UTZ By Bruce Chatwin. B ruce Chatwin’s new novel, ”Utz,” begins with a funeral in one of Prague’s old Baroque churches. Readers of other. An elegant novel set in Prague about the possibility of freedom in an unfree state, from the acclaimed author of The Songlines and In Patagonia Utz collects. Chatwin is a protean writer (On the Black Hill, The Songlines) always capable of surprising and entertaining his readers. In this slim volume, he draws a.
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‘Dazzling and worrying’: my memories of Bruce Chatwin and In Patagonia
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Utz by Bruce Chatwin. Utz collects Meissen porcelain with a passion. His collection, which he has protected and enlarged through both World War II and Czechoslovakia’s years of Stalinism, numbers more than 1, pieces, all crammed into his two-room Prague flat. Utz is allowed to leave the country each year, and although he has considered defection, he always returns. He cannot take his preciou Utz collects Meissen porcelain with a passion. He cannot take his precious collection with him, but he cannot leave it, either.
And so Utz is as much owned by his porcelain as it is owned by him, as much of a prisoner of the collection as of the Communist state. A fascinating, enigmatic man, Kaspar Utz is one of Bruce Chatwin’s finest creations. And his story, as delicately cast as one of Utz’s porcelain figures, is unforgettable. Paperbackpages. Published December 1st by Penguin Books first published Man Booker Prize Nominee To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about Utzplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Nov 20, BlackOxford rated it it was amazing Shelves: Living Within the Lie How 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 subseq Living Within the Lie How can one best deal with the reality of power, particularly power which is obviously arbitrary and tasteless as well as unjust? 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. Utz is no avaricious materialist. Collecting is ytz spiritual endeavour that involves treating individual pieces as if they were icons that promote vruce into another world.
Utz by Bruce Chatwin
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. Nothing is more ageing than a collection of works of art. 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.
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: The first keeps him grounded, the second keeps him sane. Jan 17, Maciek rated it liked it Shelves: I’ve never read anything by Bruce Chatwin before, but judging from his biography he was an interesting fellow. Born inhe 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 I’ve never read anything by Bruce Chatwin before, but judging from his biography he was an interesting fellow. 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 Patagoniaand several novels.
Utz is the last of them, published in – 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 more 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 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.
There are many more 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 more about Utz from his friends and acquaintances, he is able to present a more 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 chatdin 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 brufe 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. View all 23 comments. Strano romanzo questo Utz, breve quanto intenso, multiforme e cangiante. 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: In ogni museo l’oggetto muore – di soffocamento e degli sguardi del pubblico – mentre il possesso privato conferisce al proprietario il bisogno di toccare.
In teoria, i musei dovrebbero essere saccheggiati ogni cinquant’anni e le loro collezioni dovrebbero tornare in circolazione Peccato che Chatwin non abbia mai saputo del ritorno “in circolazione” della collezione Meissen brkce Just, il tesoro che sembrava svanito nel nulla Quise avete un account a pagamento sul Corriere della Sera. Un’ultima annotazione va alla scrittura colta e raffinata di Chatwin: View all 7 comments. Le cose sono lo specchio immutabile in cui osserviamo la nostra disgregazione.
La sua collezione, composta da un numero esorbitante di pezzi importantissimi, grazie alla sua perspicacia ed at “Le cose, riflettei, sono meno fragili delle persone. 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 utzz insieme alla sua preziosa collezione che attira ovviamente i burocrati di chatwni.
Sotheby’s hunt for fabled figures brings fiction to life
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 ‘ alle bellezze di Praga.
Chatwin, tramite Utz utx dedica la sua vita a collezionare cose chahwin 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 considerazione Un libro estremamente raffinato, suggestivo e catwin. Avevo sentito accennare a Bruce Chatwin e l’avevo collegato mentalmente ad uno scrittore di viaggi e avventure.
Incuriosita, ho voluto assaggiare Il barone Kaspar von Utz ne possiede infatti, a Praga, una sp Avevo sentito accennare a Bruce Chatwin e l’avevo collegato mentalmente ad uno scrittore di viaggi e avventure. Il beuce Kaspar von Utz ne bruve 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. 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.
The rest of the story view spoiler [ featuring what happened to his collection and his sexual tastes view spoiler [ which don’t involve porcelain view spoiler [ if as bduce Chatwin’s travel writings, the theme of the book is Chatwin himself hide spoiler ] then it is not surprising that revelation is slow, through conversation with many people, there is a display of hidden depths by means of the history of porcelain and the necessity of hiding, Utz needs to hide his collection from the authorities while Chatwin needs both to hide himself and brude himself to potential hostile and unknown others through plausible fantasies, which test our acceptance of him hide spoiler ] hide spoiler ] is reconstructed after the death of Utz.
Reaching for the effect of a feature in the Sunday supplements view spoiler [ but without the full page colour photographs hide spoiler ]a couple of hours worth of reading from a dead author gruce a vanished country and a lost world of European porcelain. Nov 10, Andrew added it Shelves: Chatwin’s sentences are as vhatwin 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, brucee simple. He just Chatwin’s sentences are as chiseled little jewels in museum cases. He just says things bruxe 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. Don’t get fooled by the shortness of the booklet: We meet this self-centered mr Utz chatwln the day of his funeral, through the memories of an acquaintance of his.