Of train stations and haunted German prose; or, a note in the wake of a failed sociability

September 27, 2011 § 1 Comment

Dear                   ,

Something I meant to say earlier today. When I was last in Antwerp, I insured that, as my train was entering that famed station, which stands next to a zoo, a fact that has always stood out to me without making any impression in so standing, until just now, but I will say nothing of it, I was re-reading the first thirty or so pages of W.G Sebald’s book Austerlitz, which I saw on one of the shelves closest to you this afternoon, and when I saw it I remembered my, as I think about it maybe a little silly, insistence on reading those pages, though the book itself is great and suffers no apologies for its having been read or re-read, but when time came to suggest that you, whose opinion of such things I value for reasons that surely, but unspeakably, elude us both, should also read them, if not the entire book, I either forgot or my social skills, such as they are, betrayed me, and I felt compelled, rather, to leave, to absent myself, succeeding, however, only in absenting you, than to speak of train stations & haunted German prose. Thus, this note.

I hope you are & remain well.

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