Speak, Silence. In search of W.G. Sebald – Carole Angier – vengodalmare

“Ho sempre sentito di non avere posto nella realtà, come se non ci fossi affatto”

“I have always felt that I have no place in reality, as if I were not there at all” – Google Translator

One of Sebald’s gifts is to capture his themes in unforgettable images. So we see the dead return to us when Johann Naegeli’s body emerges from the ice; and here we see his picture of Kafka and himself – homeless wanderers, melancholics more dead than alive – in Hunter Gracchus on his bier. And in ‘Beyle’ he embodies his idea of love in an image taken from De l’amour. On their visit to the salt mines near Salzburg, Beyle’s companion is presented with a twig brought up from the mine, where it has become encrusted with thousands of glittering crystals. This ‘truly miraculous object’ seems to him ‘an allegory for the growth of love in the salt mines of the soul’. That is: love is a miracle created in our own minds, covering a small and ordinary thing.
Sebald does not, for once, include a picture of the crystallised twig in Vertigo. But there is such a picture somewhere else, we know – in ‘Max Ferber’, when the narrator visits the salt frames at Kissingen. There it is an image of art, and also of the narrator’s life, petrified by years of turning it into words. The beginning of that process is here, when he recognises the illusion of love.  – Carole Angier, from her Sebald biography, Speak, Silence. In search of W.G. Sebald.

Source: Speak, Silence. In search of W.G. Sebald – Carole Angier – vengodalmare

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