Tuesday, August 17, 2010

And one more thing about AUSTERLITZ...

A tiny detail in Austerlitz has bothered me for two readings now. Either Sebald or his translator mistakenly sets Austerlitz's East End home on 'Alderney Street.' In reality, the East End street is called Alderney Road. Alderney Street is on the other side of the City in Pimlico. And now the question arises: Is this merely a mistake, or is it an intentional error, a tiny alteration of reality that takes Sebald's novel out of the London A to Z and sets it in a fictional world?

4 comments:

David K. O'Hara said...

This is interesting. Someone should check the original (I haven't got a copy on me) to see if 'straße' hasn't been, in this case, mistakenly translated as 'street'.

Sigrid said...

This is precisely what struck me when reading the original: that it says (on p.324 in my copy of the book), "als wir zusammen das Haus in der Alderney Street verließen", instead of Alderney Road. I was rather mad at him, actually ;-) when I found out. A simple interference from Sebald's native German would be an explanation. On the other hand, I quite like the idea of Sebald setting up a parallel world, using just one small word.

Flaxman Low said...

I can confirm that the street in question is Alderney Road, London E1 4EG as I met Sebald at the disused cemetery there many years ago.

Anne J. said...

There are more little mistakes. He talked about a visit of a museum in 1959 (8th Sept.). He reported it was a Septembersunday. If you look in a calendary you'll recognize it was a Tuesday instead. Maybe it is a author's game.