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Sartor Resartus

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3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  469 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Sartor Resartus ("The Tailor Retailored") is ostensibly an introduction to a strange history of clothing by the German Professor of Things in General, Diogenes Teufelsdrockh; its deeper concerns are social injustice, the right way of living in the world, and the large questions of faith and understanding. This is the first edition to present the novel as it originally appe...more
Paperback, 273 pages
Published June 12th 2008 by Oxford University Press (first published 1834)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,154)
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Szplug
At another point in my life, this would have gotten a full boat. Alas, ensconced within books as I am, ever enveloped with the urge to move on to something new, I'm afraid I became a touch impatient with Carlyle towards the end—but the fault is entirely mine. The age in which he composed this beautifully, lushly written work of great and subtle meta-sartorial humour—satirical, metaphysical, biographical, Goethean, liberally populated with phrases of a poetic entanglement whose surface appeal cap...more
Andrew Schirmer
They simply don't make 'em like they used to...

Sartor Resartus is one of Carlyle's supreme creations, to be sat alongside the towering achievement of his French Revolution. It's a sort of novel-cum-philosophical-treatise-cum-satire, a lumbering behemoth full of ideas and overheated prose. Did I mention that it's also rather funny. This is a great book to read drunk as, presumably, many in the 19th century did.

From out of a cloud of pipe smoke comes Diogenes Teufelsdroeckh, a professor of "Aller...more
Keely
Alright, so he's an old bastard. I know. He was generally wrong-headed and entirely conceited. He's also hilarious and witty. I would that all those who disagree with me could do so in such a pleasing fashion.
Eric
Looked into this the other day, and wow. Carlyle is easy to loathe. But I'd forgotten how good this is.
adam
"Considering our present advanced state of culture, and how the Torch of Science has now been brandished and borne about, with more or less effect, for five thousand years and upwards... so that not the smallest cranny or doghole in Nature or Art can remain unilluminated, -- it might strike the reflective mind with some surprise that hitherto little or nothing of a fundamental character, whether in the way of Philosophy or History, has been written on the subject of Clothes."

So begins the fictio...more
Marcus
Apr 30, 2010 Marcus rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sansculottes, reactionaries, tailors, women, dandies, bureaucrats
Shelves: read-again, canon
Sartor Resartus, which means "The Tailor Re-tailored" is ostensibly a book on "The Philosophy of Clothing" by a German author, Herr Diogenes Teufelsdrockh. We're told that this is the English translation from the original German. But, this is much more than a translation. The translator feels that in order to make the book more accessible to his English audience, he should include copious commentary and background. In the end, not only do we get the the translation of the original along with the...more
Tyler
i have a sneaking suspicion that i shall forever be currently-reading this book.

Update - suspicion confirmed. After the 4th attempt I think I've given up hope - it starts off well with some amazing language but nothing happens - and this is from someone who loves moby dick in which nothing happens for most of the book and someone who read gravity's rainbow in barely anything happens and it doesn't happen in incomprehensible ways - but then again, the only reason I read that was because I was in...more
Esther Bradley-detally
I had to read this in an English class at UCI; I remember reading Carlyle's concept of the world needing new clothes or a tailor. I had a heavy, heavy Green Norton Reader, and Sartor Resartus was one of the many tissued papered pieces. I wrote "ugh" in red ink in the margins, and when the professor asked his class (mostly young people) and then me, early 40s returning student, they were silent, and I finally ventured that I wrote "Ugh" in the margin.

He swallowed.

And then I said, "I found this d...more
Anthony
comic, mennippean 19th century novel that takes the form of an exegesis and biography of fictional philosopher Diogenes Teufelsdroeckh and his controversial discourse on clothes. DT's religious ramblings (The Everlasting Yea, etc.) remind me of the writing on Dr. Bronner's soap bottles, and the philosophizing on clothes-worship goes beyond dandyism and into total zaniness (legal rights for scarecrows, a gown that reigns on for years after its king has passed).
Mahrya
Jun 19, 2008 Mahrya rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: recommended to all
A fictional biographer wrastles with hoary Teufelsdrockh's philosophy of clothes--a crazy ideology that uses clothing to explain all sorts of things about society, relationships, religion and the world. This book meanders delightfully, covering details of the clothes philosophy, Teufelsdrockh's life and the biographer's writing process. The prose is some of the most beautiful and engaging stuff I've read in awhile.
kasia
One of the strangest books I've ever read. Utterly delirious and totally wonderful.
It probably deserves 5 stars, but I'm giving it four because, well, it's awfully hard. This is probably not fair of me. It requires serious concentration on the reader's part, and even then, it's so bizarre and outlandish that you feel like you're barely skimming the surface of it. A truly remarkable book.
Sarah
Absolutely dreadful, incomprehensible book that was the turning point in my master's degree. I decided not to do a ph.D after trying to read this dreck. I wanted a plot, dialogue, and real characters with a happy ending. The day I threw that book against the wall was the first day of the rest of my life :) A bit dramatic, but actually what really happened.
Nikolay Nikiforov
Довольно живописные обломки кораблекрушения того, что только что было немецкой идеалистической философией.
Слог выразительный, текст бессвязный, философические эпифании в нем чередуются с риторическими общими местам; в какой мере безумие книги обусловлено сознательным намерением автора, в какой — действительной неспособностью привести мысли в порядок: понять наверняка может только человек, в подробностях знакомый с "дебатами" того времени.
Так или иначе, книга достойна перечитывания, хотя первое...more
Yngvild
Thomas Carlyle’s one published fiction is this ragbag of satire, sarcasm and social commentary packaged as a spoof biography of the fictional German philosopher, Diogenes Teufelsdröckh. Sartor Resartus is clearly intended as social satire in the style of Jonathan Swift, using high-flown philosophical language to describe everyday items, in this case clothes. Happily, Carlyle keeps forgetting about the clothes, a clunky metaphor that produces such awful puns as “Clotha Virumque cano”.

Of the three...more
Tony
SARTOR RESARTUS. (1835). Thomas Carlyle. ***.
I couldn’t finish it. I gave it three stars out of guilt because I know it is an important book, both in the career of Carlyle and in the progress and support of the Transcendental movement. It was highly praised by Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman. It is typically included as an additional reading assignment in courses in literature and philosophy. I couldn’t finish it. What it is is a review of a book by an editor – presumably Carlyle – of a manuscript...more
الوجـــد

نسخة إلكترونية في 250 صفحة
http://www.4shared.com/office/3pCorBm...
..

توماس كارليل لم يسبق لي أن أطلع على كتابٍ له قبل هذا ، أما فلسفة الملابس فإن العنوان يُعتبر شيء غريب بادئًا وخيّل إليّ في البدء أنه حول
الملابس وحسب ، كنت أظنه سيربط الملابس بالحالات النفسية التي تعتري المرء كما قد كتب أحد الأستاذة أن العقاد كان يقول " وحتى الملابس يضع فيها الإنسان شيء من نفسه " هذا فقط ما ظننته وحزرت قبل أن أغوص في هذا العالم المتلاطِم والتأملات السردية المنفسحة آمادًا ودهرًا
كان كل فصل وجزء يأخذ بي كل مأخذ وإ...more
Robert Wechsler
Here's a book that is impossible for me to rate. And it is the reason I have not rated most of the books I read in my youth. I wrote my college thesis on this book, but when I came back to it in my 50s, I couldn't read it. Carlyle's baroque prose, which thrilled me so much at 21, drove me crazy at 51.

I know that this is one of the great works of the English language, that it even helped create the modern English language (e.g., the word "environment" in its modern sense occurred first in this bo...more
Adrian Colesberry
Sartor Resartus is one of the without-which-nothings of How to Make Love to Adrian Colesberry. Carlyle's editor character, who makes running commentary on a fictional German author's "Philosophy of Clothes" reminds me very much of Kinbote in Pale Fire, making me wonder how much Nabakov derived from this. I can only imagine he'd read it but I've never seen it listed as one of his antecedents. It's certainly one of mine.
The way that he used a layering of narrators to make wry criticisms of German...more
Kevinjwoods
If ever a book can be described as different is this, ostensibly a book about a book about fashion this is a satire on a type of book that was possibly around a lot at that time and is still recognisable today, when he writes about being unable to read books highly recommended by the pretentiarati you feel for him having likewise having attempted to read recent booker winners.
Good for bragging rights towards those who think Hilary Mantel is Da Bomb.
Maha
When I first began reading this book, I felt like it was grammatical insanity. The long, twisting and turning sentences that didn't seem to end just put me right to sleep. I mean, I actually left the book by my bedside and used it as a sleep aide. For this reason, I was glad to have found it. But then one day, years later, I found a bunch of photocopied pages from the text and not knowing they were Carlyle's I became very absorbed in them. It was strange because Carlyle's writing is pretty easy...more
Matthew Dentice
Every so often, there comes along a book that seems to have been written specifically for you at this particular point in your life. For me, that book was Sartor Resartus, Thomas Carlyle's life of his fictional "philosopher of clothing," the eminent but highly eccentric Diogenes Teufelsdrockh, Professor of Things in General at the Rational University of Weissnichtwo, Germany.

The novel begins as a hilarious and highly-entertaining satire but evolves into an extended meditation about finding the...more
S.D.
Or, redressing German Idealism. At the center of this strange “novel” is our ability to understand truth. Fiction cavorts as fact through the pen of an unnamed Editor and one Diogenes Teufelsdröckh, then becomes non-fiction as Carlyle’s own transcendental philosophy takes form. By balancing form and theme, it interprets Hegel by way of Blake’s “The Marriage of Heaven & Hell” to reveal truth as an imminent, rather than absolute, certainty that is reached by confronting known contradictions an...more
Dara Salley
I really gave this book a try. At times I thought that maybe I was enjoying it. In the end, however, the experience was decidedly negative.

What is most annoying about “Sartor Resartus” is the language. The author uses a jocular and familiar tone that I believe is supposed to be engaging. He is constantly making jokes that may have been funny in 1830, but are simply irritating to the modern reader. The author has some genuinely interesting ideas and insights but there are lost in long stretches o...more
Adam Honingford
Quite a slog, relatively unrewarding, would not recommend to anyone, save for perhaps that asshole who claims only to enjoy "difficult" books -- let him work through this one.
Kristina
Well, I would never read this book unless I was forced to for class, which is the case here. Or unless I had an affinity for Victorian commodity culture. However much I do not like it, the book is a fascinating study of genre, biography, autobiography, consumption of the self, clothing, words, writing and editing, and many other tropes. My problem with it is that it presents too many dualities and does not follow a narrative form.

I think this is definitely a book that must be discussed or furth...more
Marti
Picked this up because it was mentioned repeatedly in
Aldous Huxley's "Door's of Perception." Then I learned it was about Dandies and clothing. That really got my interest. I can't cite any specific examples to illustrate why it was such a difficult read because I read this more than 15 years ago. However, after reading some of the reviews I am glad I am not the only one. (I too loved Moby Dick which most people think is the dullest book ever written). If you enjoy dense philosophical treatises,...more
Jen
A very complex read, but quite insightful once you get to the core of the message.
Daniel Klawitter
Here are just some of the great quotes in this marvelous 1833-4 classic:

"No man who has once heartily and wholly laughed can be altogether irreclaimably bad."


"Strange enough how creatures of the human-kind shut their eyes to plainest facts; and, by the mere inertia of Oblivion and Stupidity, live at ease in the midst of Wonders and Terrors."

"To the eye of vulgar Logic, what is man? An omnivorous Biped that wears Breeches."


"The man who cannot wonder, who does not habitually wonder (and worship),....more
Shasta8sisyphus
"The Tailor Retailored." This book is a gem. It is full of falsely attributed quotes, fabricated histories, inverted authorities, and patchworks of ideas all woven together to complete "Teufelsdrockh's "philosophy of clothes." This guy did it before Cathy Acker. Before Jorge Luis Borges. "Nay, farther art not thou too perhaps by this time made aware that all Symbols are properly Clothes; that all Forms whereby Spirit manifests itself to Sense, whether outwardly or in the imagination, are Clothes...more
Jackson
Part of me hated this book (we only read book 1) and part of me loved Carlyle's use of philosophy and spiritual masks. This was high language in the 19th century and is surely high language almost 200 years later. Overall I somewhat enjoyed it only because of his deep comparisons for something so simple as that of clothes.
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29951
Thomas Carlyle, Scottish historian, critic, and sociological writer. was born in the village of Ecclefechan, Dumfriesshire, eldest child of James Carlyle, stonemason, and Margaret (Aitken) Carlyle. The father was stern, irascible, a puritan of the puritans, but withal a man of rigid probity and strength of character. The mother, too, was of the Scottish earth, and Thomas' education was begun at ho...more
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“Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together; that at length they may emerge, full-formed and majestic, into the daylight of Life, which they are thenceforth to rule. Not William the Silent only, but all the considerable men I have known, and the most undiplomatic and unstrategic of these, forbore to babble of what they were creating and projecting. Nay, in thy own mean perplexities, do thou thyself but hold thy tongue for one day: on the morrow, how much clearer are thy purposes and duties; what wreck and rubbish have those mute workmen within thee swept away, when intrusive noises were shut out! Speech is too often not, as the Frenchman defined it, the art of concealing Thought; but of quite stifling and suspending Thought, so that there is none to conceal. Speech too is great, but not the greatest. As the Swiss Inscription says: Sprecfien ist silbern, Schweigen ist golden (Speech is silvern, Silence is golden); or as I might rather express it: Speech is of Time, Silence is of Eternity.” 8 likes
“Some comfort it would have been, could I, like a Faust, have fancied myself tempted and tormented of the Devil; for a Hell, as I imagine, without Life, though only Diabolic Life, were more frightful: but in our age of Downpulling and Disbelief, the very Devil has been pulled down, you cannot so much as believe in a Devil. To me the Universe was all void of Life, of Purpose, of Volition, even of Hostility: it was one huge, dead, immeasurable Steam-engine, rolling on, in its dead indifference, to grind me limb from limb.” 5 likes
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