Time to play

… and: YES, I am enjoying it … a lot! …

Sometimes life is like a patch of wild grace …

Positive thinking, according to Josh Cohen, always assures us that we can be more, that we can do more, that we can achieve and attain more. This is supposed to be empowering. It’s supposed to make us feel very good about our own capacities. But in fact, it sets us up against an ideal of…

On light & liquid sentences

(TIDYING BY READING, PART 3) Years ago, I bought a copy of Gerald Murnane’s book The Plains (1982), a novel summarised in following words by the publisher: The Plains is a short novel about a young filmmaker who travels to a fictive country far within Australia, where his failure to make a film is perhaps…

In memory of Mary Oliver

The American poet Mary Oliver was no stranger to melancholy — but often her kind of melancholy seems to be of a more vital quality, than the kind of melancholia observed in Sebald’s univers. Listen to this: The Uses of Sorrow (In my sleep I dreamed this poem) Someone I loved once game mea box…

After Sebald

… moving on – or maybe not … because honestly; isn’t this poem, like so many exquisite works of art, just another variation of the troublesome Sebaldian story? Maged Zaher “Untitled” I’m few déjà-vus from repeating my whole lifeI need to study the shapes of things before deathBefore declaring myself a better failure:  waiting mostly…

True – but not the whole truth

And so I’ve finished The Rings of Saturn, and I ask myself: Was this a good way to start 2019? To tell the truth — I’m not entirely sure. The text is without doubt a masterpiece; written in a beautiful prose, based on vast knowledge, connecting us, contemporary life, to history in a highly original…

I came into the world under the sign of Saturn—

Saturn is the planet of melancholy, about which Walter Benjamin writes: “I came into the world under the sign of Saturn – the star of the slowest revolution, the planet of detours and delays.” W. G. Sebald’s prose poetics seems to be driven by this motion, which is more than a simple state of being:…

Becoming lost

The Rings of Saturn follows a Sebald-like narrator as he walks along England’s eastern coast, letting his mind wander along with his feet. The prose follows the narrator’s digressions from each place and idea to the next, moving freely in time and space.  Here is a good example of Sebald at work: … for Diderot there…

W.G. Sebald – short biobibliographical notes

W.G. Sebald, in full Winfried Georg Sebald, (born May 18, 1944, Wertach, Allgäu, Germany—died December 14, 2001, Norwich, England), German-English novelist and scholar who was known for his haunting, non-chronologically constructed stories. Sebald’s work imaginatively explored themes of memory, especially as they related to the Holocaust. His novels include Schwindel, Gefühle (1990; Vertigo), Die Ausgewanderten (1992; The Emigrants), Die Ringe des Saturn (1995; The Rings of Saturn), Logis…

Why Read Sebald?

He is utterly despairing, particularly in The Rings of Saturn. It’s terrible, beautiful, and there’s no hope.          — Ali Smith I’ve been here before, at my desk, with all the books by W.G Sebald (which unfortunately isn’t that many) in front of me. My plan is to (re)read The Rings of Saturn. Did I read it…