Saturday, October 07, 2006

On memory: W.G. Sebald

„Going home is not necessarily a wonderful experience. It always comes with a sense of loss, and makes you so conscious of the inexorable passage of time.
If you're based in two places, on a bad day you see
only the disadvantages everywhere. On a bad day, returning to Germany brings back all kinds of spectres from the past.”

(W.G. Sebald)

Max Sebald is my new friend. Mind you, he died in December 2001 in a car crash (maybe caused by a heart attack; what a scenario) in Norwich where he had lived since 1970 or so. He is my new friend as he too was a traveller between England and Germany, between countries and cultures, and, more importantly, between the past and the present, then and now.

Go and buy (and read) all his books. I think he is also a safe bet as he was a competent and proactive cooperator in the translation of his (originally German) prose and essays, therefore being one of the few authors where both German and English versions can be trusted upon.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful quote by Sebald. It always nice to remember him as a friend... His style, though cold in some way, creates an air of intimacy I am afraid I will never find in other author. Also, the fact that he wrote so little work(yet so inmensely valious) makes me feel I am entering an ancient edifice every tiem I open his books: I am always afraid my clumsy hands will touch something that will immediately vanish into dust.

    I hope you don´t mind me posting some of my feeling on Sebald in your blog.



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