Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald, translated from the German by Anthea Bell, is a slow, meditative, and at times haunting account of a Jewish man who was sent away as a small child to England from Czechoslovakia when the Nazi threat loomed large. It is only late into his adulthood that he begins to explore his past, and unravel the mystery of what happened to him. Both the delay and the search are reflected upon in this beautiful novel chock full of entrancing imagery and humanity. But more than that, this book recalls a Europe that – though tragic in many ways – represented an entire civilization that is no longer accessible, some of which was also beautiful and (it turns out) fragile. This is an astonishing work that seems to call to us from a different time when time itself moved slower, and an insightful look at violence stretched over time.
So..it’s been another month and here I am, type-type-typing. Today, I accidentally printed out the holds list from my scheduled day off last week (I always pull the olds if I’m in, pulling the holds is my thing) and while I therefore found almost nothing, I still found 3 books that the person who did holds last week did not find because I AM BOSS. Then I did the actual holds with my superior style and everyone in Brooklyn should thank me because I AM ON THE JOB.
But seriously, I did holds twice today because I am an idiot.
I had a really lovely, social weekend. I saw Spotlight and I loved it and am pretty much decided that “newsroom procedurals” are my favorite type of movie. I also had a harrowing experience last week leading one of my grad classes. Why did I sign up to go first? I have mostly decided that the professor actually thinks I did a good job and is not just trying to reassure me, but there is this gigantic gap between the brilliant, captivating person I appear as in my head and the total mess I am in real life.
I finally bought the D.T. Max biography of David Foster Wallace who was like the center of my world from 2011-2012. I mean, my literary world. I also bought some Charles Bukowski poetry because it is just so great. So mostly I’ve been reading or reading about witty white dead dudes, for which I can’t bring myself to feel too guilty.
What can I say? There’s nothing big to say. I need a nap.