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New Edition: On the Natural History of Destruction


Sebald book collectors haven’t had much new to add to their collection since Across the Land and the Water: Selected Poems 1964-2001 came out a year ago.  But now there is a handsome new addition to anyone’s Sebald bookshelf.  Notting Hill Editions (London) has just released a new cloth-bound edition of W.G. Sebald’s On the Natural History of Destruction using the 2003 Anthea Bell translation.  Unlike previous British and American editions, this version reverts to the original content of the original 1999 German edition, which was titled Luftkrieg und Literatur.  The Notting Hill volume includes only Sebald’s Foreword and the two essays: “Air War and Literature: Zurich Lectures” and “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: On Alfred Andersch,” eliminating the essays on Jean Amery and Peter Weiss that were added when the English-language version was posthumously released in 2003.  The slim, compact volume is very beautifully done, being  designed, printed and bound in Germany.

Notting Hill’s website  rewards poking through (don’t overlook the Videos page). is intended to be the hub of all Notting Hill Editions activity, developing a community around great essay writing. To achieve this, author, Daily Telegraph columnist and blogger Harry Mount will be editor of our online journal featuring new essays monthly, and Ophelia Field will dynamically referee our Top Essay Chart, where the public get to select and vote on the Greatest Essays of All Time, emphasizing once again, the vital role essays have had in our literary, artistic, philosophical and political cultures.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hey… Have you read any of the works of Sven Lindqvist? Born 1932, his books are analogous to some of Sebald’s – A History of Bombing/On the Natural History of Destruction, Saharan Journey/The Rings of Saturn, and his Terra Nullius (a study of aboriginal holocaust) reminded me of Austerlitz. Most of his books also include photographs. Thanks for a great blog, it’s inspired my reading list for 2013. Cheers.

    December 27, 2012
    • Steve, Thanks for the comment on Lindqvist, who is unknown to me. I’ll be looking his work up! Terry


      December 27, 2012

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