Accepted paper:

pdf download Walking Auschwitz, walking without arriving


Nigel Rapport (St. Andrews University)

Paper short abstract:

The paper interweaves three phenomenlogical strands: an account by Kertesz of his walking Nazi concentration camps in World War Two; an account by Sebald of a walking tour in Suffolk; and an account of my walking round the Auschwitz memorial site in present-day Poland.

Paper long abstract:

The paper is an interweaving of three strands: an account by Imre Kertesz of his experiences in Nazi concentration camps in the Second World War which he published as the novel, Fateless; an account of a walking tour in Suffolk which W. G. Sebald published as the travelogue, The Rings of Saturn; and an account of my own of visiting the Auschwitz memorial site which has been constructed on the edge of the Polish city. Linking the three strands is the issue of the phenomenology of walking: the consciousness which is capacitated by this activity and the accompanying power to interpret one's life and surroundings in particular ways. Kertesz would walk the Nazi lager without stopping for death; Sebald would walk the Suffolk landscape without admitting the passage of time; Rapport would walk Auschwitz without falling victim to the systemic constructions of others.

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Everyday adventures in being: experiencing the city and landscape