[Utz By Bruce Chatwin] EBOOK DOWNLOAD
Ll go We shall go for a walk If hope if you re reading this you ve gotten an idea of what a wonderfully wry subtle knowing and beautiful book this is and I sincerely hope you read it Do it for the collectors I mean come on if you re on this site you probably fit the bill do it for the porcelain do it for Utz Chatwin s sentences are as chiseled little ewels in museum cases He s part of that wonderful tradition of chilly literary craftsmanship that counts Borges Sebald and Nabokov among its membersUtz is the first of Chatwin s fiction works I ve read and it bears much in common with hi I ve never read anything by Bruce Chatwin before but udging from his biography he was an interesting fellow Born in 1940 he was employed by Sotheby s to work at their art department and uickly became their expert on antiue 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 AIDSThe 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 beueath 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 friendsThe 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 830 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 acuaintances 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 understoodLike Utz s figurines the book itself is a miniature it reads uickly 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 Living Within the LIEHOW CAN ONE BEST DEAL WITH THE REALITY OF can one best deal with the reality of particllarly 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 disdainThe eponymous Utz is a Czech survivor of two world wars and a subseuent 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 echo chamber a void 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 ust leave it alone it dissipatesUtz 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 uest 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 powerEven 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 freedomNevertheless 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 WestThus Utz s aesthetic allows him to live comfortably and without undue stress within the lie not ust 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. By him as much of a prisoner of the collection as of the Communist stateA 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 unforgettab.
Free download Ý PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ê Bruce ChatwinVery entertaining easy read novel about a seemingly unworldly collector of Meissen porcelain the fanatic Utz living in Prague under communism But don t be misled this is a portrait of the cultural desert in the former East european bloc and an introduction into the alchemistic search that leads to the development of European porcelain and a subtle psychological portrait of people in search for love and immortality and the story of a na f author presumably Chatwin who tries to solve the mistery of the loss of the Utz collection In a way it seems Utz is the prototype of Eco s Name of the Rose Certainly a success 25 stars 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 uite shocked But I make no excuse for myself I only admit the factI 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 Don t get fooled by the shortness of the booklet the story is uite rich We meet this self centered mr Utz on the day of his funeral through the memories of an acuaintance 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 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 novelview 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 ust Chatwin himself or maybe there isn t hide spoiler 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 youBut 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 seuence in homage to Magic Mountain that was a huge pleasure A touch OVER plotted I don t think Chatwin appreciated the oy 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 Published in 1988 Utz was Chatwin s fifth novel coming after In Patagonia1977 The Viceroy of Ouidah1980 On The Black Hill1982 and The Songlines1987 It was written and published whilst Chatwin was ill and dying from AIDS It made the Booker list Like the previous novels it contains elements of being almost but not uite a travelogue and an examination of aspects of anthropology and sociology but Utz is most definetly a novelI have problems with these mythopyschoortho meta para geographers Their own arguments seem to suggest and build on the idea that if a story is worth telling then it is worth enhancing More than that some even suggest that it is better than walking Personally I would counter that this is what one naturally does when walking anyway and that the myth alone is commonly better than the spurious enhancements made by these performance artistes so what is their great fuss about For these solipsistic charlatans what is true and what is made up so what is their great fuss about For these solipsistic charlatans what is true and what is made up to coalesce into some frenzied mind trip of cross connections with a limited set of poetic concatenation allegedly offering a greater and deeper meaning at least in the mind of the mythographers For that reason I find it hard to accept even the beautifully written works of WG Sebald the ephemerata of Claudio Magris let alone the facile un readable ness of the faintly risible Cecile Oak Phil Smith Dr Professor who cares Chatwin comes into this group far far closer to Sebald than the others Utz is a skinny book Not much than a short story Set in Prague it concerns the obsession with Meissen porcelain that grips Utz our eponymous hero and how his collection drives and directs his life It is full of the ploys of all mythogeographers overloading us the readers with obscure factettes little known locations procedures and rituals that may or may not be real and that of course this is their cue for them to pipe up Who are you to say what is real and what is not At least Chatwin had the good grace to call it a novel rather than a DEEP work of social anthropology Utz too is full of this ephemerata Do we care Well maybe its ust me I actually do care enough to google some of the bollix set down as substantive fact uite often there are elements of truth commonly misconstrued or disported in a way to suggest an alternative Who IS or WAS the Emperor Rudolf What IS a tazza This is the stuff that makes Google money and sets the wheels of the search engines in frenzied motion More coal in the furnace Mr Google We need steam here My friend he said you know many things But you have many things to know Chatwin loves his mittel Europe history He also knew a shitload about art from his years as an art whore with Sothebys So he knows his subject But as the tale proceeds and the coal wagon empties you ust get tired of following all the references Borges it is not Despite all the charm that Chatwin has in my honest opinion it is NOT great prose Borges it is not I say again And once you take away all the ephemerata what you are left with is the bones of an interesting but consomme thin tale on the mania of collection something that Chatwin had observed of an interesting but consomme thin tale on the mania of collection something that Chatwin had observed from Sotheby s some politically naive statements on the Prague Spring and the USSR and the outline of a book on mannerism and behaviours that were rapidly disappearing Stating this I begin to feel like the child in The Emperor s New Clothes It begins after a while to resemble a book of motettes and anecdotes like the report of a long bibulous lunch of some affable upper class well educated friends interesting
at the same time both tiresome and tedious How can one INVENT porcelain should that RE INVENT at least One can rediscover the method of manufacture of porcelain but it s not something you invent ferfuxache And Porcelain as the Body of Christ Jesus wept It is worth reading the wiki on the history of porcelainI was reminded of a piece from Nic Roeg s excellent film Performance when the ageing rock star Turner attempts to trip up the gangster character of James Fox who is trying to hide out with Turner Fox s character says he is a uggler and Turner regales him with past medieval Desperate (Bad Baker Boys, jongleurs and magicians throughout Europe This book feelsust like that sceneSo Utz is in the end pretty scanty and skimmily thin But it stands as an excellent piece of Chatwinian camp ephemerata It has an immediacy that is interesting but soon fails with time and excessive consumption The big reveal is the disappearance of the collection on Utz s death and the emergence of the marriage of Utz to his servant Has the collection been smashed or somehow whisked away As an afterthought and observation that life and truth are commonly stranger. 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 than 1000 pieces all crammed into his two room Prague flat Utz is. ,and at the same time both tiresome and tedious How can one INVENT porcelain should that
Than fiction in 2001 Sotheby s tracked down and sold the missing porcelain collection of an obsessive Czech collector About 34 of the way in and I m finding it really easy to read It s sneakily subversive witty elegant in a uiet way and really gets its hooks into you Absorbing slightly absurd legitimately funny and slyly knowing It was pressed on me by a drunken friend who insisted that I check it out It was also among the 5000 books namedropped by Hitchens in a personal essay though and I think he probably knew the author well so that s always a plus So far at least it s the kind of book that feels longer than its actual page or plot length but not in a lugubrious dragging kind of way I m savoring it and am trying to finish it with a suitable mindset hushed receptive and open LikeI don t knowa collector of antiue porcelain might be Sorry if you already know what I m talking about I had to do itIn an effort to really explain what I mean about how great this book is here s some wonderful uotes and scene setting The story opens with the titular character s funeral The bearers employees of a rubber factory who worked night shift and doubled for the undertaker by day had shouldered the coffin and were advancing up the main aisle to music that reminded Orlik of the tramp of soldiers on parade Halfway to the altar the procession met the cleaning woman who with soap water and a scrubbing brush was scrubbing at the blazon of the Rozemberk family inlaid into the floor in many coloured marbles The leading bearer asked the woman most politely to allow the coffin to pass She scowled and went on scrubbing The bearers had no alternative but to take a left turn between two pews a right turn up the side aisle and another right to pass the pulpit Eventually they arrived before the altar where a youngish priest his surplice stained with sacramental wine was anxiously biting his fingernails They set down the coffin with a show of reverence Then attracted by the smell of hot bread from a bakery along the street they strolled off to get breakfast leaving Orlik and the faithful Marta as the only mourners The priest mumbled the service at the speed of a patter number and from time to time lifted his eyes towards a fresco of the Heavenly Heights After commending the dead man s soul they had to wait at least ten minutes before the bearers condescended to return at 826 So the nondescript enigmatic mister Utz is a somewhat obsessed collector of antiue porcelain which is to say he suffers from Porzellankrankheit and is a sort of a Bartleby the Scrivener in Communist Prague and we and the narrator visit him and learn a bit about his whys and wherefores such as they are and they are indeed as we slowly discover and come to understand though Utz remains essentially ungraspable throughout including his living situation The room to my surprise was decorated in the modern style almost devoid of furniture apart from a daybed a glass topped table and a pair of Barcelona chairs upholstered in dark green leather Utz had rescued these in Moravia from a house built by Mies van der Rohe It was a narrow room made narrower by the double bank of plate glass shelves all of them crammed with porcelain that reached from floor to ceiling The shleves were backed with mirror so that you had the illusion of entering an enfilade of glittering chambers a dream palace multiplied to infinity through which human forms flitted like insubstantial shadows The carpet was grey You had to watch your step for fear of tripping over one of the white porcelain sculptures a pelican a turkey cock a bear a lynx and a rhino modelled either by Kaendler or Eberlein for the Japanese Palace in Dresden All five were scarred with fissures caused by faults in the firing Utz had chosen each item to reflect the moods and facets of the Porcelain Century the wit the charm the gallantry the love of the exotic the heartlessness and light hearted gaiety before they were swept away by revolution and the tramp of armies And then you get this No He was not a spy As he explained to me in the course of our afternoon stroll Czechoslovakia was a pleasant place to live providing one had the possibility of leaving At the same time he admitted with a self deprecating smile that his severe case of Porzellankheit prevented him from leaving for good The collection held him prisoner And Of Course It Has of course it has my life Ah sure and our obsessions do begin to wall us in a little bit indeed butas we read the porcelain begins to take on a different meaning Are you trying to tell me that Shadrach Meshach and Abendigo were cermaic figures They could have been he answered They certainly survived the fire I see I said So you do think the porcelains are alive I do and I do not he sniggered Porcelains die in the fire and then they come alive again The kiln you must understand is Hell The temperature for firing porcelain is 1450 degrees centigrade Yes I said Utz s flights of fancy made me feel uite dizzy He appeared to be saying that the earliest European porcelain Bottiger s red ware and white ware corresponded to the red and white tinctures of the alchemists To a superstitious old roue like Augustus the manufacture of porcelain was an approach to the Philosopher s Stone If this were so if to the eighteenth century imagination porcelain was not ust another exotic but a magical and talismanic substance the substance of longevity of potency of invulnerability then it was easier to understand why the King would stuff a palace with forty thousand pieces Or guard the arcanum like a secret weapon Or swap the six hundred giants Porcelain Utz concluded was the antidote to decay The illusion was of course shattered by Frederick the Great who simply loaded the contents of the Meissen factory onto ox carts and sent it as booty to Berlin But Frederik Utz fluttered his eyelids and with all that musical talentwas really an absolute philistine Going a little further here pointing out the individually realized Grecian Urns of Utz s massive world spanning collection I have said that Utz s face was waxy in texture but now in the candlelight its texture seemed like melted wax I looked at the ageless complexion of the Dresden ladies Things I reflected are tougher than people Things are the changeless mirror in which we watch ourselves disintegrate Nothing is age ing than a collection of works of art One by one he lifted the characters of the Commedia from the shelves and placed them in the pool of light where they appeared to skate over the glass of the table pioting on their bases of gilded foam as if they would forever go on laughing whirling improvising Scaramouche would strum on his guitar Brighella would liberate people s purses The Captain would swagger childishly like all army officers The Doctor would kill his patient in order to rid him of his disease The coils of spaghetti would be eternally poised above Pulchinella s nostrils Pantaloon would gloat over his money bags The Innamorata like all transvestites everywhere would be mobbed on his way to the theatre Columbine would be endlessly in love with Harleuin absolutely mad to trust him And Harleuin The Harleuinthe arch improviser the zany trickster master of the volte facewould forever strut in his variegated plumage grin through his orange mask tiptoe into bedrooms sell nappies for the children
of the Grand Eunuch dance in the teeth of catastropheMr Chameleon himself Andthe Grand Eunuch dance in the teeth of catastropheMr Chameleon himself And I recalled as Utz pivoted the figure in the candlelight that I had misjudged him that he too was dancing that for him this world of little figures was the real world And that compared to them the Gestapo the Secret Police and other hooligans were creatures of tinsel And the events of this sombre century the bombardments blitzkriegs putsches purges were so far as he was concernedm so many noises off And now he said we sha. Allowed to leave the country each year and although he has considered defection he always returns 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.