Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Best of W G Sebald

Robert MacFarlane argues the case for The Rings of Saturn and Austerlitz by W G Sebald to be considered as among the Guardian's "1,000 Novels Everyone Must Read":

"The Rings of Saturn describes a summer walking tour down the Suffolk coast, made by a narrator figure who resembles, but is not quite, Sebald himself. Along the way, he tells apparently disconnected stories about the deforestation of Britain, the drowned town of Dunwich, the herring trade and Bergen-Belsen. Gradually, the reader realises that this almost folksy travelogue is in fact a vastly complex rumination on ruination and transience. And that the apparently crabwise motion of the narrative - its near-refusal to proceed - is in fact Sebald's way of sidling up to some of the most significant questions of modern history: trauma, the Holocaust, repression."