Saturday, 30 April 2011

Nadolny, Sten "The Discovery of Slowness"

Nadolny, Sten "The Discovery of Slowness" (German: Die Entdeckung der Langsamkeit) - 1983

Interesting tale based on the successful arctic explorer, Sir John Franklin.

A wonderful account of his life and discoveries but also a great description how something that is usually conceived as negative, in this case a "slowness" that is regarded as "mental retardation" can be used for the good of something. In this case, the “slowness” enables the character to concentrate better on what he wants to achieve.

Very well written, interesting perspective, I really enjoyed this book.

(I did read the German original, so can't vouch for the translation.)

From the back cover:
"Nadolny's masterpiece, a huge commercial and critical success in Germany and across Europe, recounts the life of one of the most interesting explorers of the nineteenth century - Sir John Franklin who, amongst other achievements, paved the way for the discovery of the NorthWest Passage. By means of Nadolny's acute reading of history and his storytelling prowess, the reader follows this misfit's development from awkward schoolboy to expedition leader, Governor of Tasmania, icon of adventure. Not only a riveting account of a remarkable life, 'The Discovery of Slowness' is also a profound and thought-provoking meditation on time. The result is an extraordinary reading experience that justifies the novel's reputation as one of the classics of contemporary German literature."

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