. . none of the books [ of W.G. Sebald] published while he was alive were labeled as fiction or nonfiction, novel or essays. And he made sure that storytelling was at the heart of it. In Austerlitz, for example, he does what I term (for personal use) “concentric narration” (he said that she said that he said . . . ) whereby whatever comes from the past passes through people. The only way to have an organic connection with the past is by way of narration, while the knowledge of (as opposed to information about) history has to be shared in language. I always thought that Sebald used photographs in his books in order to expose their failure as documents. He places photos to interrupt the narration so as to show that they mean nothing unless they are inside storytelling. Photography might be self-authenticating (as Roland Barthes thought) but their authentic truth is available only in language, as practiced in narration.
Aleksandar Hemon (interviewing Teju Cole) (from here)
©Clara Brack, Roses, awaiting a story to enfold them