n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - Geschichte(n) nach Auschwitz : W.G. Sebald und die Stadt der Toten




In the story "Max Aurach", one of four parts in the volume Die Ausgewanderten (The Emigrants) by W.G. Sebald, Manchester is presented in terms that mark it as a city of the dead. This has a twofold application: one, it refers to the remnants of the age of industrial capitalism and modernity and two, to a world after the Holocaust. The bleak urban scenery signals a topography beyond the end of history which, in Sebald's narrative, is heightened by a dense intertextual web, with allusions to Kafka, Friedrich Engels and Peter Weiss, among others. The focus on the artist Max Aurach, an exile from Germany and a survivor of the Holocaust, emphasizes not only one of Sebald's central concerns, viz. the challenges of aesthetic production after Auschwitz, but also draws the quasi-autobiographical first-person narrator into this discourse via analogies with the writing activity and his location as an exile.


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