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The Memory Chalet por Tony Judt
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The Memory Chalet (edição 2010)

por Tony Judt

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5672131,967 (4)102
"'The Memory Chalet' is a memoir unlike any you have ever read before. Each essay charts some experience or remembrance of the past through the sieve of Tony Judt's prodigious mind. His youthful love of a particular London bus route evolves into a reflection on public civility and interwar urban planning. Memories of the 1968 student riots of Paris meander through the divergent sex politics of Europe, before concluding that his generation 'was a revolutionary generation, but missed the revolution.' A series of road trips across America lead not just to an appreciation of American history, but to an eventual acquisition of citizenship. Foods and trains and long-lost smells all compete for Judt's attention; but for us, he has forged his reflections into an elegant arc of analysis. All as simply and beautifully arranged as a Swiss chalet-a reassuring refuge deep in the mountains of memory."--Dust jacket flap.… (mais)
Membro:robertsgirl
Título:The Memory Chalet
Autores:Tony Judt
Informação:Penguin Press HC, The (2010), Hardcover, 240 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:autobiography, essays, Europe, memoir, academia, nostalgia, @bio

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The Memory Chalet por Tony Judt

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I found these autobiographical essays by the late Tony Judt a mixed bag, some of his essays not opaque to me but of no real relevance, like his account of his first meeting with his third wife, and others were striking and had an emotional impact such as his discussion of his experiences in Israel during and after his time on a kibbutz. In general, I found the pieces at the end of the book more engaging, but I have no idea whether he wrote them in the sequence they are presented here. ( )
  nmele | Dec 21, 2019 |
Even taking away the amazing fact that Mr. Judt wrote this collection of memoir/essays while dealing with ALS, this is still a great collection of memories and ruminations. The last third of the book really stood out as excellent; thoughtful and sure of its opinions while showing grace and understanding. A very enjoyable book. ( )
  carliwi | Sep 23, 2019 |
This was moving, bracing and thought-provoking. I particularly enjoyed the sections describing Putney in his childhood and his student time at Cambridge. I notice there is little about his years in Paris, which he does not seem to have loved.

Highly recommended. ( )
  pgchuis | Feb 23, 2019 |
The young woman was flabbergasted: the only form of discrimination she could imagine was sexual. It had never occurred to her that I might just be an elitist.

Allow an extra 1.25 stars for the circumstances of its origin. This is series of light pieces, incipient memory exercise that Judt steadied his mind with during the interminable nights of his terminal affliction with ALS. There is some fascinating material here, especially of a intellectual historical basis. Much appears to have been imagined in longer forms with Timothy Snyder in the [b:Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century|1817659|Reappraisals Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century|Tony Judt|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1266902447s/1817659.jpg|3149551]. This is an ideal commute book ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Tony Judt's memoir, THE MEMORY CHALET, has an added poignancy you cannot escape considering as you read of his childhood and adolescence in England, France and Israel. He was in the later stages of ALS (aka Lou Gehrig's Disease) as he was writing it. Indeed he was no longer able to write, but was apparently dictating these memories and working with a "collaborator."

Judt, an Anglo-American Jew, was a noted historian, teacher and frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books. He came from very ordinary circumstances - his parents were both hairdressers in London's south side. We learn something of his parents' Jewish origins, but Judt is quick to say they were non-practicing Jews, and so was he (although he does tell us he was named for his father's cousin, Toni Avegael, an Auschwitz victim). He was clever enough to get into King's College at Cambridge, and then a very prestigious school in Paris, which made all the difference in his later life. He taught at Cambridge for a time before moving permanently to the U.S., where he was a teacher and administrator at NYU. He was thrice married, but reveals little about that aspect of his life, preferring to dwell on his early years and his professional life.

An astute observer of the public life, on politics, Judt notes that "ceaseless chatter and grandiloquent rhetoric mask a yawning emptiness." And on entertainment: "The wealth of resources we apply ... serves only to shield us from the poverty of the product."

Judt seems especially prescient (the book was published in 2010) when he comments -

"We are entering, I suspect, upon a time of troubles. It is not just the terrorists, the bankers and the climate that are going to wreak havoc with our sense of security and stability. Globalization itself ... will be a source of fear and uncertainty to billions of people who will turn to their leaders for protection. 'Identities' will grow mean and tight, as the indigent and the uprooted beat upon the ever-rising walls of gated communities from Delhi to Dallas."

If a statement like this doesn't succinctly describe "Trump times" and the world refugee crisis, then I don't know what does.

There are a few essays here, where he talks at some length about East European writers and thinkers (he studied and learned Czech in his mid-thirties), that caused my attention to wander and I will admit to skimming some of this. But I was especially taken with his memories of the sixties, his college years, his early jobs and wanderings across Europe and years on a kibbutz in Israel. And I couldn't help but be amazed at his ability to organize all of this in his mind and then to dictate it for transcription. He explains his long nights, unable to to move, and how, sometimes sleepless, he is able to -

"... scroll through my life, my thoughts, my fantasies, my memories, mis-memories, and the like ..."

Toni Judt managed to finish this last collection of elegant essays about his life, an accomplishment in itself, and one which will enrich the lives of discerning readers everywhere. Judt succumbed to ALS in 2010. He was sixty-two. Very highly recommended.

- Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER ( )
  TimBazzett | Nov 18, 2017 |
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'I love trains, and they have always loved me back.'
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"'The Memory Chalet' is a memoir unlike any you have ever read before. Each essay charts some experience or remembrance of the past through the sieve of Tony Judt's prodigious mind. His youthful love of a particular London bus route evolves into a reflection on public civility and interwar urban planning. Memories of the 1968 student riots of Paris meander through the divergent sex politics of Europe, before concluding that his generation 'was a revolutionary generation, but missed the revolution.' A series of road trips across America lead not just to an appreciation of American history, but to an eventual acquisition of citizenship. Foods and trains and long-lost smells all compete for Judt's attention; but for us, he has forged his reflections into an elegant arc of analysis. All as simply and beautifully arranged as a Swiss chalet-a reassuring refuge deep in the mountains of memory."--Dust jacket flap.

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