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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Austerlitz

You can argue endlessly about books. To rate them like restaurants is utterly inappropriate. Nevertheless I can't help being pleased to see one of my favorite books at number one on the list of "the decade's best books" put up by the intellectual New Yorker's Village Voice. Zach Baron shares my opinion that the late W.G. Sebald's Austerlitz (2001)—published two months before the German author's death in a car accident in England—is a most outstanding work. Through a pastiche of memoir, invention, winding sentences, black-and-white photographs, architectural plans, and reproduced stamps, Sebald revisits the 20th century . The Holocaust is the book's central trauma, but the novel anticipates fresher wounds, too. "Outsize buildings," Sebald wrote a year before 9/11, "cast the shadow of their own destruction before them." Prophecy based on the understanding of the past.



3 comments:

  1. Not Prophecy based on the unterstanding of the past but understanding of the past und overcoming the fear that things could repeat may heal the wounds of the past.

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  2. Realism is familiarity with timeless issues and sensitivity for seasonable and unseasonable features.

    Isn't it amazing that "the tip of the iceberg" became THE expression of the 20. century?

    Sebald´s prophecy leads back to the disaster of the Titanic in 1912, and to the tower of Babel.

    Is the internet big? Or is it really only the total sum of a huge ammount of little units?

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  3. We have to rely on experts. But are the experts really experts? Are they to much involved?

    Can we see the big picture better if we look at it from far away?

    ReplyDelete