Have you ever read something so good, so skillfully subtle and thoughtful and emotional and striking and shocking and beautiful, something that pulled at your mind and heart so softly and strongly that you wonder how it can possibly exist? That makes you wonder if it even does exist in this same, perfect way for anyone but you? This, so far, is how I feel every time I read Sebald… Each time, he leaves me wondering about my reason for writing, my motivations for trying, when I’ll never be able to have such an impact, such mysteriously amazing skill.
But on the other hand, it gives me something to aim for, and be inspired by. If I can summon even a fraction of the strange, wistful, surreal, nostalgic, dark, unearthly feelings his books give me into one of my own writings, then I’ll consider that a life success.