Compass

Compass As night falls over Vienna Franz Ritter an insomniac musicologist takes to his sickbed with an unspecified illness and spends a restless night drifting between dreams and memories revisiting the i

  • Title: Compass
  • Author: Mathias Énard Charlotte Mandel
  • ISBN: 9781910695234
  • Page: 419
  • Format: Paperback
  • As night falls over Vienna, Franz Ritter, an insomniac musicologist, takes to his sickbed with an unspecified illness and spends a restless night drifting between dreams and memories, revisiting the important chapters of his life his ongoing fascination with the Middle East and his numerous travels to Istanbul, Aleppo, Damascus, and Tehran, as well as the various writers,As night falls over Vienna, Franz Ritter, an insomniac musicologist, takes to his sickbed with an unspecified illness and spends a restless night drifting between dreams and memories, revisiting the important chapters of his life his ongoing fascination with the Middle East and his numerous travels to Istanbul, Aleppo, Damascus, and Tehran, as well as the various writers, artists, musicians, academics, orientalists, and explorers who populate this vast dreamscape At the centre of these memories is his elusive, unrequited love, Sarah, a fiercely intelligent French scholar caught in the intricate tension between Europe and the Middle East An immersive, nocturnal, musical novel, full of generous erudition and bittersweet humour, Compass is a journey and a declaration of admiration, a quest for the otherness inside us all and a hand reaching out like a bridge between West and East, yesterday and tomorrow Winner of the 2015 Prix Goncourt, this is Mathias Enard s most ambitious novel since Zone.

    One thought on “Compass”

    1. Finished this finally, unintentionally in the perfect way, reading from three to five in the morning when I couldn't sleep. It's the perfect way to finish because this is an insomniac's diary, or more so, its conceit involves an Austrian insomniac's cognitive perambulations in bed in Vienna as he makes his way, only ordered by the increasingly late hour, through the occidental experience of alterity (the novel's keyword) in the orient. It's about the interpenetration of east and west, self in th [...]

    2. Now on the outstanding longlist for the 2017 Republic of Consciousness Prize for 'gorgeous prose and hardcore literary fiction' from small, independent presses.In Germany they impose the Scriptures on you in the back of the bedside table drawer, in Muslim countries they stick a little compass for you into the wood of the bed, or they draw a wind rose marking the direction of Mecca on the desk, compass and wind rose that can indeed serve to locate the Arabian Penisula, but also, if you're so incl [...]

    3. We Europeans see them with the horror of otherness; but this otherness is just as terrifying for an Iraqi or a Yemenite. Even what we reject, what we hate, emerges in this common imaginal world. What we identify in these atrocious decapitations as ‘other’, ‘different’, ‘Oriental’, is just as ‘other’, ‘different’, and ‘Oriental’ for an Arab, a Turk, or an Iranian,My initial bliss digging into this rich novel soon gave way to more serious labor. Whereas Jim Gauer's masterfu [...]

    4. I remembered the beginning of Salammbô. "C'était à Megara, faubourg de Carthage, dans le jardin d'Hamilcar." In only one sentence, I live in the Mysterious Orient, there is the color, the scent, the wet suffocating heat (in french we name it touffeur) of the luxuriant vegetation. I was already in love with Salammbô.I did not want to read this book. It belongs to the short list for the Goncourt Prize then which the best french book (Laurent Binet) has been eliminated.And I read the beginning [...]

    5. I mille e un OrienteVincitore nel 2015 del prestigioso premio letterario francese Goncourt, “Bussola” non è un romanzo di facile recensione. Che cosa racconta?Una storia d’amore, anzi due storie d’amore: prima di tutto, quella tra una donna e un uomo, due orientalisti che per anni s’incontrano, fuggono e s’inseguono tra Europa, Turchia, Siria e Iran; sullo sfondo, superba e affascinante cornice, la seconda storia d’amore che per gran parte del libro sembra offuscare la prima: quel [...]

    6. Compass takes place over the course of one, long night during which Franz Ritter, a Viennese musicologist, suffers from a terrible bout of insomnia. The symptoms from his recently diagnosed illness, the memories of an unrequited love, and the dissatisfaction at his mediocre academic career all contribute to his sleepless night. Instead of chapters, Énard uses time stamps to denote the hours that are slowly ticking away as Franz runs through years of memories. Sarah, a French Academic with whom [...]

    7. إلتقاء الشرق بالغرب في عمل "ماتياس إينار" جعله يستحق وبجدارة الـ"غونكور". من قرأ رواية (أنبئوني بالرؤيا) للناقد والكاتب "عبد الفتاح كيليطو" (1) سيعرف ظاهرة الرواية المعرفية. تقرأ العمل فتظن أنك لوهلة أمام بحث معرفي لكن بسردية ناجحة وتواجد لكل مقومات القصة أو الرواية وحقيقة ما تت [...]

    8. Énard has written a masterwork, a long meditation on the Other, as embodied in his two main characters and their lifelong study of the idea and reality of the ‘Orient’ and the West. The entire work consists of the reminiscences of insomniac, fiftyish (?) Franz over one night as he wrestles with the knowledge that he has a fatal disease and has failed in a lifelong attempt to win Sarah, the object of his obsession. The irony, we come to see, is that despite his long academic meditations on t [...]

    9. RE-VISITED (NOT FULLY RE-READ - SEE COMMENTS BELOW) DUE TO ITS LONGLISTING FOR THE REPUBLIC OF CONSCIOUSNESS PRIZE Fitzcarraldo Editions is an independent publisher (their words) specialising in contemporary fiction and long-form essays it focuses on ambitious, imaginative and innovative writing, both in translation and in the English language . Their novels are (my words) distinctively and beautifully styled, with plain, deep blue covers and a "French-flap" style . And that serves as something [...]

    10. I made a start on this book several months ago when it was long listed for the Man Booker International prize. I gave up after a third of the book because I felt like I was being tortured by being force-fed articles.This time, I stuck with it and made it to 100%.I’m not at all sure what it is I want to say about this book, so I took the unusual (for me) step of looking at some other reviews before writing my own. There are two quotes from The Guardian that, I think, sum up my sentiments:Fasci [...]

    11. Από τα βιβλία που δεν μπορώ να αποφασίσω τι βαθμό (αν έχουν καμιά αξία αυτά) να δώσω. Εύκολα, όμως, μπορώ να καταλάβω όποιον του δώσει 1 αστεράκι και όποιον του δώσει 5 και πιο εύκολα μπορώ να καταλάβω όποιον το παρατήσει.Είναι ένα βιβλίο δύσκολο στην ανάγνωση αλλά όχι δυσνόητο [...]

    12. Ніч, заповнена книгами, платівками і східними дрібничками кімната віденської квартири і ще не старий музикознавець Франц Ріттер, який, отримавши невтішний лікарський вирок, прокручує перед собою кіноплівку спогадів про своє життя. Ні, він не готовий прощатися із ним. Прос [...]

    13. “Boussole” had been one of my top reads last year, and (in my opinion), a very deserving Prix Goncourt winner. I was thus happy to plunge into this dense and atmospheric novel a second time, as part of the 2017 Man Booker International challenge.I can happily say that “Boussole” certainly holds up to a second reading. The book is about Franz, a middle-aged Austrian musicologist, who is having a sleepless night. He spends what should be his sleeping hours revisiting memories of his past t [...]

    14. 'Brújula' es el exhaustivo relato de 'Las mil y una noches' en solo una; la enciclopedia del orientalismo europeo en forma de corriente de pensamiento; la constatación de que lo que nos separa del Otro es justo a lo que nos une a los europeos: una visión del extranjero, del bárbaro, del turco o el persa basada más en la erudición que en los prejuicios; un paseo por los límites de esa tensión (Viena, Estambul) que luego se extienden a casi todo el planeta (París, Alepo, Teherán). 'Brúj [...]

    15. Une thèse vaguement déguisée en roman. Alors que ça commençait plutôt bien, soudain le texte devient un prétexte à une longue thèse sur l'orientalisme et les rapports entre Orient et Occident. Comme toute thèse qui se respecte, le narrateur cite ses sources et de temps en temps entre deux citations érudites, une intrigue narrative essaye de se développer. Elle n'est pas vraiment développé et personnellement au bout de 100 pages je me fichais complètement de la vie de ce narrateur [...]

    16. Commencé en septembre, terminé en janvier. 4 mois pour le lire , l'abandonner, le reprendre. une ou deux dizaines de pages à chaque fois, jamais plus sous peine d'indigestion. C'est d'une érudition étonnante, effrayante même, a la fois passionnante et immotivée. Le souvenir qui me vient de sa lecture est une dose d'ennui qui se dégusterait avec plaisir, comme un thé un dimanche après midi pluvieux.Et l'ensemble de l'objet littéraire (difficile de parler de roman),- en fait le souvenir [...]

    17. Мені сподобавлося все: переклад, тема Сходу, тусовка академіків, Європа, Відень. Сирія тут постає не з новин, я зовсім інакше - країна, яку люблять, в якій люблять, яку вивчають, якою захоплюються. Хороша книжка, одним словом.

    18. A superb book, perfect for insomniacs – being one long night's reverie by an ailing Austrian musicologist Orientalist who cannot sleep. It is a slow read, it will doubtless appeal only to a few, but what a fortunate few we are. On one level the novel is a spirited, comical refutation of Said's Orientalism (much of which I would have missed without the work of Robert Irwin); on another, it is a fantasia on Orientalist themes, infusing the spleen of Thomas Bernhard and the musing melancholy of W [...]

    19. Sebald's Pernicious InfluenceOne of the challenging properties of painting is that influences are immediately visible: there's no hiding indebtedness from Pollock, Richter, or Schiele. Novels are complex in time and structure, and influences can be masked by masses of detail. "Compass" is at first intermittently, then forgivably, but finally overwhelmingly and depressingly indebted to W.G. Sebald. Enard has Sebald's penchant for travel in Europe, and he loves weaving histories of places and peop [...]

    20. My first thought before deciding to read Compass was, would this be a betrayal?“Sarah had mentioned the Great Name, the wolf had appeared in the midst of the flock, in the freezing desert: Edward Said. It was like invoking the Devil in a Carmelite convent.” Would Mathias Enard's Compass be an attempt to appropriate or redefine Edward Said's Orientalism?“The Orient and Islam have a kind of extrareal, phenomenologically reduced status that puts them out of reach of everyone except the Wester [...]

    21. For what it is, this long novel is very good. What I realized from reading nearly half of it was that a novel such as this — not so much a novel of ideas as a novel that details people and activities involved in an idea — has to be extremely good to keep my interest. Something else is needed to make such a novel work for me. I found myself increasingly hungry for that something else, and when it was clear that it wasn’t coming, I moved on to another book.

    22. Es la primera vez que leo un Goncourt, y la verdad es que la experiencia no ha sido positiva. De hecho, solo he llegado hasta la mitad, y porque es lo que me autoimpongo leer antes de abandonar una lectura. Es una novela sin dirección, densa, con un narrador pedante y aburrido, lleno de datos sueltos, que no aportan nada y lejos de ser interesantes. Lo siento pero Enard y yo no estamos hechos el uno para el otro.

    23. This is a book I was not expecting to love so much. I have seen it described as difficult, erudite, surreal, and dense. I suppose it is all of those things, but I fell utterly in love. This is not a casual reading experience. In some ways, calling it dense is an understatement. Compass is one night in the mind of a dying man who is reminiscing about his past. He is an Orientalist, as are all of his friends and colleagues. While there is a kind of over-arching plot focusing on Sarah, a girl he lo [...]

    24. Il flussone Énardiano, testato in Zona con un agente segreto sotto speed in un treno verso Roma, trova un passo più lento – ma anche più avvolgente – con un orientalista oppiofilo (e un bel po' sfigato con le donne). In ogni caso uno dei migliori romanzi dell'anno e una prova di impressionante maturità.

    25. This complex, but thoroughly engaging work, is a journey into the seduction of the Orient; “The Orient is an imaginal construction, an ensemble of representations from which everyone picks what they like, wherever they are.” A novel that contains stories within stories, as Franz reads old emails, research papers, dwells on moments of joy, sadness. The historical lessons, for example the revolution in Tehran, containing the players the Shah of Iran and the Ayatollah Khomeini, abound. The pres [...]

    26. Compass takes place over the course of one, long night during which Franz Ritter, a Viennese musicologist, suffers from a terrible bout of insomnia. The symptoms from his recently diagnosed illness, the memories of an unrequited love, and the dissatisfaction at his mediocre academic career all contribute to his sleepless night. Instead of chapters, Énard uses time stamps to denote the hours that are slowly ticking away as Franz runs through years of memories. Sarah, a French Academic with whom [...]

    27. Ένα παράθυρο στον κόσμο της ανατολής πλημμυρισμένο από ενδιαφέρουσες πληροφορίες για τη λογοτεχνία, τη μουσική και τη συνεχή επιρροή των πολιτισμών ανατολής και δύσης μεταξύ τους.

    28. Άλλο ένα βιβλίο που το έπιασα με αφορμή το βραβείο Booker. Το κύριο χαρακτηριστικό του και το μεγάλο προσόν του είναι ότι μεταδίδει ένα πλήθος πληροφοριών πάνω στην ιστορία της μουσικής, της λογοτεχνίας αλλά και στις σχέσεις της ανατολής με τη δύση. Το πρόβλημα είναι ότι ως μυθ [...]

    29. Sinto-me afogado em erudição, é uma espécie de tese de doutoramento com um romance de amor embutido, nem sempre a escrita flui como gostaria, mas fica o mais importante: o Oriente e o Ocidente são abstracções que não ajudaram nada a humanidade e confirmam que a barbárie é a regra.Os chamados orientalistas são uma raça de gente que partiu (e parte) para o Médio-Oriente à espera de dissolver essa antítese, romanticamente e com muito ópio.Paris, Viena (a "fronteira"), Istambul, Teer [...]

    30. Ce n'est pas un roman mais la thèse d'un érudit ! On apprend beaucoup de choses sur l'orient et notamment sur l'Iran et la Syrie mais rien n'est construit ça part dans tous les sens c'est un chantier absolument pas structuré et même si l'auteur est un puit de culture et de science ça devient vite fatiguant

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