[…] once you have been in an academic career for twenty years certain chores are given you and your range of freedom becomes restricted. Demands of all kinds are made at the same time as family pressures begin to mount and you feel that at that midway point in your life your personality is being eroded and you must think of measures of self-defence. One of the best means of self-defence, as one knows, is to go into the potting shed and build something that no one understands or no one knows what it is meant to be. That is how the writing of literary texts began for me. It was an eccentric pastime that no one knew about; not even people in my own house knew what I was doing exactly. I just pottered away and produced these bits […]
W. G. Sebald, in Christopher Bigsby, Writers in Conversation, The Arthur Miller Centre for American Studies, Norwich, 2000 and 2001, Vol. 2. Via Vertigo: Collecting W.G. Sebald.