Saturday, June 27, 2009

the disobedient reader...viewer

Why an image from Sunless? Well, a blog on Sebald, Vertigo: Collecting& Reading W.G. Sebald, compares Marker and Sebald.
This site also reviews Australian author Deane Blackler's book, “Reading W.G. Sebald: Adventure and Disobedience”. I have found her analysis of Sebald's narrator persona insightful. She looks at how we read Sebald and argues that his books call forth a proactive reader: one who is challenged to question the text by his use of seemingly documentary photographs, the pseudo-autobiographical narrators.

In Island Home Country I peer into my own ‘white’ mind, and create a narrator – a staged performance – of white instability, uncertainty, fissure. As Blackler reflects in her study of W.G. Sebald ‘how can the reader trust this mad writer narrator as a guide'… as in this film, I create a narrator who is ‘trying’ to make a film, a filmmaker who ‘forgets to turn on the microphone’, a narrator who says, ‘this film is dissolving’; a narrator who loses her way. ‘Where is the reader to go? If we follow a ‘mad’ narrator, won’t we be implicated in (her) pathology?….This self-conscious writer, this constructed ‘I’ is not a stable authorial figure. Blackler argues that this unstable, figure gives birth to a ‘disobedient reader’, one who has to break ranks, cross an unstable line, in order to stay empathic.