The introduction to this special issue of boundary 2 examines W. G. Sebald’s rapid and sudden transformation from controversial and curmudgeonly Germanist to literary superstar as a case study in the “global valences of the critical.” The massive success of Sebald’s strange and variegated oeuvre among critics highlights a pervasive and troubling provincialism afflicting this supposedly global moment in world cultural history. Using Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn, the author links the emergence of “distant” modes of reading to drone warfare and concludes by calling for greater emphasis on literary translation.
Words, Not Bombs: W. G. Sebald and the Global Valences of the Critical
Sina Rahmani earned his PhD from UCLA’s Department of Comparative Literature with a dissertation on the question of orphanhood in the nineteenth-century British novel. He was a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. His work has been published in PMLA, Iranian Studies, Radical History Review, and Public Books. He is the creator of the East Is a Podcast (Eastpodcast.com).
Sina Rahmani; Words, Not Bombs: W. G. Sebald and the Global Valences of the Critical. boundary 2 1 August 2020; 47 (3): 1–20. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-8524384
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