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Another Sebald Book Coming Soon: Undiscover’d Country

A Vertigo reader has alerted me to yet another book to anticipate: The Undiscover’d Country: W. G. Sebald & the Poetics of Travel, edited by Markus Zisselsberger(Camden House).   Due out October 1 of this year, it is already priced at (ouch) $90.  Here’s part of the publisher’s promo:

This collection of essays places travel at the center of Sebald’s poetics and shows how his appropriation of travel in its myriad historical and cultural forms — the Grand Tour, the pilgrimage, the walking vacation, travel as escape — works to craft intertextual narratives in which the pursuit of individual life stories is mapped onto a wider European cultural history of loss and destruction. Following these cues, the contributors wander the various modalities of travel in Sebald’s writing in order to discover how walking, flying, sojourning and other kinds of peregrination inform the relationship between writing, reading, memory, and place in Sebald’s work. At the same time, the essays uncover in innovative ways the affinities between Sebald and literary travelers like Bruce Chatwin, Franz Kafka, Adalbert Stifter, Christoph Ransmayr, and Joseph Conrad.

Contributors: Christian Moser, J. J. Long, Carolin Duttlinger, Martin Klebes, Alan Itkin, James Martin, Brad Prager, Neil Christian Pages, Margaret Bruzelius, Barbara Hui, Dora Osborne, Peter Arnds.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. very nice :D

    August 19, 2010
  2. And it looks like they have chosen a very nice drawing of Jan Peter Tripp for the cover.

    August 23, 2010
  3. Well it looks as if the publishers have got your number! $90 is an excessive amount to pay for a book which is merely the unpublished remnants of an author who as great as he is, is surely over-rated as a ‘cult’ writer. And this is from one who met the modest man who would have been embarrassed at any form of reverence.

    August 23, 2010
  4. In response to the last comment: I don’t understand what the price of the book has to do with Sebald’s status as a “cult writer” (which in itself is a misjudgment of Sebald and his critical and thoughtful readers–see the author of the blog, for example); nor do I see in what sense a collection of essays can be likened, rather cryptically, to “merely the unpublished remnants of an author….” The price may be objectively high, but anyone who judges it to be “excessive” has little sense of the realities of the cost and effort involved in academic publishing, where prices are pretty much set to recover cost, not make a profit (which academic books rarely make anyway). A simple search for secondary literature on Sebald on amazon.com will show you that, with a few exceptions, many of the most recent scholarly books on Sebald cost over $75.

    August 23, 2010

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