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APS TOGETHER

The Emigrants by W. G. Sebald Day 10

June 19, 2021 | Max Ferber ("who was then staying in Kissingen"), p. 191-213

Again someone gives Sebald (or the narrator) a document he has a kind of obligation to experience on their behalf, and again the document is wondrous, transporting, devastating.



At first S. keeps reminding us that these are Luisa’s words, but soon we are fully immersed in her voice, her world. “Ferdinand Lion even smokes a cigar!” We feel we’re hearing directly from the child’s mind/POV, though we are many steps removed.



As there is for her son in the future, there’s a pivot point in Luisa’s life when memory falters. She pinpoints the moment when “childhood ended”—which surely involved a slow realization that her religion made her an outcast in her own country.


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