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Transit
Transit | Anna Seghers
9 posts | 8 read | 1 reading | 8 to read
Anna Seghers’s Transit is an existential, political, literary thriller that explores the agonies of boredom, the vitality of storytelling, and the plight of the exile with extraordinary compassion and insight. Having escaped from a Nazi concentration camp in Germany in 1937, and later a camp in Rouen, the nameless twenty-seven-year-old German narrator of Seghers’s multilayered masterpiece ends up in the dusty seaport of Marseille. Along the way he is asked to deliver a letter to a man named Weidel in Paris and discovers Weidel has committed suicide, leaving behind a suitcase containing letters and the manuscript of a novel. As he makes his way to Marseille to find Weidel’s widow, the narrator assumes the identity of a refugee named Seidler, though the authorities think he is really Weidel. There in the giant waiting room of Marseille, the narrator converses with the refugees, listening to their stories over pizza and wine, while also gradually piecing together the story of Weidel, whose manuscript has shattered the narrator’s “deathly boredom,” bringing him to a deeper awareness of the transitory world the refugees inhabit as they wait and wait for that most precious of possessions: transit papers.
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BarbaraBB
Transit | Anna Seghers
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Great idea Scott, to post about our favorite #NYRB book for the #NYRBBookClub. I don‘t have many yet (I‘m sure that will change soon!) I haven‘t read The Door but of the others I liked Transit best.

fleeting Jealous! I'd love to collect them too but am not familiar with most. But I also just bought The Door from a 2nd hand bookshop! :) 3w
batsy Aaah 😍 3w
sisilia I have Transit, unread 😬 3w
See All 6 Comments
vivastory Will definitely be checking out Transit! 3w
BarbaraBB @LeahBergen Yes that one is very good too! 3w
71 likes1 stack add6 comments
review
Anna40
Transit | Anna Seghers
Pickpick

Transit is about escape and finding refuge but also about being a Mensch in a world that has gone mad. It's a book that I want to read again.

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schmia
Transit | Anna Seghers
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Pickpick

“Unfortunately I don‘t have enough money for a regular supper. But how about a glass of rose and a slice of pizza? Come, sit with me.”

This was a great read — and so important now to read, about the day to day life of someone just trying to get by and move on to a new country to escape death and make a better life.

And it made me seriously crave rose and pizza. #backpackEurope

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GatheringBooks
Transit | Anna Seghers
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#ReadingResolutions Day 17: These two definitely fit #CoverLove for me. #NYRB

DivineDiana Love! ❤️ 9mo
ephemeralwaltz Yes!!🖤 9mo
batsy So lovely. 9mo
69 likes3 comments
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schmia
Transit | Anna Seghers
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“And what if some of these poor souls, still bleeding physically and spiritually, had fled to this house, what harm could it do to a giant nation if a few of these saved souls, worthy, half-worthy, or unworthy, were to join them in their country — how could it possibly harm such a big country?”

Thoughts from 1940 Marseille over cider in 2018 DC. #backpackEurope

danny En route from Paris to Oran? 10mo
schmia I might mix it up and just straight up scurry to Lisbon. 10mo
16 likes2 comments
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schmia
Transit | Anna Seghers
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Been working a lot from the couch, which means I can put on tv, but work needing to be done kind of interferes with being able to watch subtitles. So I put on a wish fulfillment movie set in the south of France instead—“To Catch a Thief.” It probably wouldn‘t make Avignon, but I can dream. #backpackEurope

mabell Such a great movie! 10mo
21 likes1 comment
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SaraBeagle
Transit | Anna Seghers
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Pickpick

This is so good, though not what I was expecting (definitely not a “thriller” as described, but that‘s okay). It‘s about WWII refugees waiting to get permission to sail from France ahead of German advances. It‘s about the waiting and frustration and the way she writes about the bureaucracy is very Catch-22 like.

Ole I liked this book! Interesting aspect of ww2 1y
19 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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BarbaraBB
Transit | Anna Seghers
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Pickpick

This is the novel of a German refugee in WWII, who arrives in Marseilles. This city is full of refugees, (almost) all of them trying to get on a ship out of Europe.
The best about the book, in my opinion, is the fact that it sketches a situation in WWII that I didn‘t know about. A situation that seems pretty comparable to that of all refugees in Europe right know. Waiting, not knowing, fear and boredom.
#1001books

6 likes1 stack add
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julianabrina
Transit | Anna Seghers
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