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Sebald's eccentric architecture lifts one outside of a time-bounded universe and reveals our lives, and history in general, as a mere series of points on the space-time grid that offer no revelations as to the mystery of life and reveal no pattern, no meaning. For what meaning can the Holocaust have? On a less philosophical note, Austerlitz, and Sebald's writing generally, is an evocation, if not an elegy, for the European civilization that self-immolated in WW2, burning to ash three thousand years of history in the Nazi powered crucible of war.