Saturday, August 19, 2006


The past.

W.G. Sebald, Austerlitz (Modern Library 2001).

It is hard to find the words to describe Austerlitz. Sebald's novel is the story of a man whose life's work is to attempt to discover where he came from. As a child in Wales, he learned that he had been adopted by his parents, and that his real name is Jacques Austerlitz, but nothing of how he came to them. I'm giving away nothing more than the back jacket of the book, and hardly diminishing the reading of it, to say that through Austerlitz's efforts to find his parents, Sebald confronts the enormity of the Holocaust. Sebald's tone is like no other writer's I've ever read, surely a credit to his translator, Anthea Bell. A sense of loss, an elegaic quality, pervades. For me, the text also is haunted by Sebald's untimely death a few years. A wonderful, incomparable book

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?