Show Book List  | More books by Bruce Chatwin

 

Bruce Chatwin

Utz

Bruce Chatwin had a long fascination with our urge to surround ourselves with possessions. Utz is his story of a man who did so more than most of us. Kaspar Joachim Utz came from the minor nobiltiy in Czechoslovakia. With the coming of communism, he ends up in a small flat in Prague, but is allowed to keep in it the collection of Meissen porcelain which he has accumulated. He has money in foreign banks and so has the possibility of building a new life (and porcelain collection) for himself in the west, but somehow he just can't bring himself to do it.

The story is told from the point of view of a journalist (clearly representing Chatwin himself) who met Utz for just one evening. This means that we don't just get a description of Utz's life, rather it is presented as the result of possibly poor memory and of deduction and speculation. Did Utz have a moustache? Did he in fact perform some service for the state on his visits to the west? And what was his relationship with women, in particular his maid Marta? Set against the backdrop of communism (including the Prague Spring), in this novel Chatwin shows that money and politics aren't necessarily the most important things in our lives. Rather he highlights the confusing tangle of circumstances that motivate us to do the things we do.

See also :Lost Utz art to be auctioned

Amazon.com info
Paperback 128 pages  
ISBN: 0099770016
Salesrank: 13756289
Weight:0.26 lbs
Published: 2002 Vintage/Ebury (a Division of Random
Amazon price $10.60
Marketplace:New from $6.54:Used from $0.39
Buy from Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 144 pages  
ISBN: 0099770016
Salesrank: 153666
Weight:0.26 lbs
Published: 1998 Vintage Classics
Amazon price £8.99
Marketplace:New from £1.92:Used from £0.01
Buy from Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.ca info
Paperback
ISBN: 0099770016
Salesrank:
Weight:0.26 lbs
Published: 2008 Vintage Classics
Amazon price CDN$ 4.99
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 4.99:Used from CDN$ 0.58
Buy from Amazon.ca





Product Description
Bruce Chatwin's bestselling novel traces the fortunes of the enigmatic and unconventional hero, Kaspar Utz. Despite the restrictions of Cold War Czechoslovakia, Utz asserts his individuality through his devotion to his precious collection of Meissen porcelain. Although Utz is permitted to leave the country each year, and considers defecting each time, he is not allowed to take his porcelain with him and so he always returns to his Czech home, a prisoner both of the Communist state and of his collection.

Tachyos.org  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews