Portrait of Sebald by Marc Volk, 1992.
Uwe Schütte has written a new book about W.G. Sebald called Annäherungen (“Approximations”) to mark what would have been Sebald’s 75th birthday on May 18, 2019. This highly personal book by Schütte, a former PhD student of Sebald’s, comprises seven non-academic essays which aim to reflect a portrait of the author’s nonconformist personality and idiosyncratic texts. Avoiding the standard Sebaldian topics such as memory, exile, the Holocaust, trauma and so on, Schütte’s essays in Annäherungen deal with subjects like Sebald’s love of trees and his fascination with fire. He examines Sebald’s deep attachment to animals, explores the huge significance of his grandfather on his writings, and tries to characterize his extraordinary role as an academic. Annäherungen casts seven very different spotlights on Sebald. The essays–each beginning with a pertinent, often rare photographic image–illuminate previously unknown aspects of Sebald’s writings and open up new connections.
The book has been published by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Verlage.