The Hare with the Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal

The Hare with the Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal 

This book follows a collection of netsuke – tiny miniature sculptures from Japan – from their creation through their various resting places in the display cases of their owners in Europe of the nineteenth century and then modern Japan. What is amazing about this book is how one family – the Ephrussi family – a Jewish family originating from Odessa – came to be so intimately involved with all the famous names and events of 100 years of European history: from Proust through to the Holocaust of Nazi Germany. It is a beautifully written account however it does lack the coherence you would expect from a novel (which it isn’t) or even a biography (which it kind of is) – which would tend to find some clear thread or idea uniting the life it describes. This is just the passage of beautiful things through time: random, at certain junctures glaring with amazing circumstances, and at others hidden away in obscurity.

 

Mr A

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