Extra-territorial places in W. G. Sebald’s Austerlitz

Melanie Dilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz (2001) demonstrates how narrative technique can still open up new ways of personal engagement with the past of the Second World War: hybrid constructions of the documentary and the fictional as well as a shift of focus from an objective to a subjective truth put the active reader into the foreground. This article will focus on examples from Sebald’s book where the temporal gap between a place’s history and its visitor is most striking. The protagonist’s coping strategy is to pick up on the traces distributed in the text so that as the result of constant negotiations new meanings in the sense of a Third Space are revealed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-302
Number of pages14
JournalHolocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History
Issue number2-3
Early online date1 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • W. G. Sebald
  • Memory
  • Terezín
  • Walter Benjamin


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