lulling) the eye, the images' precise positions on the page come to
acquire a great deal of significance, as they do redirect and possibly
refocus the eye, and therefore the attention and the mental process of
the reader. Because there are precious few paragraph breaks in
Austerlitz, the interruptions of these images are made more noticeable,
and begin to assume (at least in the way I was reading) the role of
paragraph breaks—suitable nodes within the flow of thoughts,
appropriate pausing points for a moment of reflection on the preceding
words. One would think that this additional semantic role would mean
that the images' position would be more obviously finessed, managed, or
at least considered—there would be more of an obvious effort to arrange
the page in a way that maximized the semantic meaning of the image
placement. But this isn't the case.
Now, the obvious comment to
be made here is that I was reading in English, and Sebald was writing
in a language that often differs in syntactical structure . . .
That itself brings up another good question: how do you "translate" image placement?