DOLBY “DOES” SEBALD, THINKING HE IS A SCI-FI WRITER, AND NOT HAVING READ A PAGE!BY STEVEN BENSON

psyched myself up….(vallium first!)….asked Thomas Dolby-after his “The Invisible Lighthouse”(beautiful meditation on memory, decay and place, filmed on the Suffolk Coast, near Orford Ness), shown 22.9.13, Liverpool “Fact”:- if he had read any WG Sebald, in particular “Rings of Saturn”…He thought Sebald was a sci-fi writer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, who said pejorative things about Suffolk…

must admit that the film-cum-self-composed -music was a beautiful evocation of the sad tale of this Suffolk lighthouse, its beam switched off forever in June 2013, stranded amidst the disintegrating , shingle Suffolk coastline, on the edge of the sinister, eerie Orford Ness…

Orford Ness…WG Sebald… “Rings of Saturn”… and… a sci-fi novel???????????Well, Sebald has the famous tear in time(into the future?) in the Dunwich Heath scene therein. Dolby has his reporting of the landing of the alien craft in the nearby woods…Different ways of explaining the transendent/our future…Some metaphysical breaking into our world of a parallel one, a future one… Now I am sounding all scifi!..

Yes the Suffolk landscape, particuarly the eroding coastline, IS ripe for musical/historical/poetic representation and re-envisionning; and, of course, the concomitant symbolism of man’s impermanence and the mutability of the earth and elements themselves…but this strange{what? : eerie serendipity} of Sebald’s writing. Not a case, on this occasion of Dolby having read or even known about Sebald and the “Rings of Saturn” and then re-imagined memories in the light of that awareness/reading, but…

prefigurative deja vu..like my prefigurative experience (of eventually starting to read Sebald many years later) yet  seen BACKWARDS, when viewed from the perpective of , later, reading the books:…..{I know what I mean!}. Presque vu..always  seen.. and then deja vu.. but the essence of deja vue because somewhere you DID experience these things: I did visit pre-refurbished (Austerlitz’ and his narrator’s)Liverpool Street Station, 26 years BEFORE  reading “Austerlitz”;so I sort of knew “Austerlitz” back in 1983..

Feelings evoked: spectral revenance….desuetude of old stations… shared humanity(the collective subconcsious?).

Dolby’s event explored memory and how we distort and re-arrange it to suit our(current) nostalgia needs, as we grow older(this is how he himself explained it after the event). But how a kind of projected into the future but yet a memory .. a memory of the future.. sounds like scifi again. We always KNEW it was there; IT: significant events, memories, things, before we saw/experienced them…{I am really struggling to put it into words}: its like some simultaneity of past, present and future, (analogous to Derrida’s trace?)… My friend with his thesis on Sebald, supervised by a former colleague of Sebald; my malaise-ridden walks in 1983 round east London; and the abjection of his homosexual characters, again an abjection similarly experienced by myself in the early/mid 80s…. sometimes we only know what happened to us in hindsight(if we can afford to know at all, cf Austerlitz)..

what brings all these co-incidences to birth/together; were they MEANT to be (brought together)?…

And perhaps Helen Finch, and her as part catalyst for my OWN re-reading of  Sebald, will enable me to see that Sebald is more than memory, loss, a melancholic nihilistic world vision; that he offers REAL moments, not just of immanence, but of queer Utopias in the NOW(not just some vague metaphysical redemption, yearn for it though I do).

Of course I had her book in my hand when I saw the Dolby event………

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About decayetude

ENTHUSIASMS: CLASSICAL MUSIC, ESPECIALLY OBSCURE ROMANTIC COMPOSERS; BACH/HANDEL LITERATURE, ESPECIALLY THOUGHTFUL, WELL-WRITTEN(STYLISTICALLY)NOVELS W G SEBALD WALTER BENJAMIN THEODOR ADORNO(JUST BEGINNING!) AESTHETIC PHILOSOPHY GAY MEN'S WRITING;QUEER THEORY STIMULATING DISCUSSIONS(EMOTIONALLY AND INTELLECTUALLY) GOOD RICH THICK ESPRESSO MICHAEL PONTI SPRITUALITY/LIFE'S "AURA"(BENJAMIN), WHATEVER TRANSCENDENTAL THING YOU WANT TO CALL THIS MEMORY-the elusiveness thereof. LOST TIME AND AN ATTEMPT AT ITS REDEMPTION(NON THEISTICALLY/RELIGIOUSLY)
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