PDF or EPUB The Hare with Amber Eyes A Family's Century of Art and Loss ë Edmund de Waal


The Hare with Amber Eyes A Family's Century of Art and Loss

Edmund de Waal  8 FREE DOWNLOAD

I would have enjoyed this book had I been less familiar with some of the topics tackled during its first half Namely the Paris and Vienna of the 1870 1914 period with Impressionism Japonisme Proust circles of Jewish finance and art patrons Dreyfus affairand the parallel Building of the Ringstrasse the Sezession Psychoanalysis etc All this is a bit of a d j vu or d j lu for me But Edmund de Waal easily escapes the clich s when he elies on well known cultural episodes As the great grandchild of the Ephrussis the family whose history the book traces he is endowed with both a material and a moral advantage With access to family letters photographs a This was an interesting Don't Wake Up read and a fascinating account of the journey of a group of netsuke through a family history of about 140 years and several generations The journey moves from Paris to Vienna across Europe through Nazism and to JapanDe Waal s family history is fascinating and I was particularly interested in the link to Proust and Great Great Uncle Charles being the model for Swann The descriptions of furnishings and the decorative aspect of the grandesidences are sumptuous De Waal has an artist s eye and a good way with wordsThe account of the Reduced rise of Nazism the Anschluss and the dismantling of the family s fortunes give a clear and frightening first hand account of the horrors of the 1930s and the war Their fortuneseflect those of many wealthy Jewish families at that time De Waal has put together his family history well The only caveat I have is that the accumulation of wealth is seldom a neutral thing especially in a family of bankers I would have been interested in some detail about the lives of those who made them and the conditions in which they were made and perhaps some sense of the contrast of fabulous wealth with society around I felt a little uncomfortable that the servants were just Double Betrayal referred to by their first names did anyone know their surnames On the whole it was a fascinating journey and one I enjoyed I have just finished The hare with amber eyes I thought it was one of the most stunning books I d evereadThe language is wonderful The stories in France where Renoir and Proust just pop in as part of the scene oh what a feel for Impressionist France I particularly loved finding out that Charles is that figure in the top hat in the background of Renoir s Luncheon of the Boating Party somehow such a small intimate detail of Charles life has enlivened that painting for me for ever onto Vienna and the magnificence of Vienna and a life so easy and cultured and so European And Freud around the corner Wittgenstein hanging in there somewhere again making alive for me the whole milieu of Vienna before World War 1And then the horror of the growth of the nazis the horror that all happened so uickly who would know that one week you could go to the opera and the next have all taken from you and to be sent Away On A Train To A Death on a train to a death To me the most horrific thing was small like the netsuke the book centres on over 600 Jews killed themselves on the night when the Nazis took over in Vienna and went on a ampage of destruction and defilement That will stay with me for ever to live in such horrorAnd in the middle of all the horror incredible beauty Anna s saving the netsuke from the nazi confiscation of all Jewish property And Iggie finding his way to Japan and a Japanese friend and houses with verandahs and drinks in the evening and opera and And the story itself becomes a netsuke I feel it curl in on itself a small beautiful thing that can fit into the palm of my hand where it opens and the longer I hold it At first I thought this book was slow overly preoccupied with art at the expense of narrative and becalmed By the end the author s view as artist illumined the narrative and its characters who are several past generations of his family As all the summaries and eviews say the generation of his great grandfather were a wealthy Jewish banking and grain exporting dynasty in Paris and Vienna and around Europe and also art collectors and patrons But In The Next in the next the family s financial wealth and influence was lost in the conflagration of Hitler and WWIIThe author has gone on a voyage of discovery to The Magistrates' Court: An Introduction (Fifth Edition) reclaim his family and the lost world they experienced putting his own career and family on hold in the meantime At first what he s doing wasn t clearly apparent I could see his amateurism in the writing for example ambiguous meaning or foreign words not always defined but not why he was writing it Even though he was saying why I couldn t hear You have to be persistent with this book and stick with the author if you do it will pay off Since he s on that voyage of discovery he doesn t always know himself just where he s going how much time to invest inesearching and writing or whether what he s doing is importantThe journey is an achievement The author didn t have to go on this journey but he didAntisemitismAt times the Ephrussis and the others of their circle were living The Lives Of Aristocrats But lives of aristocrats but anything went wrong they were targeted in writing and th. The Ephrussis were a grand banking family as ich and espected as the Rothschilds who “burned like a comet” in nineteenth century Paris and Vienna society Yet by the end of World War II almost the only thing Nomadische Lebenswelten Und Zarische Politik: Der Aufstand In Zentralasien 1916 remaining of their vast empire was a collection of 264 wood and ivory carvings none of them larger than a matchboxTheenowned ceramicist Edmund de Waal became the fifth generation to inherit this small and exuisite collection of netsuke Entranced by their beauty and mystery he determined to trace the story of his family through the story of the collectionThe netsuke drunken monks almost The Crimson Thread: A Retelling of Rumpelstiltskin ripe plums snarling tigers were gathered by Charles Ephrussi at the height of the Parisianage for all things Japanese Charles had E media When an artist s Jewish patron was supporting him at the level to which that artist had become accustomed everything was hunky dory but if not it was because the patron was giving precedence to Jew artWhen a Catholic bank with ties to the Church collapsed popular analysis The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog's Life Quality and Longevity related the circumstance to Jewish bankers nonchalantly playing at enormous financial transactions as The concept of tracing the history of aich Jewish bankers family through the vicissitudes of a collection of Japanese miniature sculptures is original and interesting The beginning of the book is a bit slow but it then comes to life with fascinating descriptions of the Ephrussi in Paris during Impressionism or in Vienna during the first part of the 20th century ending with dramatic events surrounding the Austrian Anschluss into the German ReichAnd yet it is hard to feel much sympathy either for this family or for the author A wronged sense of entitlement pervades much of the book and a lot of energy goes into describing how the family lost most of its wealth under the Nazis the description of the Kristallnacht mob entering the Ephrussi building and No Beast So Fierce: The Terrifying True Story of the Champawat Tiger, the Deadliest Animal in History ransacking the furniture is blood curdling On the other hand no moral judgment is passed on how the Ephrussi had been spending their money until then nor is theeader left any clearer as to how the Ephrussi s fortune was amassed in a few short decades only In this Close to the Land: The Way We Lived in North Carolina, 1820-1870 romantic vision of When my family played Downton Abbey in Vienna servantseceive short shrift Anna the saviour of the netsuke collection is uickly dismissed nobody in the family even Berlayar di Pamor Badik remembers her last name and of course the doorman is blamed for letting the gates wide open for the Gestapo on an inspection visit as if a closed door was going to stop them It would have been easier to warm to the family if the author had come across as less self absorbed His pottery activity is mentionedegularly but is pretty much irrelevant to the book and some odd choices in vocabulary a glaucous pudding L. Munatius Plancus really betray theandom use of a thesaurus to impress the Münchhausen's Pigtail, or Psychotherapy Reality readers Finally some fact checking would have been in order so as to get the spelling and syntax of French and German phrasesight The errors are not only linguistic but also historical and geographic Czechoslovakia did not exist before 1918 so the Ephrussi couldn t have had a country estate there if anything before WWI they would probably have thought of it as Hungary Dachau is not on the edge of Bavaria but on the outskirts of Munich Germany was the land of thinkers and poets Land der Dichter und Denker not Austria etc etc Overall an interesting ead of a flawed book The awards for the book seem motivated by compassion for the iches to ags family history coupled with a Goodwin bonus than for the craftsmanship of the author I started out giving Hare with Amber Eyes four stars but as it settled in I decided to up it to five stars This is a very special book de Waal approaches his extraordinary family history as the artist he is art paintings and especially decorative objects and architecture are all infused with his extraordinary visual and tactile sense I don t use the word extraordinary lightly From the story s beginnings in the shtetl of Berdishev where the Ukraine meets Poland not far from the ancestral home of my own family although all we have in common with the Ephrussi are our oots and our diaspora there are no palaces in European capitals bearing our crest through a crescendo of unbelievable wealth and
Perhaps Even Enviable Easy Communion 
even enviable easy communion the great artists and writers of the day on to the inevitable tragedy that marks all European Jewish stories in the WW2 era through improbably and beautifully a charming gay love story in post war Japan and ending with the perfect and incongruous image of de Waal s father an Anglican clergyman saying Kaddish for his Austrian Jewish mother in an English chapel every phase of DeWaal s family story amazes challenges delights andor saddens Charles Ephrussi is a particularly stunning character To inspire Proust and have had walk ons in Renoir paintings If you have ead Proust learning about Ephrussi and his elationship to his art and to his Jewishness will give new texture to his The Violinist and The Son of Redhead: Two Plays by Leonard Melfi relationship to his art and to his Jewishness will give new texture to and the world he and Proust s narrator move in If you haven tead Proust this book will probably make you want to It certainly made me want to Fairy Tales are True: Silent Reach from the Dunes to the Khumba Mela reead Swann s Way and to search out many of paintings discussed But as exhilarating as those scenes of Paris mondanity are and as heartbreaking and infuriating the World War II chapters are Austria Galaxies in the Universe: An Introduction refusing toeturn property because it Was The First Victim Of The Nazis It S De the first victim of the Nazis it s De s contemplative searching sometimes meandering voice that eally gets under your skin and lets you see objects and textures through his eyes I dreamed of some of his imagery while eading this book that s how Octavio's Journey rich theelationship to vision is in his writing and I finished the book with an insatiable craving to see and handle a netsuke Highly ecommended After the first few pages I was wondering whether this wa going to be one I would have to wade thr. Hunned the place set aside for him in the family business to make a study of art and of beautiful living An early supporter of the Impressionists he appears oddly formal in a top hat in Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party Marcel Proust studied Charles closely enough to use him as a model for the aesthete and lover Swann in Remembrance of Things PastCharles gave the carvings as a wedding gift to his cousin Viktor in Vienna; his children were allowed to play with one netsuke each while they watched their mother the Baroness Emmy dress for ball after ball Her older daughter grew up to disdain fashionable society Longing to write she struck up a correspondence with Rilke who encouraged her in her poetryThe Anschluss changed th.
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Ough as a noble act of bookclub fidelity However its like a walk up a mountain where you are straining up a hill panting and feeling its your duty and then suddenly you brow the hill and there opening out before you is this great vista and you get a second wind and off you go at a cracking pace This is exactly what happened with this Organizing Power really clever concept Edmund de Waal a potter traces the history of 264 netsuke small japanese ornaments made from various woods and stones through their purchase by one of his ancestors in the 1870 s through their journey to Paris Vienna Tunbridge Wells on to aeturn to Japan and then back to their final esting place in London The 120 years or so of their possession by the Ephrussi family corresponds to the families journey from fabulously wealthy bankers forming alliances and business deals which involve massive amounts of money and floating in social circles involving the Emperor of the Austro Hungarian Empire and assorted high elated Lost Treasure royals and politicians to the hideouseversal of fortunes with the anschluss the arrival of Hitler and the betrayal of the family along with all the other jewish men women and children who had been so useful in some situations but now necessary as the traditional scapegoatEdmund de Waal has a simple techniue of Victorian Fashions: A Pictorial Archive, 965 Illustrations relating his family history through theirelationship to these small ornaments Each one tells a story but each one s story is incomplete open ended His family history shows that The ornaments est in a cupboard in Paris fabulously wealthyhere they are complete but no they are sent as a wedding present to an eually wealthy austrian branch of the family Here they est in a beautiful showcase their journey endedno the horror of viennese pogroms threaten them as it destroyed the family And saved by the maid servant they move on again but as a perfect symbol of the family s implosion they move from their enthronement in walnut glass and velvet to their hiding place inside a servant s straw mattress After the war she hands them back to surviving members of the family a small fragment almost all that is left of the idiculous wealth enjoyed by this family prior to their undoing by the foul action of the Nazis Nevertheless one small side of me is saddened by the fact that the devotion and fidelity of the servant who at isk of her own life preserves this wealth is just accpeted by the family as their ight The cruelty and degradation perpetrated on the family in the 1930 s and 40 s was monstrous but prior to that the family themselves struck me as heartless egocentric libertines Living lives of wasteful opulence and insensitive gluttony They did not deserve the terror of course but perhaps their servants and those who saw their flaunting of their wealth did not deserve their poverty either and the family seem uite unable to acknowledge that and indeed the gratitude that they owe to the loyalty of their servants There are many excellent easons for eading The Hare with Amber Eyes Its author Edmund De Waal is known to the world as a fine ceramic artist whose work is widely shown in museums and galleries He is also an exceptionally
Fine Writer Bringing An Artist 
writer bringing an artist sensibility to this other medium a meticulous attention to the detail of language its hythms and its evocative potential Read the book for its exhaustive descriptions of interiors whether bel poue Paris or Wiener Werkstatt Vienna for its evocations of historical moments like fin de siecle France or Austria at the time of its annexation by Hitler and his Nazis or immediately Post War Bombed Out Tokyo Or For war bombed out Tokyo or for compassionate portrayal of flawed and fascinating human characters Read it as a four generational family saga or an insightful history of Europe from the late nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth Read it even also particu Oh my good Lord what did I do that you put me through the torture of eading that bookDid I like it NoIt is a story of the authors family in a blindly tunnel vision view of how everyone was out to get his Jewish family as they ose to the pinnacle of society in the Austrian empire survived or less as well as anyone else did in the 2nd world war and on to his gay uncles exploits in JapanWith such wonderful chapter starters as It wasn t just Renoir who hated the Jews note no justification for the accusation whatsoever other than the mute point that allegedly Renoir had a dislike for one of his great unclesThe later chapters of the book had a bit potential but it Media, Mobilization and the Umbrella Movement really wasn t up to scratch Great as someone s personal notes but sadly he didn t keep them to himself There is so many details in this family memoir written by an illustrious authorartist The title of this book is a netsuke It is one of the many such objects small valuable Japanese miniatures that had semi practical use in Japan when men wore Kimonos They became objects of interests after 1854 when Japan was open to the west A large uantity was shipped to Europe and purchased by collectors Later other emerging impressionist artist caught on The focus of this family pained by anti Semitism is on the inheri. Eir world beyondecognition Ephrussi and his cosmopolitan family were imprisoned or scattered and Hitler’s theorist on the “Jewish uestion” appropriated their magnificent palace on the Ringstrasse A library of priceless books and a collection of Old Master paintings were confiscated by the Nazis But the netsuke were smuggled away by a loyal maid Anna and hidden in her straw mattress Years after the war she would find a way to Getting a Life with Asperger's: Lessons Learned on the Bumpy Road to Adulthood return them to the family she’d served even in their exileIn The Hare with Amber Eyes Edmund de Waal unfolds the story of aemarkable family and a tumultuous century Sweeping yet intimate it is a highly original meditation on art history and family as elegant and precise as the netsuke themselves.

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