Sunday, December 23, 2012

Shadows Cast by our own Thoughts


I just finished reading "The Rings of Saturn" by W. G. Sebald. It held me entranced from beginning to end just like "The Emigrants" did. I have ordered three more books of his. I didn't research him until now and was so disheartened to read he died an untimely death from an aneurism while driving his car in England in 2001. He was fifty seven years old.

Here's an article about him in the New Yorker

It is all too rare to find a writer who is so flawless in his/her execution of words and inspires one to ponder on both memory and history and all in between. The title of this blog post is a direct quote from his writing.

And this gave me much pause:

We are able to maintain ourselves on this earth only by being harnessed to the machines we have invented.

17 comments:

  1. Ironic that he died in one of the machines that we are harnessed to

    I read some reviews of Rings at Amazon.com I will get the book in the new year.Thanks for the tip to your followers.

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  2. I do hope you enjoy him as much I did, GFB. He really opens up the mind to history and its effects and how everything beneath our feet carries so much information.
    XO
    WWW

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  3. I'll add him to my list of authors to seek out. Thanks!
    When I saw his name it rang a bell - couldn't remember why...maybe a poem - or a book I'd needed to look up? Then I remembered - I used a quote of his in my sidebar (as relevant to that day's post) not long ago -this one:

    “It seems to me then as if all the moments of our life occupy the same space, as if future events already existed and were only waiting for us to find our way to them at last, just as when we have accepted an invitation we duly arrive in a certain house at a given time.”
    ― W.G. Sebald, Austerlitz

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  4. When you find a writer you like, you hope that all of his books are as good as the one that enamored you and sometimes that is the case. Often it is just that book that was the highlight of his oeuvre and the others don't live up to it. That is such a disappointment because you want the same rush and the same thrill. I hope you find it in the other books you ordered and that you will have much reading pleasure. xox Ee-ray-nuh

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  5. Yes, T, I have Austerlitz on order and can hardly wait.

    How serendipitous you quoted him recently!

    I think you will enjoy him. His strolls and treks in the English countryside are full of lore and information.

    XO
    WWW

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  6. Irene:
    Well, going by the two I already read, I sure hope the others live up to that!
    I hope Texas is all you anticipated and more!!
    XO
    WWW

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  7. There was a time when we were not harnessed to machines. Good and bad to both, I guess.

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  8. I'm sure I will enjoy his books WWW.Having toured a few old battle fields I have an appreciation for your statement:"how everything beneath our feet carries so much information."

    Irene if I may : Texas is BIG but two and half of that state can fit inside Ontario province :)I heard that those friendly Texans call us Canadians that winter there Winter Texans....love that.

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  9. Thanks for the pointer. I am in the midst of another historian's remarkable work about which my blog post will speak tomorrow.

    Sometimes, I do feel like a luddite!

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  10. SAW:
    Ever since we invented the wheel and the plough, etc., we are harnessed well!!

    XO
    WWW

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  11. OWJ:

    I've never met anyone I haven't learned something from.

    XO
    WWW

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  12. GFB:

    I would love to visit Beaumont Hamel one day. (I've written about it but never been there)

    XO
    WWW

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  13. Ramana:
    I do hope you share, always look forward to your recommendations!
    XO
    WWW

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  14. I've not read him, but will certainly give him a try. Meanwhile, all the very best for Christmas and the New Year, WWW. I know you're not too fond of the festival, but I just forget the religious aspect and celebrate all the wonders that winter brings.

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  15. RJA:
    Same to you my friend. Solstice is the beginning of the season of light as you know and it already nourishes me.
    XO
    WWW

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