In his much-discussed texts, W. G. Sebald engages the classical double bind of a posttraumatic situation, particularly a situation in which one lives in the heavy shadow of atrocities one did not directly "perpetrate" but for which one nonetheless bears a sense of responsibility if not guilt.

Sensitive to both historical and formal problems in the writing of literature, this lecture explores the stylistic and substantive ways Sebald works his way into and at times through this double bind whereby one feels constrained endlessly to speak of the unspeakable.

Dominick LaCapra is the Bryce and Edith M. Bowmar Professor of Humanistic Studies and Professor of History and Comparative Literature at Cornell University.

This lecture was sponsored by the School of Criticism & Theory.