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By W. G. Sebald, Anthea Bell

Over the process a thirty-year dialog unfolding in teach stations and tourists’ stops throughout England and Europe, W.G. Sebald’s unnamed narrator and Jacques Austerlitz speak about Austerlitz’s ongoing efforts to appreciate who he's. An orphan who got here to England by myself in the summertime of 1939 and used to be raised by way of a Welsh Methodist minister and his spouse as their very own, Austerlitz grew up with out wakeful reminiscence of the place he got here from.

W.G. Sebald embodies in Austerlitz the common human look for id, the fight to impose coherence on reminiscence, a fight advanced through the mind’s defenses opposed to trauma. alongside the way in which, this novel of many riches dwells magically on various subjects–railway structure, army fortifications; insets, crops, and animals; the constellations; artistic endeavors; the unusual contents of the museum of a veterinary university; a small circus; and the 3 capital towns that loom over the booklet, London, Paris, and Prague–in the provider of its brilliant imaginative and prescient.

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Sample text

In the second half of the 1960s I traveled repeatedly from England to Belgium, partly for study purposes, partly for other reasons which were never entirely clear to me, staying sometimes for just one or two days, sometimes for several weeks. On one of these Belgian excursions which, as it seemed to me, always took me further and further abroad, I came on a glorious early summer’s day to the city of Antwerp, known to me previously only by name. Even on my arrival, as the train rolled slowly over the viaduct with its curious pointed turrets on both sides and into the dark station concourse, I had begun to feel unwell, and this sense of indisposition persisted for the whole of my visit to Belgium on that occasion.

I still remember the uncertainty of my footsteps as I walked all round the inner city, down Jeruzalemstraat, Nachtegaalstraat, Pelikaanstraat, Paradijsstraat, Immerseelstraat, and many other streets and alleyways, until at last, plagued by a headache and my uneasy thoughts, I took refuge in the zoo by the Astridplein, next to the Centraal Station, waiting for the pain to subside. I sat there on a bench in dappled shade, beside an aviary full of brightly feathered finches and siskins fluttering about.

G. Sebald. For Mr. ” —The Wall Street Journal Contents Cover Title Page Introduction First Page About the Author Copyright INTRODUCTION JAMES WOOD In the summer of 1967, a man who remains unnamed but who resembles the author W. G. Sebald, is visiting Belgium. At the Centraal Station in Antwerp, he sees a fellow traveler, with fair, curiously wavy hair, who is wearing heavy walking boots, workman’s trousers made of blue calico, and a well-made but antiquated jacket. He is intently studying the room and taking notes.

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