After Sebald

German Shepherding with the notorious W.G.

Even if it's academic smooth-talking, editor in chief David E. Wellbery's intro feels more salvo than starch as it describes the book's attempt to "transform the structure and content of literary-historical presentation." His method recalls a tactic of Sebald's Austerlitz, following a path of footnotes "from factual, scholarly accounts to the strangest of details, in a kind of continual regression expressed in the form of my own marginal remarks and glosses, which increasingly diverged into the most varied and impenetrable of ramifications." But Sebald's most important textual paths are headstones and makeshift graves: individuals memorialized in granite or forgotten, lines of connection emanating from each.


Rubble literature: The End
photo:Courtesy Erich Andres/Denkmalschutzamt, Hamburg Bildarchiv
Rubble literature: The End

Details

UNRECOUNTED
By W.G. Sebald, translated by Michael Hamburger
Lithographs by Jan Peter Tripp
New Directions, 80 pp., $22.95
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CAMPO SANTO
By W.G. Sebald, translated by Anthea Bell
Random House, 240 pp., $24.95
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THE END: HAMBURG 1943
By Hans Erich Nossack, translated by Joel Agee
Chicago, 112 pp., $20
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A NEW HISTORY OF GERMAN LITERATURE
Edited by David E. Wellbery et al.
Harvard, 1,004 pp., $45
Buy this book

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    Brandon Stosuy recently meditated on Glenn Danzig and gothy teens for Sue de Beer's EMERGE monograph. His anthology of Downtown New York literature is forthcoming from NYU Press in 2006.

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