The Book of Words

The Book of Words

Jenny Erpenbeck / Jun 27, 2019

The Book of Words Written in sharp and sinister prose this is a novel in which beauty and cruelty are never far apart The Book of Words is the follow up to The Old Child

  • Title: The Book of Words
  • Author: Jenny Erpenbeck
  • ISBN: 9781846270574
  • Page: 127
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Written in sharp and sinister prose, this is a novel in which beauty and cruelty are never far apart The Book of Words is the follow up to The Old Child.

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    • Unlimited [Science Book] ↠ The Book of Words - by Jenny Erpenbeck ½
      127 Jenny Erpenbeck
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      Posted by:Jenny Erpenbeck
      Published :2018-011-14T09:01:02+00:00

    About "Jenny Erpenbeck"

      • Jenny Erpenbeck

        Jenny Erpenbeck born 12 March 1967 in East Berlin is a German director and writer.Jenny Erpenbeck is the daughter of the physicist, philosopher and writer John Erpenbeck and the Arabic translator Doris Kilias Her grandparents are the authors Fritz Erpenbeck and Hedda Zinner In Berlin she attended an Advanced High School, where she graduated in 1985 She then completed a two year apprenticeship as a bookbinder before working at several theaters as props and wardrobe supervisor.From 1988 to 1990 Erpenbeck studied theatre at the Humboldt University of Berlin In 1990 she changed her studies to Music Theater Director studying with, among others, Ruth Berghaus, Heiner M ller and Peter Konwitschny at the Hanns Eisler Music Conservatory After the successful completion of her studies in 1994 with a production of B la Bart k s opera Duke Bluebeard s Castle in her parish church and in the Kunsthaus Tacheles, she spent some time at first as an assistant director at the opera house in Graz, where in 1997 she did her own productions of Schoenberg s Erwartung, Bart k s Duke Bluebeard s Castle and a world premiere of her own piece Cats Have Seven Lives As a freelance director, she directed in 1998 different opera houses in Germany and Austria, including Monteverdi s L Orfeo in Aachen, Acis and Galatea at the Berlin State Opera and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart s Zaide in Nuremberg Erlangen.In the 1990s Erpenbeck started a writing career in addition to her directing She is author of narrative prose and plays in 1999, History of the Old Child, her debut in 2001, her collection of stories Trinkets in 2004, the novella Dictionary and in February 2008, the novel Visitation In March 2007, Erpenbeck took over a biweekly column by Nicole Krauss in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.Erpenbeck lives in Berlin with her son, born 2002.


    131 Comments

    1. "Εν. Δυο. Τρία. Όλες τις γρήγορες κινήσεις, όλα τα ξαφνικά και όλα όσα είναι στραβά, το τρέξιμο, το κούνημα, το σπρώξιμο, το γέρσιμο και το πέσιμο, το στριφογύρισμα και το πήδημα μάς τα κόβουνε,τα πάνε κάπου που δεν τα φτάνουμε εμείς πια, κι εκεί γίνονται παλιοσίδερα. Σαν τα ποδή [...]


    2. This book is a lot like another book that I have read recently, but I can't remember which one. Stupid memory. I think it was one of the NIcholas Mosley books, if it wasn't though it can be compared with Mosley. A child's perspective of living in an unnamed country under some kind of tyrannical government. The perspective gives a surreal quality to what is going on, and creates an interesting alternate logic to an already (dare I use the dreaded phrase Orwellian? I hate myself so much right now [...]


    3. I'm certainly glad I read this book before giving it to my granddaughter. It is NOT a book for children or even teenagers. I don't even know how many stars to give it. It is like no other book I've read. The lyrical language and sense of mystery drew me in, but what a ghastly ending. I'm glad for the translator's note which explains some of the references that would be apparent to a native German speaker reading in German.I've decided on 5 stars, as this book is haunting me.


    4. "What are my eyes for if I can see but see nothing?" wonders the child, "I must seize memory like a knife and turn it against itself, stabbing memory with memory. If I can." The old idiom "seeing is believing" is turned on its head: everything, the young girl muses, has turned into its opposite. "For me," she recalls, "words used to be stable, fixed in place, but now I'm letting them all go" With such a poignant opening scenario Jenny Erpenbeck draws us immediately and deeply into a world that [...]


    5. full disclosure: i'm in love with this book. erpenbeck is a master of implying, of offering soft hints that build to a terrible outcome. we enter her world and view it through a child's eyes and immediately, much is made of language:"a ball is a thing that rolls and sometimes bounces. a father is a man who stays taller than you for a long time. before my father goes to confession, he shaves and puts on a clean shirt. if a person wanted to play ball with someone's head, only the nose would get in [...]


    6. Let me state my point of view right from the start: I think Jenny Erpenbeck may just well be one of the very finest writers at work today. Her book Visitation has lingered for months after reading it, and her earlier book, The Book of Words is spellbinding in its spareness and power.The narrator, an unnamed little girl, relates the world around her in a prism of innocence. She attends school, goes on idyllic trip with her wet nurse although she’s way past the age of breastfeeding, and lives in [...]


    7. Those who. Then their friends. Those who remember. Who are afraid. And finally everyone. Everyone everyone.A skillfully woven, lyrical novel/poem with a bang. Not as good as Visitation, but similar in its sense of absence. The empty house in Visitation that gets populated with stories is here replaced with an empty child, naive, almost without words, who becomes a vessel through which careful repetition and ominous clues are dropped; the reader is very subtley nudged towards the crux of the nove [...]


    8. "¿Y para qué están mis ojos, si ven pero no ven nada? ¿Para qué mis oídos, si oyen pero no oyen nada? ¿Para qué todo esto ajeno a mí, en mi cabeza?".De esta forma tan poco convencional e intrigante comienza La pureza de las palabras. Al mismo tiempo empieza un viaje de unas pocas páginas, pero que pareciera haber sido de más de 1000; esta novela es un constante objetivo de análisis. No solo por lo que efectivamente pasa, sino también por la forma en la que pasan las cosas. La prosa [...]


    9. I really liked the the perspective at first, from child's stream of consciousness. By midway through the book, I was pretty tired of it.


    10. This story gradually becomes less ambiguous as it progresses but I can't decide whether I think the technique is successful or not! It is certainly not suitable for anyone looking for a straightforward story.


    11. The Child's Garden of HorrorsFather and mother. Ball. Car. These might be the only words that were still intact when I learned them. […] A ball is a thing that rolls and sometimes bounces. A father is a man who stays taller than you for a long time. Before my father goes to confession, he shaves and puts on a clean shirt. If a person wanted to play ball with someone's head, only the nose would get in the way. A small girl growing up in a middle-class family in an unnamed Latin American country [...]


    12. A very interesting novella, narrated by a young girl confronting a life in a dictator controlled regime. It is a novel about objects, words and lives being taken away. Not an easy read as it is a stream of consciousness novel, and I have t admit it takes one a little time to get comfortable with this style of writing. Well done though I did think the young lady was younger than the sixteen years she turned out to be, unless of course she was younger at the beginning of the book which is very har [...]





    13. I’ll admit that I struggled through the first fifty or so pages, and I only kept going because it is quite a short novel. It’ll be hard to reflect on it without venturing into possible SPOILER territory, so proceed with caution…The novel is transmitted through a very fragmented, vaporous kind of narrative voice, which initially reads very much like a creative writing exercise written by a talented, but raw and inexperienced writer. While I don’t mind fiddling about with narrative, the al [...]


    14. Erpenbeck's novel (novella?) is a surprising kind of tale, where the reader is not afforded the chance to become jaded by the ghastly nature of the events. Torture, sadism, and mutilation all make prominent plays in the course of the narrative, yet it never comes across as anything but skin-crawlingly terrible. To say anything more in this direction is to give away all the precious nightmares this book has to offer. Many have noted that the focalization is what gives this book all of its attract [...]


    15. Words are powerful, though you’d not know it from the bulk of novels written. As the title of this short novel, perhaps even a novella, shows, its story is about words and their uses and the way in which they can create a world for a protagonist and hint to the reader at the context for that world. The narrator discusses words as she describes her childhood in an unnamed country suffering under an oppressive regime, and in which her father works. It’s a completely self-centre narrative, as e [...]


    16. The Book of Words by Jenny Erpenbeck - GoodI read this too soon after Visitation, but it was there in the library when I returned the first one and I thought 'why not?' Well, the reason is that whilst I find her style interesting, reading two so close together was too much. (The book that sent me on the search for her work in the first place was actually in when I returned this one, but I decided to give myself a break first).This is an interesting and slightly disturbing book. Very short and qu [...]


    17. This translation suffered from a division of intent. As she said in the translator’s afterword, Bernofsky saw in this piece a combination of wars: Argentina’s “Dirty War” and the conflict of Germany from National Socialist rule onwards. But this leaves untranslatable scraps, such as German nursery rhymes and songs, which Bernofsky tackles by replacing with their English equivalents. In other places, Bernofsky leans decidedly more towards the South American tones, leaving in details that [...]


    18. Reaching the last page of this novella I took a deep breath and then turned back to the first page to reread it. From the very first page the narrator - at the same time a child, a teenager, a grownup - grabs you and doesn't let go.The first time around I was fascinated and read through it in one sitting. Reading the book for the second time, I took it slowly and grasped the depth and ambivalence of this world created by Jenny Erpenbeck. The most simple and banal words-mother, father, car, hands [...]


    19. As noted in the translator's afterword, it's important to note the Germanness of this story despite being set in South America, some of which gets lost on the reader if you're not aware of the rhymes, references and historical context. Despite the sparse writing, the content feels incredibly dense. The dreamy, childish and innocent observations of the little girl always carries a tinge of brutality throughout the story and it all comes to ahead when she finds out the truth about her parents. Sud [...]


    20. There are some very interesting and even moving moments in this book, but it lacks completely in motion. It is static from the first page to the last. I don't mean that only in terms of plot - there are ineffable elements that can create movement in a poem, for example. This book sits in one place for all 80 or so of its pages, and the result is a feeling of stuckedness, immobility and a little frustration. All of that could be, I suppose, intentional, but even with good writing, I need that fee [...]


    21. This lady can obviously write well, but I think the book relied too heavily on the central literary device - making vague poetic statements that were confusing, which then later in the narrative were explained and became clear. Sometimes felt like a constraint on the writing. The book is like a series of sketches that are very fleeting and lightly drawn. What I liked was the sense of place that the author was able to construct, the descriptions of her home and surrounding area and her feelings t [...]


    22. A novelistic account of authentic traumatic events that, ironically, is continually causing great sufferings to many people. The Argentines have just celebrated the discovery of the 100th desaparecidos con vida (restitution of the "living disappeared") after three decades ago of the child kidnappings. Erpenback's words have the magical power of eliciting the repressed emotions of the living disappeared whose families and their own lives have been completely distorted and destroyed. Somewhat like [...]


    23. This book was just way over my head, or I'm just not in touch why my "artsy" side enough, that's why I didn't like it. It took me way too long to finish such a short book, but I only read it while in the bathroom. lol I kept thinking maybe it would be ok, something would make it worth my whileunfortunately that didn't happen, but it's a short enough book (93pgs) that it didn't matter, I just kept reading knowing it would be over soon.


    24. Beautiful and challenging. Many of the paragraphs read like poems - rich and satisfying. As others have said, Erpenbeck's ability to narrate a child's mind/thinking/view is truly amazing. I found it tough to follow the passage of time, and to account for its sudden acceleration (or so it felt to me) at the end. Otherwise, a haunting volume.


    25. As a parable of life under fascism and as a tightly structured novella, this book is ambitious and brilliant. The writing is spare and beautiful in an incantatory way. I read somewhere that the author also writes operas. That makes sense. Anyway, take heed --- it's really intense/upsetting in many places (read with care).


    26. This is a poetically written book that pays close attention to the meaning of words and the ways they are used. The main character, a child, relates events and conversations without understanding what she has seen and heard. Her unnamed country obviously has a dictatorial government but is her family fearful or feared? The author slowly reveals the answer with skillfully planted clues.


    27. esto es lo que ocurre cuando una poeta escribe una novela. el lenguaje se vuelve el protagonista, el lenguaje se vuelve el vestido de los personajes, la comida de los personajes, sus paredes y sus cobijas. una hermosa novela sobre una niña que apenas comienza a descubrir el mundo de las palabras.


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