Tuesday, November 26, 2013

the Sebald Effect

The books of W.G. Sebald can be read over and over and not lose their power to enchant the reader. How is that possible? How do his understated, sustained spells of melancholy call to the reader again and again? I wonder what principle is at work here, what eccentric dynamics are active to energize and re-energize these works.

I almost catch myself hypothesizing that Sebald -- via instinct or insight -- was attuned to the world's deep exhaustion from implausible manifesting, to its difficult dreamlike moods within form, substance, and lingering.

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