Publication Date



The following essay provides a look into the role of the unconscious in the protagonist’s process of remembering in W.G. Sebald’s novel, Austerlitz. It aims to show that objects and places can reveal more than the actual information to which they are a repository or the purpose they were designed to serve. Rather, they function as connectors to the hidden world of repressed experiences. Recurring with obstinacy in the protagonist’s path, such connectors both show the way and obscure the view toward that which makes the real end of the search, that which has been lost. Thus, they not only provide an Ariadne’s thread to the protagonist’s search for himself but also to the reader’s literary experience. Using some concepts drawn from psychoanalytical theory, this essay hopes to make a contribution toward enhancing that experience.