Tag Archives: sebald

A week when Sebald found me

One evening in December T showed me a manuscript copy of A place in the country, a collection of Sebald’s essays that was originally published in German nearly two decades ago. This spring, the English translation was published (and available May … Continue reading

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Finding the pockets

Beginnings and ends of semesters are frantic. Middles are not much better. But there are always pockets, and this week was full of the most magnificent pockets — even amidst the height of administrative banality. Two pockets have to do … Continue reading

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shifting materiality of the “work week”

This week, teaching meant being a student — returning to joyfulness, to receiving without the expectation of giving (in the familiar and staid ways), to sharing vulnerabilities through silence and observation, to giving oneself over to the unexpected shapes or … Continue reading

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tragic flaw

We all have them, those personality traits or characteristics that we can’t shake no matter how many self-help books we read, conversations we have with friends, meditation retreats we attend… For some, the trait is being too closed off, putting … Continue reading

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earliest memory

“What is your earliest memory?” — these were the words embroidered onto a square pillow at the center of a photograph posted by Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade or vintage goods. More often than not, Etsy posts offer both … Continue reading

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humans of kerala

The phenomenon that is HONY has inspired numerous photographic spinoffs — among them, (the occasionally quirky captions of) Humans of Paris, (the close-up portraits of) Souls of San Francisco, (the “still finding its groove”) Humans of London, and several more — even … Continue reading

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Saturation — sabbatical as pilgrimage, part 1

A dry sponge has a limit to how much liquid it can hold, after which point it oozes out more than it soaks up thus rendering it, effectively, no longer worthy of its name: sponge. That moment, just before the … Continue reading

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“We only know that to live is to live for.”

Much in the same way that the writings of Transtromer and Calvino found their way onto the dashboard of my mind’s eye, so, too, have the words of Paz once again surfaced and made themselves known. This time, they were … Continue reading

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hastily sketched notes on the train to Cromer

The two-carriage train pulls way from the station with slow revving of the engines. Like an extended cough, one that makes no dent in the conversation between a father and his boys in which the former is laying out the … Continue reading

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(im)mortality

“And when he died, I suddenly realized I wasn’t crying for him at all, but for all the things he did.” Those words, from Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, were tweeted and retweeted with great frequency in the past 48 hours. … Continue reading

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perfect day with a side of fleeting bird

This is the sky above me as I attempt some writing at a local cafe. As the words are not flowing, I am allowing myself some creative procrastination that has come in the form of several unsent tweets, responding to … Continue reading

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being bookish

my blogging has suffered a bit in recent weeks as my extra-sabbatical readings and writings have been a bit more demanding than i anticipated. i hope they will yield some potentially ponderous and interesting postings over here in the weeks … Continue reading

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getting lost

“Alfred Wainwright was a British fellwalker.” Instantly, I am jealous. Before clicking on the explanatory Wikipedia link, before I am actually clear about what this moniker implies, I am jealous. Because I suspect that such a title indicates a life … Continue reading

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cities made visible

i spent part of the past 24 hours moving in and out of the cityscapes described in italo calvino’s “invisible cities” that are being brought to life by artist colleen corradi brannigan. read more in an article about this effort … Continue reading

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the straying butterfly

in his introduction of w.g. sebald during the german author’s appearance at the jewish community center in new york city in december, 2001, andre aciman spoke about the uncanny nature of our encounters with texts. that is, free from a … Continue reading

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