Austerlitz, the internationally acclaimed masterpiece by “one of the most gripping writers imaginable” (The New York Review of Books), is the story of a man’s search for the answer to his life’s central riddle. A small child when he comes to England on a Kindertransport in the summer of 1939, one Jacques Aus-terlitz is told nothing of his real family by the Welsh Methodist minister and his wife who raise him. When he is a much older man, fleeting memories return to him, and obeying an instinct he only dimly understands, he follows their trail back to the world he left behind a half century before. There, faced with the void at the heart of twentieth-century Europe, he struggles to rescue his heritage from oblivion.
After Nature, W. G. Sebald’s first literary work, now translated into English by Michael Hamburger, explores the lives of three men connected by their restless questioning of humankind’s place in the natural world. From the efforts of each, “an order arises, in places beautiful and comforting, though more cruel, too, than the previous state of ignorance.” The first figure is the great German Re-naissance painter Matthias Grünewald. The second is the Enlightenment botanist-explorer Georg Steller, who accompanied Bering to the Arctic. The third is the author himself, who describes his wanderings among landscapes scarred by the wrecked certainties of previous ages. After Nature introduces many of the themes that W. G. Sebald explored in his subsequent books. A haunting vision of the waxing and waning tides of birth and devastation that lie behind and before us, it confirms the author’s position as one of the most profound and original writers of our time. From the Hardcover edition.
“W. G. Sebald exemplified the best kind of cosmopolitan literary intelligence–humane, digressive, deeply erudite, unassuming and tinged with melancholy. . . . In [Campo Santo] Sebald reveals his distinctive tone, as his winding sentences gradually mingle together curiosity and plangency, learning and self-revelation. . . . [Readers will] be rewarded with unexpected illuminations.” –The Washington Post Book World This final collection of essays by W. G. Sebald offers profound ruminations on many themes common to his work–the power of memory and personal history, the connections between images in the arts and life, the presence of ghosts in places and artifacts. Some of these pieces pay tribute to the Mediterranean island of Corsica, weaving elegiacally between past and present, examining, among other things, the island’s formative effect on its most famous citizen, Napoleon. In others, Sebald examines how the works of Günter Grass and Heinrich Böll reveal “the grave and lasting deformities in the emotional lives” of postwar Germans; how Kafka echoes Sebald’s own interest in spirit presences among mortal beings; and how literature can be an attempt at restitution for the injustices of the real world. Dazzling in its erudition, accessible in its deep emotion, Campo Santo confirms Sebald’s status as one of the great modern writers who divined and expressed the invisible connections that determine our lives. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: W.G. Sebald
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2014-02-18
Genre: Literary Collections
A Place in the Country is W. G. Sebald’s meditation on the six artists and writers who shaped his creative mind—and the last of this great writer’s major works to be translated into English. This edition includes more than 40 pieces of art, all originally selected by W. G. Sebald. This extraordinary collection of interlinked essays about place, memory, and creativity captures the inner worlds of five authors and one painter. In his masterly and mysterious style—part critical essay, part memoir—Sebald weaves their lives and art with his own migrations and rise in the literary world. Here are people gifted with talent and courage yet in some cases cursed by fragile and unstable natures, working in countries inhospitable or even hostile to them. Jean-Jacques Rousseau is conjured on the verge of physical and mental exhaustion, hiding from his detractors on the island of St. Pierre, where two centuries later Sebald took rooms adjacent to his. Eighteenth-century author Johann Peter Hebel is remembered for his exquisite and delicate nature writing, expressing the eternal balance of both the outside world and human emotions. Writer Gottfried Keller, best known for his 1850 novel Green Henry, is praised for his prescient insights into a Germany where “the gap between self-interest and the common good was growing ever wider.” Sebald compassionately re-creates the ordeals of Eduard Mörike, the nineteenth-century German poet beset by mood swings, depression, and fainting spells in an increasingly shallow society, and Robert Walser, the institutionalized author whose nearly indecipherable scrawls seemed an attempt to “duck down below the level of language and obliterate himself” (and whose physical appearance and year of death mirrored those of Sebald’s grandfather). Finally, Sebald spies a cognizance of death’s inevitability in painter Jan Peter Tripp’s lovingly exact reproductions of life. Featuring the same kinds of suggestive and unexplained illustrations that appear in his masterworks Austerlitz and The Rings of Saturn, and translated by Sebald’s colleague Jo Catling, A Place in the Country is Sebald’s unforgettable self-portrait as seen through the experiences of others, a glimpse of his own ghosts alongside those of the men who influenced him. It is an essential addition to his stunning body of work. Praise for A Place in the Country “Measured, solemn, sardonic . . . hypnotic . . . [W. G. Sebald’s] books, which he made out of classics, remain classics for now.”—Joshua Cohen, The New York Times Book Review “In Sebald’s writing, everything is connected, everything webbed together by the unseen threads of history, or chance, or fate, or death. The scholarly craft of gathering scattered sources and weaving them into a coherent whole is transformed here into something beautiful and unsettling, elevated into an art of the uncanny—an art that was, in the end, Sebald’s strange and inscrutable gift.”—Slate “Magnificent . . . The multiple layers surrounding each essay are seamless to the point of imperceptibility.”—New York Daily News “Sebald’s most tender and jovial book.”—The Nation “Reading [A Place in the Country is] like going for a walk with a beautifully talented, deeply passionate novelist from Mars.”—New York From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: W.G. Sebald
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2012-03-27
“A splendid addition to an already extraordinary oeuvre.”—Teju Cole, The New Yorker German-born W. G. Sebald is best known as the innovative author of Austerlitz, the prose classic of World War II culpability and conscience that put its author in the company of Nabokov, Calvino, and Borges. Now comes the first major collection of this literary master’s poems. Skillfully translated by Iain Galbraith, they range from pieces Sebald wrote as a student in the sixties to those completed right before his untimely death in 2001. In nearly one hundred poems—the majority published in English for the first time—Sebald explores his trademark themes, from nature and history, to wandering and wondering, to oblivion and memory. Soaring and searing, the poetry of W. G. Sebald is an indelible addition to his superb body of work, and this collection is bound to become a classic in its own right. “How fortunate we are to have this writer’s startling imagination freshly on display once again, expressed in language honed to a perfect simplicity.”—Billy Collins “A watershed volume . . . nothing less than transcendent.”—BookPage “[Sebald was] a defining writer of his era.”—The New Republic
Author: W. G. Sebald
Publisher: New Directions Publishing
Release Date: 2016-11-08
The masterworks of W. G. Sebald, now in gorgeous new covers by the famed designer Peter Mendelsund New Directions is delighted to announce beautiful new editions of these three classic Sebald novels, including his two greatest works, The Emigrants and The Rings of Saturn. All three novels are distinguished by their translations, every line of which Sebald himself made pitch-perfect, slaving to carry into English all his essential elements: the shadows, the lambent fallings-back, nineteenth-century Germanic undertones, tragic elegiac notes, and his unique, quiet wit.
When German author W. G. Sebald died in a car accident at the age of fifty-seven, the literary world mourned the loss of a writer whose oeuvre it was just beginning to appreciate. Through published interviews with and essays on Sebald, award-winning translator and author Lynne Sharon Schwartz offers a profound portrait of the writer, who has been praised posthumously for his unflinching explorations of historical cruelty, memory, and dislocation. With contributions from poet, essayist, and translator Charles Simic, New Republic editor Ruth Franklin, Bookworm radio host Michael Silverblatt, and more, The Emergence of Memory offers Sebald’s own voice in interviews between 1997 up to a month before his death in 2001. Also included are cogent accounts of almost all of Sebald’s books, thematically linked to events in the contributors’ own lives. Contributors include Carole Angier, Joseph Cuomo, Ruth Franklin, Michael Hofmann, Arthur Lubow, Tim Parks, Michael Silverblatt, Charles Simic, and Eleanor Wachtel.
Author: Lise Patt
Publisher: Institute Cultural Inquiry
Release Date: 2007
Genre: Literary Criticism
W.G. Sebald's books are sui generishybrids of fiction, travelogue, autobiography and historical expos , in which a narrator (both Sebald and not Sebald) comments on the quick blossoming of natural wonders and the long deaths that come of human atrocities. All his narratives are punctuated with images--murky photographs, architectural plans, engravings, paintings, newspaper clippings--inserted into the prose without captions and often without obvious connection to the words that surround them. This important volume includes a rare 1993 interview called "'But the written word is not a true document': A Conversation with W.G. Sebald about Photography and Literature," in which Sebald talks exclusively about his use of photographs. It contains some of Sebald's most illuminating and poetic remarks about the topic yet. In it, he discusses Barthes, the photograph's "appeal," the childhood image of Kafka, family photographs, and even images he never used in his writings. In addition, Searching for Sebaldpositions Sebald within an art-historical tradition that begins with the Surrealists, continues through Joseph Beuys and blossoms in the recent work of Christian Boltanski and Gerhard Richter, and tracks his continuing inspiration to artists such as Tacita Dean and Helen Mirra. An international roster of artists and scholars unpacks the intricacies of his unique method. Seventeen theoretical essays approach Sebald through the multiple filters of art history (Krauss), film studies (Kluge), cultural theory (Benjamin), psychoanalysis (Freud), and especially photographic history and theory (Barthes, Kracauer), and 17 modern and contemporary art projects are read through a Sebaldian filter. If Sebald's artistic output acts as a touchstone for new critical theory being written on "post-medium" photographic practices, Seaching for Sebaldsuggests a model for new investigations in the burgeoning field of visual studies.
W. G. Sebald completed this extraordinary, important and controversial book before his untimely death in December 2001. It is a harrowing study of the devastation of German cities by Allied bombardment in World War II, and an examination of the silence in German literature and culture about this unprecedented trauma. On the Natural History of Destruction is an essential and deeply relevant study of war and society, suffering and amnesia. Like Sebald’s novels, it is studded with meticulous observation, moments of black humour, and throughout, the author’s unmatched intelligence and humanity. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Carol Jacobs
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2015-10-20
Genre: Literary Criticism
W. G. Sebald's writing has been widely recognized for its intense, nuanced engagement with the Holocaust, the Allied bombing of Germany in WWII, and other episodes of violence throughout history. Through his inventive use of narrative form and juxtaposition of image and text, Sebald's work has offered readers new ways to think about remembering and representing trauma. In Sebald's Vision, Carol Jacobs examines the author's prose, novels, and poems, illuminating the ethical and aesthetic questions that shaped his remarkable oeuvre. Through the trope of "vision," Jacobs explores aspects of Sebald's writing and the way the author's indirect depiction of events highlights the ethical imperative of representing history while at the same time calling into question the possibility of such representation. Jacobs's lucid readings of Sebald's work also consider his famous juxtaposition of images and use of citations to explain his interest in the vagaries of perception. Isolating different ideas of vision in some of his most noted works, including Rings of Saturn, Austerlitz, and After Nature, as well as in Sebald's interviews, poetry, art criticism, and his lecture Air War and Literature, Jacobs introduces new perspectives for understanding the distinctiveness of Sebald's work and its profound moral implications.
Author: Saul Austerlitz
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Release Date: 2010-09-01
Genre: Performing Arts
From "City Lights" to "Knocked Up," this history examines American film from the perspective of its unwanted stepbrother, the comedy, and puts the comic titans of the present in the context of their predecessors. The 30 chapters and 100 essays follow the connections that link Mae West to Marilyn Monroe and W. C. Fields to Will Ferrell. Offering unvarnished insight into comedians and directors such as Buster Keaton, Christopher Guest, Eddie Murphy, and Ben Stiller, this eye-opening, entertaining, and enlightening tour encompasses the masterpieces, the box-office smashes, and all the little-known gems in between. Laurel and Hardy, Marilyn Monroe, Peter Sellers, Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, Steve Martin, and the Coen Brothers are among others profiled, while a list of the top-100 American film comedies is also included.
Author: Alistair Horne
Publisher: Random House Digital, Inc.
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
An account of the reign and legacy of Napoleon covers his birth into poverty, rise to prominence after the French Revolution, military prowess, and twenty-year rule, during which he made significant changes in such areas as the social hierarchy, censorship, and culture. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.