Big Loves: Andrew Allport on W. G. Sebald’s Austerlitz


_MG_1814_BW_smallToday’s contributor to Big Loves is Andrew Allport. Andrew is the author of the book the body | of space | in the shape of the human (New Issues Press, 2012) and the chapbook The Ice Ship & Other Vessels (Proem Press, 2008). He holds a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California, and lives in Colorado.

I began reading Austerlitz in the fall of 2001 on a train heading east from Geneva, up the Interlaken valley and eventually to the tiny station at Hasliberg-Hohfluh, in the middle of the Swiss Alps. I had forsaken the United States after the 2000 election, which, as I saw it, had exposed a political system dependent on money and ignorance, offering two candidates whose inability to distinguish themselves from each other only underscored the fact that no substantial difference existed. In short, I was young: naïve, quick to judge others…

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