Sunday, April 22, 2012
Given to me by Jonathon Welch, proprietor of Talking Leaves Books. I hope having made public the fact he gave away an Advance Reader's Copy does not bring him any trouble from the publishing industry. Apologies if it does..
When I first read Sebald, I got so excited that I immediately wrote his name on a list of writers I was submitting for an NEA grant for "If All Of Buffalo Read The Same Book." I was able to add his name to the list just in time to send the grant in before the deadline. It took about a month for me to realize that he was already dead, and had been for two years. Oops. Thankfully, no one at the NEA paid much attention to my mistake.
I am tempted here to make a comment about the Blazevox controversy. I'll refrain.
In the second half of the 1960s I traveled repeatedly from England to Belgium, partly for study purposes, partly for other reasons which were never entirely clear to me, staying sometimes for just one or two days, sometimes for several weeks. On one of these Belgian excursions which, as it seemed to me, always took me further and further abroad, I came on a glorious early summer's day to the city of Antwerp, known to me previously only by name. Even on my arrival, as the train rolled slowly over the viaduct with its curious pointed turrets on both sides and into the dark station concourse, I had begun to feel unwell, and this sense of indisposition persisted for the whole of my visit to Belgium on that occasion.