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The Type Case of Forgotten Things

Over at Andrew Goodall’s beautiful blog Mursejlerne, there are a couple of recent posts (here and here) from Prague, where he photographed Šporkova street and other locations of interest to readers of W.G. Sebald.

As a reminder, here’s the relevant quote from Sebald’s Austerlitz:

Mrs Ambrosová suggested that before crossing the river I might begin my inquiries in the Lesser Quarter, which wasn’t ten minutes’ walk away from here, she said, I could try Šporkova, a small street a few paces uphill from the Schönborn Palace, where the register of inhabitants for 1938 said that Agáta Austerlitzová had been living at Number Twelve in that year….Then there was the cool air as I entered the front hall of Number 12 Šporkova, the metal box for the electrics built into the wall beside the entrance with its lightning symbol, the octofoil mosaic flower in shades of dove gray and snow white set in the flecked artificial-stone floor, the smell of damp limewash, the gently rising flight of stairs, with hazelnut-shaped iron knobs placed at intervals in the handrail of the banisters – all of them signs and characters from the type case of forgotten things, I thought, and was overcome by such a state of blissful yet anxious confusion that more than once I had to sit down on the steps in the quiet stairwell and lean my head against the wall.

Andrew’s blog is full of beautiful, enigmatic, and unpeopled photographs of his travels and a few other references to Sebald.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Having participated in a book of fiction with my photographs (The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon) I have a great interest in photography embedded fiction. Of course, I am a great admirer of W.G. Sebald so I read your blog with much interest.

    I know this post might not be the right place but I wanted to bring to your attention two books that contain photographs and it seems that you haven’t mentioned them here before. The first one is The Snows of Yesteryear by Gregor Von Rezzori, and second, a wonderful book originally published in Serbo-Croatian and available in French (but not in English as far as I know) La Vie de Malvina Trifkovic by Mirko Kovac.
    Hope you get a chance to take a look at these, if you haven’t already.

    All the Best in 2010,

    January 1, 2010
  2. Dear Terry,
    This post of yours only just came to my attention… so belated thanks for the kind words!
    Your blog has been a source of many discoveries and I shall enjoy chancing upon new finds as you continue with the great work you do here. The modes of attention and spaces of imagination in photography and writing counterpoint each other in fascinating ways (and I see a comment above mentioning a case in point in The Lazarus Project).
    Kind regards, Andrew

    November 9, 2010

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