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Sebald Talk in Berlin September 12, 2017

As part of the Internationales Literaturfestival Berlin this year, Markus Joch and Uwe Schütte will talk about W.G. Sebald on Tuesday, September 12 at 19:00 at the Institut Français. Tickets here.

The full program (in German or in English) can be found here. The long list of invited guests is impressive and includes people such as Edward Snowden (via Skype), artist Christian Boltanski, László Krasznahorkai, Yoko Tawada, Yasmina Reza, mystery writer Donna Leon (one of my favorites), Salman Rushdie, and Hari Kunzru. Several other programs caught my attention:

Thursday September 7 at 22:30 is a screening of a new film about James Baldwin and race called I Am Not Your Negro, which I have seen and highly recommend.

Saturday September 9 at 15:00 is a meeting for people wishing to join book clubs; two of the books under consideration are Sebald’s Austerlitz and Peter Weiss’s The Aesthetics of Resistance.

Sunday September 10 is devoted to graphic novels.

21 Comments Post a comment
  1. In other Sebald-related news, the Actes du Colloques of the 2014 Sebald conference at Cérisy were finally published in July: http://www.ccic-cerisy.asso.fr/sebaldTM17.html. Looks like some of the essays may have been available in revised form elsewhere.

    September 13, 2017
  2. Actually, browsing the website of the publisher of the Colloque, Les Presses Universitaires de Rennes, I realize they have a whole series of books devoted to photography and literature: http://www.pur-editions.fr/theme.php?idTheme=121 Check out esp. Perle Noire which has a chapter on Sebald (the pdfs of Tables of contents are available under the tab Documents in book descriptions).

    September 14, 2017
  3. Thanks! This is very interesting. Curiously, I have a different book by Paul Edwards called “Soleil Noir: Photographie et litterature.” My volume was published in 2008, the one shown on the P.U.R. website is 2016, and might be an update, except my copy is 200 pages longer than the newer version. Not sure what the relationship is. But there are several other titles I’ve not seen before.

    September 14, 2017
    • I think Perle Noire (2016) is kind of a continuation of Soleil Noir (2008), but more focused, judging by the table of contents, on techniques — first techniques of reproduction, then narrative techniques involving photographic vision. But check out also the first 8pp of the Introduction included among the ‘Documents’.

      September 15, 2017
  4. You are right. This looks like it is a good overview of a wide variety of “photobooks” all the way up to Sebald. I just ordered a copy.

    September 15, 2017
  5. I’m ordering both, too. Just out of curiosity: did you place your order via the publisher’s website or through another source?

    September 15, 2017
  6. I used Abebooks. I often do this for non-English books. There are several copies there.

    September 15, 2017
    • Thanks! I ended up putting an order with amazon.fr even though they only have one of the books in stock — but if they can get the other even in a month’s time (and it doesn’t seem the book is out of print), they charge only €10 for shipping (probably some corporate deal with UPS), regardless of the size of the order. But I am rather guilt-ridden for not buying from an independent bookseller…

      September 15, 2017
  7. Vasilis Papageorgiou #

    Thank you for a valuable and beautiful site. I thought you might like this picture. Unfortunately I don’t have the text in English. Only in Swedish and Greek, the language it was originally written and published in.

    https://chromatachromata.com/

    With best wishes Vasilis Papageorgiou

    5 sep. 2017 kl. 18:22 skrev Vertigo <comment-reply@wordpress.com>:

    Terry posted: ” As part of the Internationales Literaturfestival Berlin this year, Markus Joch and Uwe Schütte will talk about W.G. Sebald on Tuesday, September 12 at 19:00 at the Institut Français. Tickets here. The full program (in German or in English) can be f”

    September 22, 2017
  8. Vasilis, Many thanks for the link.The eyes on the bus are remarkable! Where was the photo taken – Sweden? Did you write an original new text for this translation of Unrecounted?

    September 22, 2017
  9. Vasilios Papageorgiou #

    I took the picture in Norwich three years ago, when I was finishing the translation of Unerzählt into Greek. It is part of my afterword in both the Greek and Swedish translations, the latter made together with Fedja Wierød Borčak.

    September 22, 2017
    • Perfect. Thank you. I’m afraid I’ve never been to Norwich.

      September 22, 2017
  10. Hope I’m not cluttering your comments! Two new books with embedded photographs: Les Murray’s “On Bunyah” — originally published in 2015, but I can’t tell whether the photographs are new to the 2017 edition. I got the Australian paperback from Black Inc. Includes B&W and color photographs, some family portraits, others unattributed, some contemporary others historical. The other book is from the French publisher Gallimard. I tend to be wary of the whole hype around the Rentrée Littéraire, but the reviews of François-Henri Désérable’s “Un Certain M. Piekielny” were very encouraging. I’ve just got it in the mail, and realized that the book (labeled “roman” on the title page) is accompanied by photographs: portraits, documents, places. Based on reviews, reminiscent of Mondiano’s literary investigations, although overtly inspired by Romain Gary and sort of an homage to the writer, Désérable’s novel sets out to find the traces of Roman Kacew’s Vilnus neighbor, a certain Mr. Piekielny (whose name, by the way, means Infernal in Polish!). The story touches on the fate of the Jews of the Vilnus Ghetto and the contemporary traces of the disappeared Jewish community.

    September 26, 2017
    • Hey, thanks! Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. I will look into these. If I may ask, why are are you so interested in novels with photos?

      September 26, 2017
    • It’s curious that the Les Murray book was first published in Germany in 2014 as simply “Bunyah”, with bi-lingual poems and the photographs. The photographer is a prominent German photojournalist.

      September 28, 2017
      • I wonder if these were all the same photographs since the English publication also includes archival family photos… It would be interesting to know some back story to the German publication. Curious indeed!

        September 28, 2017
      • Good question. I don’t think I’m going to buy either the German of the Australian editions. I’m less interested in works like this that “pair” image and text than in texts that actually absorb the images, so to speak. By the way, I ordered ” un certain M. Piekielny” from Albertine in NYC. Good source for French books: http://www.albertine.com/.

        I suppose Rentrée Littéraire is a marketing scheme like nouveau beaujolais.

        September 28, 2017
      • Good question. I don’t think I’m going to buy either the German of the Australian editions. I’m less interested in works like this that “pair” image and text than in texts that actually absorb the images, so to speak. By the way, I ordered ” un certain M. Piekielny” from Albertine in NYC. Good source for French books: http://www.albertine.com/.

        I suppose Rentrée Littéraire is a marketing scheme like nouveau beaujolais.

        September 28, 2017
  11. To answer your question as concisely as I can: it may have started with “homeless” images, photographs without stories, and whose meaning I may never be fully able to unravel, as well as a lost photographic archive that I will always mourn. This is also the source of my obsession with forgetting, which then, at a literary level, translated into an interest in the interrelation between narratives of memory and oblivion in which images are paradoxically complicit. What interests me in a way is what slips out of the narrative. I am also interested in photographic practice–although am not much of a photographer, so perhaps the practice of others–and in photography theory, which then easily enough branches out into a literary interest in photographs. There are several projects rolled up in there, some of which, at the more general level, are perhaps an escape from what might concern me the most.

    September 26, 2017
    • Ela, Thanks for that great statement. I hope you are writing!

      September 27, 2017
  12. Terry, many thanks for the link to Albertine, that will be a nice alternative to my sad dependence on a****.fr. The funny thing is, I bought both books without knowing about the images — I liked the idea of Murray writing about a single place over a period of time; Bunyah is also the setting of his depression in Killing the Black Dog. There is something about the place name that I found awfully attractive, this definite feeling of the boondocks, delusively evocative of banyan trees which probably don’t even grow in Australia. And Désérable mostly because of the Vilnus ghetto & the sense of a Mondianesque “enquête.”

    September 28, 2017

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