18.7.11

W. G. Sebald's Writing Style

Notes on a Voice
Illustration: Kathryn Rathke
A.D. Miller discusses the work of W.G. Sebald as part of More Intelligent Life's 'Notes on a Voice' series (link via 3 Quarks Daily): 'The essential theme of W.G. Sebald’s books is memory: how painful it is to live with, how dangerous it can be to live without it, for both nations and individuals. The narrators of his books—of which Austerlitz and the four linked narratives of exile in The Emigrants are the most compelling—live in a state of constant reminder. Everything blends into everything else: places, people, their stories and experiences, and above all different times, which seep into each other and blur together, often in long, unmoored passages of reported speech. The narrator of Vertigo gives a concise account of this method: “drawing connections between events that lay far apart but which seemed to me to be of the same order”.' [Read More]

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