|Plot Summary of Vertigo|
|""Vertigo", a novel by the German writer, W.G. Sebald, traces the lives and feeling of three literary figures: Casanova, Stendhal, and Kafka. His journeys take him over the Alps from Vienna to Venice and Verona as he assumes the personal of thes historical characters, bringing their impressions and experiences to live.
Sebald also recounts his own travels to Italy where, in one of his side riffs, he admires the frescoes of Giotto. Overwhelmed by the painted angels who"have kept their station above our endless calamities for nigh onto seven centures", he asks,"...Is not the whiteness of their wings the most wondrous of all things...ever conceived?"
Surreal re-enactments of Kafka's love affair on Lake Garda segue into the final chapter of the novel where Sebald visits "W", the village of his childhood to relive the events of thirty years before.
The accidental death of Schlag, the hunter of superhuman strenth, who mysteriously fall in a ravine, plunges the youth into a bout of diptheria from which he barely recovers.
The writer returns to his present home in England where
he suffers again the paralysing depression which prevents him from descending the steps to a subway station to free himself from his long, aimless walks. He concludes the novel with a quote from Pepys' diary, describing the great fire of London, perhaps foreshadowing the catastrophe that engulfed Europe 300 years later. "
Betty-Jeanne Korson, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Vertigo|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Tone of book?
Time/era of story
Inside culture (main char)
- visiting a culture in other country
Outside culture (society)
If story of urban/rural...
- Small town life
- mentally ill
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
How sensitive is this character?
- sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Mostly serious with occasional humor
- Average intelligence
- physically sick
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 9 ()
Small town people:
- nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee
- mostly 1st
Accounts of torture and death?
- explicit references to deaths
- a lot of flashback and forwards
- No single main character?
- written like a journal/diary/letters
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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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