(42) Not surprisingly, then, all of Sebald's characters are melancholiacs
His book sets out to present a synthesis of More's works that will aid appreciation of the moral and cultural depths of More's Christian humanism while resolving inconsistencies which Wegemer sees as misreadings of the texts and hence as specious occasions for theorizing an enraged, melancholiac
or sex-possessed Thomas More.
A text that seemed to have devoured the mother is finally devoured by her--although, since the melancholiac
wishes to remain in maternal bondage, such massive collapse is an ambivalent "end."
The first passage begins in the simple present tense, correlating the observer's now with that of the observed action of specular self-appraisal represented by the etching, but the second sentence slides into the historical present, which makes vivid not only the past action Chapman describes but also the questions her description raises: is there any way of telling whether the image of a melancholiac
was produced by a melancholiac
, or at least by a self-styled melancholiac