ECHT SEBALD:ON PETER WEISS, IN “THE NATURAL HISTORY OF DESTRUCTION”

“…a now permanent state of destruction. What is seen, here and now, is already an underworld beyond anything natural, a surreal region of industrial complexes and machines, chimneys, silos, viaducts,walls, labyrinths, leafless trees, and{incongrously, but ALL is incongruent in this monstrously deformed physical and psychological world}cheap fairground attractions, in which the protagonists, scarcely alive anymore,exist as wholly autistic beings without any past history”.

This refers to a scene inWeiss’s “Das Grosse Welttheater”(“The Great World Theatre”, 1937).

But could just as well be Sebald’s powerful response to the (slightly later) total destruction of German cities in World War 2 by the Allied Powers policy of carpet bombing.

I am not a historian, nor am I Jewish; so am not qualified to speak, with any authority or in any detail at all, on the subjects in Sebald’s Four lectures “On the Natural History of Destruction”(2003, in English, in its 4 lecture, full version). The book, as far as I can tell, is about:

The deathly silence around the subject of Germany’s destroyed cities, town and villages; and the concomitant trauma to their survivors, a silence which can only partly, Sebald argues, be ascribed to the unspeakable trauma in itself; but is also about

Collective guilt, LEADING  TO silence

The need to RE-construct and forget the past, primarily from a psychological need to wipe the (historical) slate clean. He speaks as a German( and, very significantly, as a non-Jewish German..)

I feel unable to say any more. It is a disturbing, uncomfortable read.

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Published by: decayetude

ENTHUSIASMS: CLASSICAL MUSIC, ESPECIALLY OBSCURE ROMANTIC COMPOSERS; BACH/HANDEL LITERATURE, ESPECIALLY THOUGHTFUL, WELL-WRITTEN(STYLISTICALLY)NOVELS W G SEBALD WALTER BENJAMIN THEODOR ADORNO(JUST BEGINNING!) AESTHETIC PHILOSOPHY GAY MEN'S WRITING;QUEER THEORY STIMULATING DISCUSSIONS(EMOTIONALLY AND INTELLECTUALLY) GOOD RICH THICK ESPRESSO MICHAEL PONTI SPRITUALITY/LIFE'S "AURA"(BENJAMIN), WHATEVER TRANSCENDENTAL THING YOU WANT TO CALL THIS MEMORY-the elusiveness thereof. LOST TIME AND AN ATTEMPT AT ITS REDEMPTION(NON THEISTICALLY/RELIGIOUSLY)

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