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Sebald Events November – December 2011

The long-awaited 240-page volume of W.G. Sebald’s collected poetry is going to hit stores in the UK soon.  Across the Land and the Water will apparently be available in the UK November 3.  But according to the Amazon US website, it will not be available in the US until April 3, 2012, when both hardback and Kindle versions are scheduled to be ready.  I confess that I am not an immediate fan of the cover design for the UK edition, which reeks of lost innocence and suggests nothing more strenuous than a slow row across a lake on a hazy, hot summer’s day.  Perhaps Random House will develop a new cover for the North American market.  Here’s the blurb from the Penguin/Hamish Hamilton website:

When W.G. Sebald died in 2001, he was internationally acknowledged as one of the most important German writers of our era. Now, thanks to Iain Galbraith’s vibrant translations, the full breadth of his poetry is available in English for the first time.

This volume brings together poems published during Sebald’s lifetime with an additional selection of those which were found in his literary archives in Marbach and never published while he was alive. Arranged chronologically, from work published during his student days in the 1960s to the longer narratives he produced during the 1980s, the poems touch on the themes which were closest to Sebald – nature and history; forgetting and remembering; borders, journeys and landscapes – and express in short, lyrical form the same distinctive insight and sensitivity that shaped his great works of prose fiction.

Back in February I wrote briefly about a new work of musical theater based upon W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz.  The production of Austerlitz: Eine Kindheitsreise by Jérôme Combier and Pierre Nouvel is now moving on to Opera Lille for performances on November 18 and 19.

Finally, there will be Max: A Celebration – Remembering W. G. Max Sebald: Readings, Music and Film, something of a mega-event that will be held at Wilton’s Music Hall in London (near Aldgate and Tower Hill) on December 14, 2011, the tenth anniversary of Sebald’s death.  From the website:

In this unique event, many of Britain’s leading writers and artists celebrate Sebald’s life and writing in an evening of readings, music and film. Drawing from his remarkable oeuvre and their own reflections, on the 10th anniversary of his untimely death, they will honour a man whose profound and searching work has exerted an almost uncanny influence on our times. Writers taking part include the multi-award winning essayists, novelists and poets A.S. Byatt, Dan Gretton, Rachel Lichtenstein, Andrew Motion, Iain Sinclair, Marina Warner and Stephen Watts. One of the world’s greatest tenors, Ian Bostridge, will sing from Schubert’s iconic song cycle Winterreise. Award-winning filmmaker Grant Gee (Joy Division) will present an exclusive ‘landscape edit’ of his forthcoming feature essay film Patience (After Sebald), a multi-layered meditation on landscape, art, history, life and loss, and the first film internationally about Sebald. It is released in the UK in January 2012 by Soda Pictures with thanks to Artevents. Finally, it is a privilege to announce that Sebald’s UK publisher Christopher MacLehose and his editor Bill Swainson will attend and share their recollections.

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