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Adam Scovell on the Two Sebald Exhibitions in Norwich

Norwich Castle

Norwich Castle

The two exhibitions celebrating what would have been the 75th birthday of W.G. Sebald continue their runs in Norwich. “Lines of Sight” at Norwich Castle runs until January 5, 2020, while “Far Away – But From Where?” at the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts closes August 18 of this year. In the meantime, I highly recommend the outstanding piece of writing over at The Quietus by Adam Scovell, who reflects on what both exhibitions can tell us about Sebald. In “Circular Histories: The Contemporary Resonance Of W.G. Sebald,” Scovell observes that it has become increasingly difficult to write about Sebald. Not only has a “cottage industry” developed to write about Sebald, but “there’s an aura to his writing which is easy to become possessed by.”

Nevertheless, he writes, “I found the two exhibitions to earnestly show a more tangible, practical way to understanding the man and his work. For me, it highlights two key aspects to it: the ability to detect the darker elements of our shared pasts constantly threatening to repeat, and why his engagement with walking and place was dramatically different to the images typically, and often unfairly, associated with such perambulatory forms of writing.”

Go take a read.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Johnny Rasheed #

    Hello, its been a wonderful experience reading your materials. I live in Cambridgeshire and recently undertook the Sebald walk along the Suffolk coast. It is unfathomable that Sebald saw things in that landscape that remained hidden to me as I followed the same footsteps. The exhibition in Norwich is definitely worth a visit, best if one is not in a rush, simply sit there and imagine what Sebald would say.

    I would also recommend a visit to the Museum of Innocence in Istanbul set up by the writer Orhan Pamuk. A paper on the overlaps between the Sebaldian and the Pamukian would be fascinating!

    Johnny Rasheed

    August 3, 2019
    • Thanks for your comment! I would love to see the Museum of Innocence, but probably will never make it to Istanbul, alas. – Terry

      August 3, 2019

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