And so they are ever returning to us, the dead

Sebald’s characters live in memories and the past – this is perhaps the least kept secret about his books. Their dead keep returning to them, the possibilities of their own deaths continue to haunt them – until they can bear it no more and often embrace that death which has been following them.

Open City – Teju Cole

That I embarked on this book was hardly serendipitous – ever since it came out, critics have been hailing it as a Sebaldian work, and it has found its way on all magazines, blogs which even remotely address Sebald and his fans. I picked it up, hoping it was not an attempt to follow Sebald’s…

Emergence of Memory: conversations with WG Sebald

Sebald’s voice is unmistakable in all his works. All his narrators, the reliable and unreliable ones, speak in his voice. The characters narrated by those narrators speak in his voice. To me, these works are as intimate as you could get with him. And yet, somehow these conversations have been able to achieve a slightly…

A movie on Rings of Saturn

Sebald’s already immortal book Rings of Saturn is being further etched into a visual medium. Grant Gee has made a movie on the book, Patience (After Sebald), which is premiering on January 28th. More on the movie can be seen here. This picture, taken by Grant Gee, seems like a beautiful introduction to the walking…

Between the devil and the deep Blue Sea

Sebald’s On Natural History of Destruction is a collection of essays on German literature and its handling of World War II incidents. The four essays in this book are: Air War and Literature, based on lectures given in Z├╝rich in 1997 Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: On Alfred Andersch Against the Irreversible:…

Reading Bernhard – Gargoyles

It is true that perhaps I would have paid little attention to Thomas Bernhard and his writing if Sebald had not been compared to him. By Sebald’s own admission, Bernhard’s influence on his writing is tremendous – an admission which makes it hard to ignore Bernhard.It was surprisingly hard, then, to find Bernhard’s books. Even…

Head-On (Gegen Die Wand)

Every country bears a lot of weight on everyone who is born to it – all the history, the beliefs, fears, errors, successes and a lot more. When you chose to leave it, you also in a way try to offload all these weights and go out empty-handed to adopt something new with more openness….

A perspective on Sebald

I stumbled upon a book by Mark McCulloh on Understanding Sebald in Google books. The book contains Sebald’s biographic details, his writing style and chapters singularly dedicated to each of his four novels which have been published in English (I am quite proud of being the prospective owner of all four of them, now that…

A journey through shadows: Rings of Saturn

There are only two real hobbies that I have – reading and traveling (Yes, I am still only slipping into cinema and have a long way to go). In a way really they are quite connected because they are both about seeing the world. Of course with books, you can see more worlds than the…

Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald

While studying history, the two world wars captured my imagination more than any other historical event. However, even amidst these, I was most haunted by the holocaust – a tragedy of boundless dimensions that touched and wrecked the life of millions of beings. Since then, I have come across this horrific truth in many movies…