Passing Time

I discovered Sebald and Butor at around the same time, and noted the biographical coincidence that both had spent time at the University of Manchester, but it’s only with the publication of Across the Land and the Water that I’ve discovered quite how strong the links between the writers are.    Reading The Emigrants, I had been struck by the echoes of Butor’s descriptions of Manchester, but had attributed them mainly to the common subject – after all, there are common features in descriptions of the city, particularly of the first encounters with the city, across a couple of centuries, upon which both authors draw.  In the light of the ‘Mancunian Cantical’ however,  it’s very clear that Butor’s novel was a direct influence, and of real significance to Sebald.  I’ve gone back since both to the Max Ferber segment of The Emigrants, and to the final part of

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