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An Illustrated “Restitution”


Verlag Ulrich Keicher in Warmbronn, Germany has recently issued a wonderful edition of W.G. Sebald’s Zerstreute Reminiszenzen, the speech he gave on November 17, 2001 at the opening of the Stuttgarter literaturhauses.  This was published as An Attempt at Restitution in The New Yorker (December 20-27, 2004) and was anthologized in Campo Santo. What makes this publication is fun are the illustrations and the loose inserts.


The illustrations include many of the things mentioned by Sebald, from the Quelle mail-order catalog that his father showed him for Christmas 1949 to newspaper clippings (above) and photographs from the Sebald archive in Marbach.  A few sections of Sebald’s own typescript of the speech are reproduced.


To add to the fun, two facsimiles are tucked into a small pocket on the final page.  The first is a postcard of from Sebald’s collection referred to when Sebald recounts his memories of the “angular brutalist architecture” of Stuttgart Central Station (designed by Paul Bonatz).  Sebald mentions a postcard he owns

written by an English schoolgirl of about fifteen (judging from the clumsy handwriting) on holiday in Stuttgart to a Mrs. J. Winn in Saltburn in the county of Yorkshire on the back of a picture postcard, which came into my hands at the end of the 1960s in a Salvation Army junk shop in Manchester, and which shows three other tall buildings and Bonatz’s railway station…

The second inserted facsimile is Sebald’s very first entry in the literary world – a 1961 student literary magazine called Der Wecker, co-edited by Sebald and his friend Jan-Peter Tripp.  (Cover photograph below by Tripp.)  All sixteen pages are reproduced including articles on Algeria and Albert Camus and ads for beer and Coca Cola.


This small pamphlet was issued in September in an edition of 800.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. martin #

    Terry the pamphlet is I believe only available to purchase through the cute little bookshop at the Stuttgart Literaturhaus – contact or fax Frau Leutner 0711-2842905 – she is very helpful! Cheers – Martin

    November 8, 2008

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