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Ein Stammbaum

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3.41  ·  Rating details ·  1,083 ratings  ·  155 reviews
Die Mutter, eine schöne Flämin, kommt 1942 durch einen Offizier der Propagandastaffel nach Paris, um eine Schauspielkarriere zu beginnen. Der Vater, während der deutschen Okkupation als Jude verfolgt, ist ein Lebemann, der vom großen Geld träumt und alles, was er bei zwielichtigen Geschäften gewinnt, bald wieder verliert. Die Ehe der Eltern – eine Fehlentscheidung. Zwei Sö ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published August 25th 2007 by Carl Hanser Verlag (first published January 6th 2005)
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Average rating 3.41  · 
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Fergus
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE YELLOW FOG THAT RUBS ITS BACK UPON THE WINDOW-PANES,
THE YELLOW FOG THAT RUBS ITS MUZZLE ON THE WINDOW-PANES...
CURLED ONCE ABOUT THE HOUSE, AND FELL ASLEEP.
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Nobel Laureate Patrick Modiano’s books are like a postmodernist Mage’s intricate Chinese puzzles that have no apparent solution.

This compelling memoir, however, reveals a cryptic solution that has unlocked the great author’s own Secret Garden. He must have found his modicum of peace in it at last!

If you
...more
Adam Dalva
Oddly minor memoir, essentially a list of people and addresses from Modiano's (400-Blows level of french negligence) childhood. I wanted to like this - I like Modiano - but the book itself has a weird habit of complaining that it exists, often stating how badly it wants to end. This eventually rubs off on the reader. The maddening thing is that the plot is incredible, with WW2 luminaries, black marketing, horrible parents, doomed affairs. So much of it in the background, taunting us. The one exc ...more
TBV
"I’m a dog who pretends to have a pedigree."


As I started reading this memoir I was struck by how bland the writing is. However, it soon became clear why:
“Apart from my brother, Rudy, his death, I do not believe that anything I will relate here truly matters to me. I am writing these pages the way one compiles a report or résumé, as documentation and to have done with a life that was not my own. It’s just a simple film of deeds and facts. I have nothing to confess or elucidate and I have no i
...more
Lisa Lieberman
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french-interest
Modiano’s terse memoir contains a kind of shadow book. Behind the story of how he became a writer, beneath the sad, and often bitter recollections of his childhood, are traces of the other stories he has felt compelled to write: stories in which he seems to imagine himself alive during the Occupation, implicated in his father’s shady black market dealings, his mother’s wartime liaisons with influential people — Belgian collaborators, German officers — whom she cultivated in the hopes of advancin ...more
Philippe Malzieu
As ot the tenth page, we understand that Modiano was not a wished child, his father was a dubious buisnessman, his mother not maternal. Modiano does not save any details to us. It is deeply tiedous.
On page 50, I seriously thought of given up.But it is a short novel, so I armed myself with courage.
Nietzsche said « All great philosophy is a confession. » By estension, all great litterature is thus autobiographical. The problem is that I do not see much litterature.
Modiano tells us he lived his
...more
Stephen Durrant
Nov 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At one point in his short autobiography "Un pedigree," Patrick Modiano, the winner of this year's Nobel Prize for Literature, says, "I will continue to mark those years, without nostalgia but with a hasty voice. It is not my fault if the words jostle one another. I must act quickly or I will not have the courage for it" (p84). The years Modiano is marking are those of his youth. The autobiography ends when he reaches twenty-one and formally breaks with his father. There is no reason for nostalgi ...more
Billy O'Callaghan
When, last October, the Swedish Academy announced that France's Patrick Modiano had been awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature, their spokesman, Peter Englund,said they had chosen to celebrate the author's remarkable “art of memory” and acclaimed him as “a Marcel Proust of our time”.
'Pedigree' makes sense of, and at the same time challenges, such statements.
To call this an autobiography is almost missing the point. Modiano has attempted something breathtaking: to capture on paper nothing l
...more
Jim
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Patrick Modiano's Pedigree: A Memoir is an autobiographical essay (it takes a little more than two hours to read) which cover the years of his upbringing up to the publication of his first book in 1968.

To put it simply, Modiano received no loving upbringing on the part of his parents or relatives. His father was a small-time hustler with big dreams, and his mother was a small-time actress. At one point, Modiano writes:
I hope I can be forgiven all these names, and the others to follow. I'm a dog
...more
Mary Soderstrom
Patrick Modiano won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2014 for the body of his work which includes a couple of dozen novels and "autofictions:" the Nobel citation says the prize was given "for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the Occupation. " Obviously there is a lot of imaginative work here, because Modiano was born in July 1945, just as the War was ending, and knew the Occupation only through the memories of others ...more
Nick Grammos
Modiano writes a memoir like a novel by Modiano. Not surprising. All the characters of his life are set adrift by various clandestine and vulnerable scenarios, a Jewish father avoiding the yellow star, later avoiding a real job and the responsibility for raising a child. The child shifting from boarding school to boarding school. And characters appear around the streets of various Paris arrondissement like they always do. There was actually a Costa Rican character and a Columbian story line in t ...more
Tosh
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A moody memoir of the young years of the Nobel Prize winner (for literature) Patrick Modiano. I have not, at this date, read any of his fiction, but will do so. I like his writing, and how he reflects on the relationship between him and his parents. His mother was very distant and sort of demanding, and father was a border-line criminal. Both parents lacked that parent skill, so Modiano floated between and beyond them.

This brief book is hard to put down, and one can easily read it in a few hour
...more
Marina Sofia
Nov 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Goodness, what a sad and tormented childhood! Yet the author avoids melodrama and sentimentality, sprouting out a deluge of names, places, people, characters, restaurants, dates, book titles, as if to try and encompass it all in the smallest space available. The ironic title refers to the fact that he feels like a dog, shunted from one parent to another, one boarding-school to another, fobbed off on friends and relatives by selfish and neglectful parents. He never quite manages to figure out wha ...more
Šárka Ondrouchová
It took Modiano's memoir to finally understand the nature and feelings of Les Rue des Boutiques Obscures that I read in 2017. Same names appear, same feeling of living another person's life.
I read the book as in a rush, same way it was written, so it doesn't go in deep emotions. But the absence of subjectivity, the rare and austere descriptions of feelings made the account of a life seem more honest and brought more anxiety than they ever would being written explicitly.
I'm happy I read this boo
...more
Lauren
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a short memoir of Patrick Modiano- His very disjointed life spent mostly at boarding schools and being shifted between parents and parents friends whoever would have him. I am reading his many books lately i love the atmosphere he creates very unique to him.The translation of Pedigree is perfect all french details and and expression very beautifully shown. Lovely book ,handsome breathtaking cover portrait -mon dieu!
Susan
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france
Another small gem by Modiano (I guess all his work is rather short) - a tale of a sad, abandoned childhood, the son of parents who had no time for him, no money, no inclination to be parents. Born one year after Liberation, mother Flemish actress, father part-Jewish, smuggler, small-time dishonest businessman, Patrick shuffled off to one boarding school after another, one "family" to another. But there were little bits of kindness that built up enough to make this honest writer. Emotions, feelin ...more
Denis
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un pedigree, Modiano’s only book that is directly and openly autobiographical, is everything but a typical autobiography – and as usual with this writer (and isn’t that why his fans keep reading his work?), it becomes a melancholic, bittersweet meditation on the past, on memories, on childhood. It’s a short book, but it packs quite a punch, without sentimentality, but with much emotion. A life, in 127 terse but powerful pages - where everything that is untold, or merely hinted at, lingers around ...more
Steve Bookman
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Laconic and vivid, very much to the point. This is an unsentimental but not humorless look back on the very unconventional parenting of a sensitive and observant author in the France of the generation right after the end of WW II.

While many readers might have begun taking an interest in Modiano's work after the Nobel Prize announcement, this book in itself should motivate many to take a closer look at Modiano's fiction.
...more
Barbara
“That evening, I felt unburdened for the first time in my life. The threat that had weighed on me for so many years, kept me on edge, had dissolved in the Paris air. I had set sail before the worm-eaten wharf could collapse. It was tim”

this a beautiful and sad story, Modiano's first years and memories. I guess in order to write about love, longing and pain like he does, one must experience it.
...more
David
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating episodic description of his experience of surviving his upbringing, the shady world of his father (from which he was sent off to boarding schools from time to time), and his mother's apparent indifference to anyone but herself. ...more
Luis Labesse-Méndez
Heartbreaking. This one Pedigree gives you a key to (all) the other Modianos,
Dan
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The more you’re interested in Patrick Modiano’s novels, the more you’ll find his Pedigree: A Memoir useful. Published in 2005 when Modiano was sixty years old, Pedigree is Modiano’s account of his first two decides, which echo through all his novels starting with Villa Triste, his fourth.

In Pedigree and seemingly in his fiction, Modiano seeks to excavate his past, perhaps hoping for greater clarity and greater happiness: ”And the days and months passed. Sometimes I’d like to go back in time and
...more
Antenna
Jan 14, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The publication of a debut novel in his early twenties set Modiano on course for his unexpected winning of the Nobel Prize for Literature almost half a century later. “A Pedigree” differs from his other novels, often attacked as the same tale retold, in being an autobiography of his first twenty-one years. Yet it could be said it is in the same vein as the others, being in essence part of an ongoing search for identity.

In a postscript, he describes how his first two decades formed a life which d
...more
Peacejanz
This is a memoir of his early life just after WWII. He was really abandoned by both mother and father. Throughout the book, he shows more love for his father, a back market dealer - during and after the war. But, oh, his mother - he writes, "I can't recall a single act of genuine warmth or protectiveness from her." He was often in boarding school, when his father got up the money to pay the fees. He walked the streets, slept in the streets. His mother thought she was an actress and got small bit ...more
J Katz
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Linda giving me this book to return to the library for her, so I read the shortest memoir ever. It is all about people he has met or that his parents knew,mainly in Paris. He is Italian but at early age family moved to France, he lived mostly with his father and sometimes with his mother who he described as never seeing who he was or indeed never loving him. He was continuously sent ot terrible boarding schools to get him out of sight. He was at one school where they gave them cold cof ...more
Caterina Pierre
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started this book after the attacks on Paris on 11/13. I wanted to read something about Paris, I wanted to visualize the city through someone else's eyes. Pedigree allows the reader to do that, but Modiano's eyes have seen the darker side of the city for a long time. His upbringing was harsh, and his loss profound. But he finds an escape through his art...I'd recommend this small jewel, harsh as it is, to anyone who grew up with useless parents and no pedigree...it will prove to you that you c ...more
Spencer
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
This is a memoir written in 2005 covering the first 21 years of the author's life. It explains much of his writing in the years that followed. There is that sense of not belonging, of feeling unwanted and being prey. Modiano focuses on his seldom present parents and their mental cruelty that borders on child neglect. The memoir follows his education up to the point of his reaching 21, and almost simultaneously having his first novel accepted for publication. I consider this a "must-read" for any ...more
L. O'Neil
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This compact memoir of the author's youthful experiences was selected as part of my project to read books by Nobel Prize winners. Patrick Modiano adds more anecdotes and memories which fit with themes offered in his novels. The more books I read by this author, the more I feel I'm falling into a hypnotic and soothing spell. It's impossible to interrupt reading his work, perhaps because of the elegant detachment and exacting vocabulary. Modiano views his personal history through multiple lenses. ...more
George K. Ilsley
The promotional material suggests this slim memoir will provide a glimpse into Modiano's formative years and sources of inspiration. Perhaps it does. The memoir is full of glimpses, or even half-glimpses (if there are such things). At times the narrative devolves into little more than lists. Knowing nothing of Modiano's work, this memoir was a very slight offering. Perhaps not the most inspiring introduction to this writer. ...more
Barbara Wright
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Poignant yet sharp edged

He takes one through a long lost world that not so much nurtured him, but did in fact form him. How easily he could have been a very different person from whom we would have learned nothing. He bears the scars, but doesn't wallow in the pain that inflicted them.
...more
Justin Evans
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, essays
Are you new to Modiano? Because this is tedious in the extreme: a list of names, streets, and very occasional events, which would be of interest had I read most of his other work, but having read only a few novellas before this one, is of very little interest at all. Which is to say: don't start here. Start, but don't start here. ...more
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Patrick Modiano is a French-language author and playwright and winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature.

He is a winner of the 1972 Grand prix du roman de l'Académie française, and the 1978 Prix Goncourt for his novel "Rue des boutiques obscures".

Modiano's parents met in occupied Paris during World War II and began a clandestine relationship. Modiano's childhood took place in a unique atmospher
...more

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