Two New Books on Sebald
New scholarly books on W.G. Sebald are starting to pop up all over the place. Frequently, they are in languages I don’t read well (at least at the scholarly level) – like Italian. But here are two in English.
Reading W.G. Sebald: Adventure and Disobedience by Deane Blackler (Rochester, NY: Camden House). The subtitle alone makes the book appealing. I just bought a copy that arrived yesterday, so I’ll post more once I have read it. Here’s a portion of the promotional paragraph from Boydell & Brewer, Ltd., the parent company of Camden House:
No less a critic than Susan Sontag was moved to ask “Is literary greatness still possible?,” implying that it was and that she had found it embodied in [Sebald’]s writing. Deane Blackler explores Sebald’s biography before analyzing the reading practice his texts call forth: that of a “disobedient reader,” a proactive reader challenged to question the text by Sebald’s peculiar use of poetic language, the pseudoautobiographical voice of his narrators, the seemingly documentary photographs he inserted into his books, and by his exquisite representations of place. Blackler reads Sebald’s fiction as adventurous and disobedient in its formulation, an imaginative revitalization of literary fiction for the third millennium.
Deane Blackler received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in 2005 from the University of Tasmania.
Second, there is a new MA thesis by Jessie Ferguson that can now be downloaded: The Archimedean Author: Roberto Bolaño, W.G. Sebald, and Narrative After Borges (San Francisco: San Francisco State University, 2007).