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Day 11

Max Ferber, to end

June 20, 2021 by Elisa Gabbert

The figure of the butterfly man or boy, the lepidopterist and “messenger of joy” who appears in each section is curious, the kind of unlikely coincidence that makes our lives appear scripted, a show for the gods.

It’s here in the final pages that Sebald’s presence as the author becomes more forceful, his doubt and frustrations with the text he is writing breaking through like street noise that enters the dream.

Remembering the grave with the writer’s quill in the Jewish cemetery at Kissingen, “it feels as if *I* had lost her,” Sebald writes. There is profound identification with his subjects, both a result of & a reason for his seamless embedding of narratives.

His work has made history real, and he seems to question his right to resurrect these lives…I think he is shaken and sickened because he cannot resurrect them without also resurrecting evil. They are inextricable from their world.

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