Right now, I am rereading W.G. Sebald’s The Emigrants.
I always make a note of the date I read a book on the front pages. It says that twenty years have passed and that back then, I was traveling between Nida, Kaliningrad, Danzig and Zürich.
Sometimes I use a pencil to place dot marks on the page margins and write down the page numbers. This happens mostly if a statement or a sentence triggers a reaction in me.
Back in those days, I marked up three areas:
P. 256 ›to get back to a long covered up trace of an experience I never dared to touch.‹
P. 259 ›the lagoon of lacking memory‹
P. 258 ›No matter which precautions I took consciously or subconsciously to immunize myself against the suffering of my parents and my own, and how successful I may have been at times to keep a mental balance in my refuge, the misfortune of my youthful novitiate had taken such deep roots that it was able to later shoot up again, grow evil blossoms and arch up the poisonous roof of leaves above me that overshadowed and darkened my final years so much.‹
Mats Staub, Berlin, 6 January 2021