In this essay, the author offers a candid discussion of Sebald’s legacy and the flurry of criticism aimed at securing his place in the literary canon. It engages many of Sebald’s signature themes: memory, amnesia, silence, history, and trauma. The author acknowledges Sebald’s masterful blend of language, photography, and archival material, resulting in a uniquely hybrid narrative form falling somewhere between essay and fiction. The essay is critical of Sebald’s most dedicated admirers—not because of any perceived paucity in Sebald’s work, but rather the shortsightedness of the critical machine that is desperately trying to fossilize Sebald as the end point of modern literature.
The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
Writers in Conversation with Christopher Bigsby: Volume 2.
Arthur Miller Centre.
Sebald, W. G.
“Auf ungeheuer dünnem Eis”: Gespräche 1971 bis 2001. Edited by Hoffmann, Torsten.
© 2020 Duke University Press
This content is made freely available by the publisher. It may not be redistributed or altered. All rights reserved.
Issue Section:Global Critical Forum