustó la temática del mismo. Muñoz Molina nos recuerda que la xenofobia, el odio a eso que desconocemos y los prejuicios, ya no tienen lugar en nuestra civilización, que deben ser superados y aprender de episodios de la historia que no serán borrados jamás, pero que deben servirnos para ser mejores, en lo posible.

    9. This is a very hard book to read. It deals mainly with alienation, yearning for a lost past/land, loss, and genocide. I had to take it in small doses or it can really pull you down, because although there are some glimmers of hope and joy, they are small and far between.I have shelved it as short stories because this is not an usual novel. It is a series of almost-real and real stories, all dealing with the idea of the lost country, the one we left behind, whether it is childhood, youth, freedom [...]

    10. This is certainly an arresting and intriguing book, though its billing as 'a novel' is misleading. Rather, it is a loosely-themed collection of sketches, essays and stories. The author writes very beautifully, though I must confess that his habit of obscuring the identity and gender of the narrator was a little disconcerting. Perhaps that is intentional, as one theme running through the 17 chapters is that of uncertainty and dispossesion. This is essentially a book about the lives of the disappe [...]

    11. Es un magnífico libro, un fresco de emociones, de múltiples escenarios y personajes, algunos de ellos muy familiares, que nos cuenta la experiencia, las historias terribles de aquellos que sufrieron la humillación, el escarnio y en última instancia el exilio -geográfico y vital. Pero no sólo es una recopilación de historias, el libro está lleno de reflexiones sobre los temas más importantes que son tratados con gran lucidez: el paso del tiempo, el sufrimiento, el sentido de la vida. que [...]

    12. Finished it, but very slowly. Sepharad is a great and complex novel that should be read in sittings of no more than an hour. The narrative rolls seamlessly from person to person, place to place, time to time, so that the shifts are barely perceptible, and each time I became aware of another shift, I had to go back through the pages to discover how that had happened and wonder when I had left behind an imaginary character and encountered a historical one. It is a tapestry of interwoven vignettes [...]

    13. Oddly, I think this is a better book than my experience of it might indicate. It's beautifully written covering most of the 20th century with a mix of history, memoir, story of experiencing the holocaust and of ageing, mainly, from multiple perspectives. But I just kept getting lost and confused (sometimes I couldn't tell who was speaking or what time period I was in or he'd mention someone from a previous chapter and I vaguely remembered them. . . ) and fear I missed much of its narrative power [...]

    14. Monipolvinen kokoelma ilmeisesti tositapahtumiin perustuvia kertomuksia ihmiskohtaloista. Vaikuttavimpia niistä ovat espanjanjuutalaisten tarinat toisen maailmansodan ajoilta. Mitään kevyttä tekstiä tämä ei ole, mutta ei musertavaakaan. Pidän Munoz Molinan kirjoista etenkin niiden tunnelman takia. Hän pysähtyy kuvailemaan ja pohtimaan, mutta ei ole yhtään tylsä. Mikä parasta: hän inspiroituu Kafkan teksteistä aivan kuten minäkin. Siksi oli helppo saada monesta kohdasta kiinni.

    15. need to put this book in the stack for a while. i read about 100 pages and realized that it would be better for me to finish another time. it's just my kind of book though and so far very good. i'm happy to report i have read most of the references so i have a good grasp of the stories. sometimes it pays to be a bookworm!!!So glad i picked this back up to read. It's enthralling in the best possible way. Special recommendation thanks for youknowwhoyouare :)

    16. Una colección de capítulos casi independientes donde se pintan emociones a través de recuerdos propios, personajes reales o inventados, saltando de la primera a la tercera persona sin aviso y con una estructura casi inexistente. No es una novela ni libro de cuentos, sino un conjunto de frescos interiores donde Antonio Muñoz Molina describe excelentemente estados de ánimo cercanos a la nostalgia provistos por viajes de ida, de vuelta a casa, emigraciones forzadas o deseadas. De lectura costo [...]

    17. "Uno vorrebbe sempre che le storie finissero, bene o male, che avessero un finale chiaro come il loro inizio, un’apparenza di senso e di simmetria. Ma in realtà poche cose si chiudono completamente, se non per opera del caso o della morte, e altre non succedono, o si interrompono quando stavano cominciando, e non ne resta niente, nemmeno nella memoria distratta o sleale di chi le ha vissute." (p. 307)"Ciascuno porta con sé il suo romanzo." (p. 375)

    18. OriginsSince as early as the 2nd century, Spanish Jews have labeled the Iberian Peninsula – the land mass of Portugal and Spain – as “Sepharad.” To this day, Modern Hebrew still refers to Spain as “Sepharad.” For many, “Sepharad” is a word that signifies the culture of Spanish Jews.In Antonio Muñoz Molina’s work, Sepharad, the author details the consequences of World War II on this population. Put simply, the holocaust acted not only as a heinous genocide, but also as a divide [...]

    19. I found this book extremely interesting, as well as very relevant to our current political climate: in making allusions as well as direct references to the plight of Jews in Europe (in Spain--hence the title--but also in Germany, France, Italy, Portugal and various countries in Eastern Europe), Antonio Muñoz Molina makes us think about how it feels to be deported, exiled, persecuted and discriminated against. More than a novel, it is a collection of short stories with a "tenuous thread" connect [...]

    20. Sepharad doesn’t really have a plot. It’s more like a series of essays on a theme. The theme, as I can best sum it up, is Diaspora. Molina focuses on the displacement of Spanish people during World War II and the Cold War. He weaves together stories of unknown citizens with those of famous authors who were affected by some of the traumatic events that occurred in 20th century Europe. He is constantly coming back to his theme and asking the reader, “How would you feel if you had to leave yo [...]

    21. A glittering work that is, admittedly, very difficult to slog through. I know the fluid shifting between voices has a literary purpose, but I still can't help wondering if it reads better in Spanish, where the feminine and masculine pronouns are easier to see. In a way it unified an apparently discordant set of stories-- certain images and phrases return and, when I was lucky, immediately contextualize the relative time and place of whatever chapter I was reading. But there are such luminous pas [...]

    22. Antonio Muñoz Molina m-a cucerit cu prima lui carte găsită la noi, Iarna la Lisabona, aşa că nu am stat pe gânduri când am găsit-o pe a doua: Sefarad. Este vorba despre 17 povestiri sau, aşa cum e în original titlul cărţii, tradus doar parţial la noi, despre un roman din romane (novela de novelas). Altfel spus, fiecare dintre cele 17 povestiri e un roman în sine.Trebuie să recunosc că nu m-au prins toate povestirile, deşi le-am citit. Unele sunt mai intense, altele mai diluate [...]

    23. "Without your knowledge, other people usurp stories or fragments from your life, episodes you think you've kept in a sealed chamber of your memory and yet are told by people you may not even know, people who have heard them and repeat them, modify them, adapt them according to their whim or how carefully they listened, or for certain comic or slanderous effect. Somewhere, right this minute, someone is telling something very personal about me, something he witnessed years ago but that I probably [...]

    24. "The great night of Europe is shot through with long, sinister trains, with convoys of cattle and freight cars with boarded up windows moving very slowly toward barren, wintry, snow- or mud-covered expanses encircled by barbed wire and guard towers.""I don't believe it's true what they say, that as you travel you become a different person. What happens is that you grow lighter, you shed your obligations and your past, just as you reduce everything you possess to the few items you need for your l [...]

    25. Sefarad : una novela de novelas Es un compendio de cuentos (o novelas como el autor quiere llamarlos) sobre diferentes personajes y situaciones. Al principio me gustaron mucho porque me recordaban a Proust o a Marias en el sentido de que elaboraban un momt��n en una idea; pero de todos modos no perdian el hilo conductor y era muy satisfactorio llegar a la comprensi��n total del relato. Poco despu��s los cuentos se hicieron m��s sombr��os y tristes; tratando de diferentes aspe [...]

    26. I'm one hundred pages into this and it is not easy. But his idea of travel appeals to me, and the images from the train and glimpses of life are compelling. Not a traditional novel, more like short stories and stream-of-consciousness, but whose? This is a book club selection; I need some questions to focus on because I am not sure what I am looking for. It is thought-provoking and the characters convey the feeling of loss and absurdity brought on by totalitarian regimes quite well. It leaves the [...]

    27. Haunting, beautiful, and melancholy. Sepharad is a novel of interwoven short stories that explore themes of homeland, exile within and across borders, nostalgia, travel, the Holocaust, tradition and modernity through the experiences of historical figures and fictional characters: Franz Kafka, Primo Levi, Jean Améry, Eugenia Ginzburg, the Sephardic diaspora, Spanish communists in Soviet Russia, deracinated Andalusians in Madrid. A tour de force that tells the novels of all those who live out of [...]

    28. I just started reading this book. I loved reading the writer's musings about travel and what travel teaches us. The comments about travel and especially train travel resonated deeply with me. I was filled with longing for the city of Madrid after reading only a few pages. I think the writing style is what most appeals to me. It is not difficult for me to read the Spanish, although the stories skip around at random, a lot like how my brain works.

    29. Série de vignettes qui sous la forme de monologues racontent une portion d'histoire de juifs expatriés. Dense et exigeant, Molina multiplient les insertions et exigent de nous d'avoir beaucoup de souffle puisque ces phrases très longues nous laissent sans repos. Chaque mot est important. chaque phrase est ciselée dans l'état d'âme, la description et la psychologie. Morose, souvant poignant parfois ennuyant.

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