Last week I was recently invited to give a paper at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. Here are a few snaps from the trip…
The coast of St Andrews, Scotland.
The coast of St Andrews, Scotland. Photograph: Rhys Tranter

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W. G. Sebald
W. G. Sebald
From a 2000 interview by Jens Mühling

Sebald: Being a writer is by no means an easy profession. It is full of difficulties, full of obstacles. For a start, there is the psychology of the author, which is not a simple one. There are these situations when suddenly nothing seems to work anymore, when you feel unable to say anything. In such cases it is very helpful if someone can tell you that this happens to everybody, and show you how one might deal with such problems. In these situations it is very often the case that people neglect the research aspect. Every writer knows that sometimes the best ideas come to you while you are reading something else, say, something about Bismarck, and then suddenly, somewhere between the lines, your head starts drifting, and you arrive at the ideas you need. This research, this kind of disorderly research, so to speak, is the best way of coping with these difficulties. If you sit in front of a blank sheet of paper like a frightened rabbit, things won’t change. In such situations you just have to let it be for a while. (more…)

Codrington Library at All Souls College in Oxford
Codrington Library at All Souls College in Oxford

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Friedrich Schiller's workspace. Photograph: Patrick Lakey.
Friedrich Schiller’s workspace. Photograph: Patrick Lakey.

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Photograph: Vivian Maier

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