April 17, 2007
Sebald recorded one audio CD called Max Ferber (Frankfurt am Main: Eichborn Verlag, 2000). This double compact disc set and brochure has Sebald reading in German from the “Max Ferber” section of Die Ausgewanderten.
Sebald can also be heard on the Internet in a superb interview conducted on December 6, 2001 by Michael Silverblatt, host of KCRW radio’s exceptional “Bookworm” program. In this thirty-minute interview, held only eight days before the automobile accident that killed Sebald, he talks at length about his debt to Thomas Bernhard, who he feels was practically the only German-language author to have not compromised his writing. To be morally compromised, Sebald says, ultimately leads to being aesthetically “insufficient.” Sebald describes Bernhard’s style as a “periscopic form of writing” in that he only tells you what he sees – nothing more, nothing less – a style Sebald uses to some extent in Austerlitz. It is a great pleasure to listen to Sebald’s voice and his immaculate, slightly obsolete English responses to Silverblatt’s intelligent observations and questions.