Often, in describing the actual world, he paints it similarly, detail by detail, attentive always to effects of the light. In “Calm November Weather,” he gives an account of a reading given by a Greenlandic poet that he’d attended:
sounds of her feathery
jjuag she says the
the great darkness &
lifting her arm
What earns Sebald the gratitude and affection of readers, and makes this book a splendid addition to an already extraordinary oeuvre, is encapsulated in the fragment above: the great darkness, the shimmering light. He was able to pin both down, time and again and with impeccable technique, onto the printed page. His are the books of our history opened before us.