Thursday, July 12, 2012

fragment on Sebald

I'm not going to subscribe or whatever to The New Republic, so all I get here is a partial review of stuff by W.G. Sebald:

Sebald -- The New Republic

But the two available paragraphs from the link are important to me. They remind me that there is a sizable part of my sensibility that I must hold in reserve, in private. Because I have no one with whom to talk about the Sebald effect. It is a phenomenon that interpenetrates the skin of my soul.


what would it amount to if I did have someone with whom to talk about Sebald? It would be an insufferable experience for my interlocutor. When I get inspired by a topic, I speechify. I start talking in run-on sentences that would never end, if my listener's countenance didn't begin to evince signs of mental stress or strangulation (a subtle roll of the eyeballs into the back of the head). Signs of a hounded and now trapped being who is close to a condition of conversational panic. Only then, would I bring my rambling to an incoherent trailing-off toward silence and expectant reply.

No, it would have to be something more indirect. With the Sebald effect merely an implicit aspect of shared consciousness. I could then remark "The atmosphere is rather misty today" or "This particular poem resonates with me," and what I meant by those statements would echo in sympathetic regions of my interlocutor's soul. Yes, that's the ticket. I could never actually discuss Sebald and his effect. It must remain as a hovering aura beneath which other things are considered and appreciated. Sebald must only haunt between the lines of whatever I discuss with a kindred spirit.

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