The reader needs to be prompted that the narrator has a conscience. That he is and has been, perhaps for a long time, engaged with these questions. And this is why the main scenes of horror [in the holocaust] are never directly addressed [in The Rings of Saturn]. I think it is sufficient to remind people because we’ve all seen images, but these images militate against our capacity for discursive thinking, for reflecting upon these things, and also paralyze our moral capacity. So the only way one can approach these things in my view is obliquely, tangentially, by reference rather than by direct confrontation.

W. G. Sebald

W. G. Sebald quoted in Grant Gee’s Patience (After Sebald) (2012).

Bryce Wilner