W. G. Sebald 『A Place in the Country』 tr. by Jo Catling

「I have always tried, in my own works, to mark my respect for those writers with whom I felt an affinity, ( . . . ) by borrowing an attractive image or a few expressions, but it is one thing to set a marker in memory of a departed colleague, and quite another when one has the persistent feeling of being beckoned to from the other side.」
(W.G. Sebald 「Le promeneur solitaire」 より)

W. G. Sebald 
『A Place in the Country』

On Gottfried Keller, Johann Peter Hebel, Robert Walser and Others
Translated from the German and with an introduction by Jo Catling

Penguin Books, London, 2014
xiv, 203pp, 19.6x13cm, paperback
Printed in Great Britain

First published in German as *Logis in einem Landhaus* 1998
This translation first published by Hamish Hamilton 2013


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Introduction (Joe Catling)


A Comet in the Heavens: A piece for an almanac, in honour of Johann Peter Hebel
[On Johann Peter Hebel]

J'aurais voulu que ce lac eût été l'Océan . . . : On the occasion of a visit to the Île Saint-Pierre
[On Jean-Jacques Rousseau]

Why I grieve I do not know: A memento of Mörike
[On Eduard Mörike]

Death draws nigh, time marches on: Some remarks on Gottfried Keller [On Gottfried Keller]

Le promeneur solitaire: A remembrance of Robert Walser
[On Robert Walser]

As Day and Night . . . : On the paintings of Jan Peter Tripp
[On Jan Peter Tripp]

Translator's Notes


「Introduction」(Joe Catling)より:

「( . . . ) in an interview with Arthur Lubow in 2001 Sebald describes his own visit to the Île Saint-Pierre ( . . . ) in the most idyllic, even nostalgic, of terms;

 I felt at home, strangely, because it is a miniature world. ( . . . ) It has one of everything, so it is in a sense an ark. ( . . . ) I don't like large-scale things, ( . . . ) This notion of something that is small and self-contained is for me a moral and aesthetic ideal.」


「A Comet in the Heavens」より:

「( . . . ) nowhere do I find the idea of a world in perfect equilibrium more vividly expressed than in what Hebel writes about the cultivation of fruit trees, of the flowering of the wheat, of a bird's nest or of the different kinds of rain; ( . . . ) and in the book of Nature which Hebel spreads open before us we may observe how even the most curious of creatures, such as the processionary caterpillars and the flying fish, each has its place in the most carefully balanced order. ( . . . ) Doubtless his continued observations about the cosmos were intended to give his readers a gentle introduction to the universe, to make it familiar so that they may imagine that on the most distant stars, as they glisten in the night like lights of a strange town, people like us are sitting in their living rooms at home ( . . . ). Ultimately it is this cosmic perspective, and the insights derived from it into our own insignificance, which is the source of the sovereign serenity with which Hebel presides in his stories over the vagaries of human destiny. ( . . . ) he never takes up a central role as preceptor, but always positions himself slightly to one side, in the same manner as ghosts, a number of whom inhabit his stories, who are known for their habit of observing life from their marginal position in silent puzzlement and resignation. Once one has become aware of the way Hebel accompanies his characters as a faithful *compagnon*, it is almost possible to read his remarks on the comet which appeared in 1811 as a self-portrait. ( . . . ) Both, the comet and the narrator, draw their train of light across our lives disfigured by violence, observing everything going on below, but from the greatest distance imaginable. ( . . . ) in the world created and administered by this narrator, everything has an equal right to coexist alongside everything else.」


「J'aurais voulu que ce lac eût été l'Océan . . . 」より:

「Towards evening, especially, when the day-trippers had returned home, the island was immersed in a stillness such as is scarcely now to be found anywhere in the orbit of our civilized world, and where nothing moved, save perhaps the leaves of the mighty populars in the breezes which sometimes stirred along the edge of the lake. ( . . . ) The darkness seemed to rise out of the lake, and for a moment as I stood there gazing down into it, an image arose in my mind which somewhat resembled a colour plate in an old natural history book and which ( . . . ) revealed numerous fish of the lake as they hung sleeping in the deep currents between the dark walls of water, above and behind each other, larger and smaller ones, roach and rudd, bleaks and barbels, char and trout, dace and minnows, catfish, zander and pike and tench and graylings and crucian carp.」


「Why I grieve I do not know」より:

「The ideal world of the Biedermeier imagination is like a perfect world in miniature, a still life preserved under a glass dome. Everything in it seems to be holding its breath. If we turn it upside down, it begins to snow a little. Then all at once it becomes spring and summer again. It is impossible to imagine a more perfect order. And yet on either side of this apparently eternal calm there lurks the fear of the chaos of time spinning ever more rapidly out of control. When the young Mörike begins writing, he has at his back the revolutionary upheavals of the end of the eighteenth century, while the terrors which herald the new age of industrialization are already silhouetted on the horizon, ( . . . ) The Swabian quietism Mörike subscribed to is - like all the Biedermeier arts - a kind of instinctive defence mechanism in the face of the calamity to come.」


「Death draws nigh, time marches on」より:

「The vision here is of the body turned to stone at the moment of utmost happiness, a petrification which is a symbol not of punishment or banishment, but an expression of the hope that the moment of supreme bliss might last for ever.」


「Le promeneur solitaire」より:

「Nowhere was he able to settle, never did he acquire the least thing by way of possessions. ( . . . ) and as far as clothes are concerned, at most one good suit and one less so. ( . . . ) And just as throughout his life he was remote from other people. He became more and more distant from even the siblings originally closest to him ( . . . ) until in the end, ( . . . ) he was the most unattached of all solitary poets. For him, evidently, coming to an arrangement with a woman was an impossibility.」


「As Day and Night . . . 」より:

「Remembrance, after all, is in the end nothing other than a quotation.」


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本書「序文」によると、本書の原題「Logis in einem Landhaus」は、本書所収エッセイでも論じられているローベルト・ヴァルザーによる短篇「トゥーンのクライスト」からの引用です。
彗星のように空から地上を眺めるヘーベルに始まり、気球から地上を眺めるヴァルザーのエピソード(「Robert Walser was, I think, born for just such a silent journey through the air.」)に至って、ひとつの円環が閉じられます。
手遅れにならないうちに(「before ( . . . ) it may be too late.」)。


ヘーベル 『ドイツ炉辺ばなし集』 木下康光 編訳 (岩波文庫)
Robert Walser 『The Tanners』 tr. by Susan Bernofsky


W. G. Sebald 『Vertigo』 Translated by Michael Hulse (Vintage Books)

「Poor travellers, I thought, seeing myself among them: always somewhere else.」
(W. G. Sebald 『Vertigo』 より)

W. G. Sebald 
Translated by
Michael Hulse

Vintage Books, Random House, London, 2002
7pp+263pp, 19.8x13cm, paperback
First published with the title *Schwindel. Gefühle* by Vito von Eichborn Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 1990
Vertigo was first published in 1999 by The Harvill Press
Printed and bound in Great Britain by Clays Ltd, St Ives plc


W・G・ゼーバルトのエッセイ・紀行文ふう図版入り長編小説の英訳です。「目眩まし」のタイトルで邦訳も出ています。英訳タイトルは「Vertigo」(めまい)でわかりやすいですが、原題は「Schwindelgefühle」(英語だと「dizzy feeling」)をピリオドで二つに分けた「Schwindel. Gefühle」になっています。しかしそれにはどういう意図があるのか、ヒッチコックのめまい(Vertigo)では主人公が実際に身体症状としての「めまい」に襲われますが、本作でのめまいは心情的なものであるということなのでしょうか。

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I Beyle, or Love is a Madness Most Discreet
II All'estero
III Dr K. Takes the Waters at Riva
IV Il ritorno in patria


「Beyle, or Love is a Madness Most Discreet」より:

「So it was that Beyle, on the way from Tortone, stopped in the early morning of the 27th of September, 1801, on the vast and silent terrain - only the larks could be heard as they climbed the heavens - where on the 25th of Prairial the previous year, exactly fifteen months and fifteen days before, as he noted, the Battle of Marengo had been fought. The decisive turn in the battle, brought about by Kellermann's ferocious cavalty charde, which tore open the flank of the main Austrian force at a time when the sun was setting and all already seemed lost, was familiar to him from many and various tellings, and he had himself pictured it in numerous forms and hues. Now, however, he gazed upon the plain, noted the few stark trees, and saw, scattered over a vast area, the bones of perhaps 16,000 men and 4,000 horses that had lost their lives there, already bleached and shining with dew. the difference between the images of the battle which he had in his head and what he now saw before him as evidence that the battle had in fact taken place occasioned in him a vertiginous sense of confusion such as he had never previously experienced. It may have been for that reason that the memorial column that had been erected on the battlefield made on him what he describes as an extremely mean impression. In its shabbiness, it fitted neither with his conception of the turbulence of the Battle of Marengo nor with the vast field of the dead on which he was now standing, alone with himself, like one meeting his doom.」



「I only know that the view from Burg Greifenstein is no longer the same. A dam has been built below the castle. The course of the river was straightened, and the sad sight of it now will soon extinguish the memory of what it once was.」


「I had gone to Klosterneuburg with Clara to visit her grandmother, who had been taken into the old people's home in Martinsstrasse. On the way back we went down Albrechtstrasse and Clara gave in to the temptation to visit the school she had attended as a child. In one of the classrooms, the very one where she had been taught in the early 1950s, the selfsame schoolmistress was still teaching, almost thirty years later, her voice quite unchanded - still warning the children to keep at their work, as she had done then, and also not to chatter. Alone in the entrance hall, ( . . . ) Clara was overcome by tears, as she later told me.」


「It seemed to me then that one could well end one's life simply through thinking and retreating into one's mind,」


「Over the days that followed I was occupied more or less exclusively with my study of Pisanello, on whose account I had in fact decided to travel to Verona.」
「What appealed to me was not only the highly developed realism of his art, ( . . . ) but also the way in which he succeeded in creating the effect of the real, without suggesting a depth dimension, upon an essentially flat surface, in which every feature, the principals and the extras alike, the birds in the sky, the green forest and every single leaf of it, are all granted an equal and undiminished right to exist.」


「Opposite me sat a Franciscan nun of about thirty or thirty-five and a young girl with a colourful patchwork jacket over her shoulders. ( . . . ) The nun was reading her breviary, and the girl, no less immersed, was reading a photo story. Both were consummately beautiful, both very much present and yet altogether elsewhere. I admired the profound seriousness with which each of them turned the pages. Now the Franciscan nun would turn a page over, now the girl in the colourful jacket, then the girl again and then the Franciscan nun once more. Thus the time passed without my ever being able to exchange a glance with either the one or the other.」


「Once I am at leisure, said Salvatore, I take refuge in prose as one might in a boat. All day long I am surrounded by the clamour on the editorial floor, but in the evening I cross over to an island, and every time, the moment I read the first sentences, it is as if I were rowing far out on the water. It is thanks to my evening reading alone that I am still more or less sane.」


「Il ritorno in patria」より:

「Moreover, it rained incessantly. So there was no question of walking into town or taking a stroll along the river Inn. I looked out across the deserted station forecourt. Now and then some vehicle would crawl slowly along the gleaming black roads, the last of an amphibian species close to extinction, retreating now to the deeper waters.」


「the erstwhile landlady of the Engelwirt, Rosina Zobel, ( . . . ) she had given up running the inn several years ago and ever since had spent the entire day in her partially darkened parlour. She either sat in her wing chair, or walked back and forth, or lay on the sofa. No one knew whether it was red wine that had made her melancholy or whether it was because of her melancholy that she turned to red wine. She was never seen doing any work; she did not shop, or cook, nor was she to be seen laundering clothes or tidying the room. Only once did I see her in the garden with a knife in her hand and a bunch of chives, looking up into the pear tree which had recently come into leaf. The door to the Engelwirt landlady's room was usually left slightly ajar, and I frequently went in to her and would spend hours looking at the collection of postcards she kept in three large folio volumes. The landlady, wine glass in hand, sometimes sat next to me at the table as I browsed, but only ever spoke to tell me the name of the town I happened to be pointing to.」
「It was also from her that I learned how to tie a bow; and whenever I left the room she laid her hand upon me. To this day I can sometimes feel her thumb against my forehead.」


「Hengge the painter was perfectly capable of extending his repertoire. But whenever he was able to follow his own artistic inclination, he would paint only pictures of woodcutters.」


「Yes, said Lukas, there was something strange about remembering. When he lay on the sofa and thought back, it all became blurred as if he was out in a fog.」


「It was as if mankind had already made way for another species, or had fallen under a kind of curfew.」


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第一章「ベール、あるいは愛とはもっとも控えめな狂気である」では、スタンダールを論じつつ、本書のテーマである、頭の中のイメージと実際に目にしているものとの間の相異がひきおこす「めまい」感覚が提示されています。第四章に「Mind the gap (ギャップに気をつけて)」というセリフが出てきますが、第一章と第四章(最終章)は対応関係にある、というか、「In my beginning is my end」「In my end is my beginning」(T・S・エリオット)といったような関係にあるようで、第一章で言及されている「マレンゴの戦い」や「壊疽による死」が第四章で再び登場しています。
第二章「外国で」では、「私」のイタリア旅行が語られます。地上の悲惨な光景に嘆き悲しむ天使たち。そしてカザノヴァの幽閉生活と脱獄、すなわち死と再生(resurrection)、ひきこもりと超出。人類の絶滅と別の種による地上の支配権のテークオーバー。万霊節。「私」は過去と現在の閾を超えて現われるダンテやルートヴィヒ二世に遭遇します。そして謎の殺人集団「Organizzazione Ludwig」。


グスタフ・ヤノーホ 『カフカとの対話 増補版』 吉田仙太郎 訳 (筑摩叢書)
窪田般彌 『カザノヴァの生涯と回想』
L. Syson and D. Gordon 『Pisanello, Painter to the Renaissance Court』

W. G. Sebald 『On the Natural History of Destruction』 (Penguin Books)

W. G. Sebald 
『On the Natural History of Destruction』 

With essays on Alfred Andersch, Jean Amery and Peter Weiss
Translated from the German by Anthea Bell

Penguin Books, 2004
x, 205pp
19.6x13cm, paperback
Printed in England by Clays Ltd, St Ives plc
Cover image: Imperial War Museum (C3371)

First published in Germany by Carl Hanser Verlag in 1999 with the title *Luftkrieg und Literateur*
First published in Great Britain by Hamish Hamilton in 2003


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Air War and Literature: Zurich Lectures
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: On Alfred Andersch

Against the Irreversible: On Jean Améry
The Remorse of the Heart: On Memory and Cruelty in the Work of Peter Weiss


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第二次世界大戦末期にドイツの多くの都市は連合軍の空爆により潰滅し、多くの人々が凄惨な死を遂げましたが、破壊された都市の状況を文学作品の主題として取り上げたのはハインリッヒ・ベルやノサックのようなごく一部の作家のみで、都市の再建と経済成長に邁進する戦後のドイツにおいて、空爆による被害について語ることはタブーとされてきました。そうした記憶が次の世代に伝えられることなく失われてしまうことに危惧を感じた1944年生まれの著者ゼーバルトは、「Air War and Literature: Zurich Lectures」において、ドイツ人はなぜ自らの被害について口を閉ざすのか、なぜ過去を忘れようとするのかを考察しています。

「Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: On Alfred Andersch」では、ナチス時代のドイツに留まってファシズムに抵抗した internal emigration の作家としての自己イメージを作り上げようとしたアルフレート・アンデルシュが、実際には名声欲によって歪められたファシスト的心性の持主であったことが検証されます。


「Against the Irreversible: On Jean Améry」では、ゲシュタポの拷問を受けた経験をもつジャン・アメリーが、バタイユやシオランのごとき非妥協的な否定の思想家として称揚されます。

「The Remorse of the Heart: On Memory and Cruelty in the Work of Peter Weiss」は、「世の終わりの時に犠牲者の側に立つ意志(the will to be on the side of the victims at the end of time.)」を表明した作家/画家ペーター・ヴァイスへのオマージュです。


ペーター・ヴァイス 『敗れた者たち』 飯吉光夫訳
ノサック 『短篇集 死神とのインタヴュー』 神品芳夫 訳 (岩波文庫)




Away with the Fairies


分野: パタフィジック。

趣味: 図書館ごっこ。

好物: 鉱物。スカシカシパン。タコノマクラ。

将来の夢: 石ころ。

尊敬する人物: ジョゼフ・メリック、ジョゼフ・コーネル、尾形亀之助、森田童子。


netakiri nekotaroの最近読んだ本