Entre el tiempo y la historicidad: reflexiones sobre Austerlitz de W. G. Sebald // [Between time and historicity: reflections on WG Sebald's Austerlitz]

This paper addresses the relations between time and historicity that different kinds of writing can express. Our analysis will focus on W. G. Sebald’s novel Austerlitz (2001), which portrays the search and construction of the origins of a man, Jacques Austerlitz, who, as a child exiled due to the Nazi occupation of Prague, has lost his identity. This novel will allow us to analyze the ways in which our idea of time influences that of history, how these ideas condition writing (be it historiographical or literary), and with which amplitudes a narration can express temporality. As a guide for our analysis, we will use concepts taken from authors such as Hayden White, Reinhart Koselleck, François Hartog and Michel de Certeau. We will also show the contributions Austerlitz offers to the reflection on the modes of construction of knowledge regarding extreme events of the 20th century, such as “the final solution” and the Holocaust, which have been conceptualized by White as “modernist events”.