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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. During the seemingly endless journey, he has conversations that range from his childhood to speculations about the death camps. When at last the fantastic, Wagnerian gates to Buchenwald come into sight, the young Spaniard viane left alone to face the camp.

Paperbackpages. Published March 29th by Harry N. Abrams first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To eo other readers questions about The Long Voyageplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Jan 06, knig rated it really liked it Shelves: Vonegutt says train So does Enard. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, its a literary device. What happens when an immovable object meets an unstoppable force? A train, of ssemprun.

How to condense something as big as the Big Bang into a nutshell? If it were Shakespeare, we have: If it were a war, then start real little: The memory of the Moselle. The acidic aftertaste of a concentration camp: The fast forward of time. The fifteen Jewish children, aged years old. Set loose down the Weimar road to the gates of the concentration camp.

Given a minute head start. The dogs set loose to hunt. The not one making it to the gates of the camp.

The hundreds packed into a freight car. The urine soaked shirts held out into the black of night to cool so compresses could be applied to fainted bodies. Bodies who never recover but are propped up so their rations can be collected. Semprun, who grapples with his recollections.

View all 7 comments. Feb 27, [P] rated it really liked it. Whenever something terrible happens — the Paris attacks, a school shooting, or whatever — people invariably express their shock and surprise, and I always feel slightly bewildered by this kind of reaction, because, although I could not possibly have foreseen these specific events, I am nevertheless profoundly not shocked nor surprised [although I am, of course, deeply saddened by them].

Human history, and my own experiences to a lesser extent, has taught me that we are capable of, that we active Whenever something terrible happens — the Paris attacks, a school shooting, or whatever — people invariably express their shock and surprise, and I always feel slightly bewildered by this kind of reaction, because, although I could not possibly have foreseen these specific events, I am nevertheless profoundly not shocked nor surprised [although I am, of course, deeply saddened by them].

Human history, and my own experiences to a lesser extent, has taught me that we are capable of, that we actively and regularly engage in, every kind of baseness, brutality or infamy. In a way, I feel as though, at some unspecified point in my life, I have lost something precious, some necessary faith or belief in the inherent goodness of our species, because that is what it comes down to, my anguished shrug of the shoulders: He lived through WW2, becoming a member of the French resistance, before being arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Buchenwald concentration camp.

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He wrote more than one book about his experiences, the most well-known of which is Le grand voyage [The Long Voyage, in English]. I have read many novels about the Holocaust, and of course each of them are different, and certainly each of them has moved me, but this is the first time that I have encountered a narrative voice that truly spoke to me. It is a voice characterised by a lack of disbelief, it is always logical or rational, tough but understanding.

Yes, anything is possible.

Lampshades made out of human skin. How can you be shocked if you refuse to close your eyes to the truth of the world? And that is what I got from The Long Voyage, a sense that here is an author who felt it important not to shy away from reality. Men will, he says, steal from someone their last piece of black bread, thereby choosing their own life, their own continued existence, over the life of someone else, who is, by virtue of that theft, being condemned to death. It is written with great sensitivity and empathy.

Yet, while Semprun puts the reader in a similar situation, which is to say that he forces you to ride along with his characters, his approach is different.

In How it Is, for example, the narrator is lying in the mud murmuring to himself, and attempting to crawl along the ground. He is constrained, and haunted by voices.

Jorge Semprun

And what he frequently hears are screams and murmurs, complaints and threats. It is semmprun nightmarish and absurd situation. Breathing is vital, if you want to live. And these people, who are hurtling towards their death, would like to live, at least a little bit longer, thanks very much.

But I must have counted wrong, or else some of the days must have turned into nights.

I have a surplus of nights, more nights than I can use. While on the train the narrator spends some of his time looking out of the window, and at one stage he passes through the Moselle Valley. At this precise moment, he says, the world was reborn within him. What he means by this is that in the boxcar he has been cut off from the world, literally and spiritually.

It is only when he passes through the Moselle Valley, when he recognises it, that he reconnects with the world, with what is outside, with a real place. Indeed, the nature of reality, ciaje unreality, plays a major role in the text. In other words, the unreal becomes real. You become accustomed to the bizarre, the grotesque, the appalling, such that a sudden revealing of the existence of, or a confrontation with, the normal is a kind of spiritual shock.

On this, there is a wonderful scene in the book when the narrator leaves the camp and comes upon a group of women. Not women with shaved heads, starved to death, beaten and gassed, but women, real women, with stockings and lips and thigh-hugging skirts.

And these creatures seem unreal to him, in the same way that the camp corpses, that he shows them, do to the women. I found this so engaging, for I had thought about our ability to adapt to horrendous circumstances, and vixje ability to normalise the not-normal, but I had never considered that it might work the other way around.

As always with these reviews, there is more that I want to discuss, but I fear writing too much and alienating the few people with the necessary patience to read my work. No, I will finish with something sempun memory. Structurally, The Long Voyage is essentially a kind of Proustian Arabian Nights, if you will allow me this ridiculous phrase, where, instead of stories-within-stories, we encounter memories-within-memories, memories, like bodies in a boxcar, stacked on top of each other.

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Jan 18, Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont rated it it was amazing. I confess I had never heard of Jorge Semprun, a prominent Spanish writer, politician and le government minister, until I picked up The Long Voyage Le grand voyagean autobiographical novel based upon his experiences in the Second World War. The voyage sepmrun, a train journey, is the framework around which this astonishing narrative is constructed, as the author moves back through memory to times past and times future, always returning to a times present, a cattle truck packed full of men, I confess I had never heard of Jorge Semprun, a prominent Spanish writer, politician and former government minister, until I picked up The Long Voyage Le grand voyagean autobiographical novel based upon his experiences in the Second World War.

The voyage itself, a train journey, is the framework around which this astonishing narrative is constructed, as the author moves back through memory to times past and times future, always returning to a times present, a cattle truck packed full of men, a present which itself is only a memory. The Long Voyage is also available under the English title of The Cattle Truck which seems to me to miss the whole point. I bought this book because I have a particular interest in Holocaust literature; it was simply another one in a series.

New Release El Largo Viaje Fb2 By Jorge Semprun

But the larho was not quite as I expected. Translated from the original Spanish, the prose is simple, undemonstrative and superbly crafted. Still, this is no simple tale. In a sense there is no beginning, just as there is no end: Manuel, as Semprun appears in the novel, is a Spanish communist who fled the country after lafgo victory of Franco.

He is later involved in the French Resistance against the Nazis under the code name of Gerard. In he was captured.

The horror is compounded by the slowness of the journey, through five days and nights, a journey without food or water, a journey where even air is a premium. When their car is opened they are found mostly dead, either of hunger or of cold. The car is unloaded as if wood was being transported. In one, after the liberation in Aprilwhen the prisoners can wander around freely, Manuel visits an old lady whose house overlooks the camp, with a clear view of the crematoria.

He asks her if she could see the flames in the evening, a rhetorical question, because there is no doubt that she could. Clearly frightened the woman tells Manuel that both her sons were killed in the war; She throws the bodies of her two sons at me for fodder, she takes refuge behind the lifeless bodies of her two sons killed in the war. No corpse of the German army will ever weight as much as the smoke of one of my dead companions.

The Long Voyage by Jorge Semprún

I understand that for her the death of both of her sons is the most atrocious, the most unjust semprhn in the world. There is power in words, in the strength to use words; there is power in this remarkable book.

Jun 20, Jonfaith rated it it was amazing Shelves: