Admirers of the late WG Sebald’s inimitable blend of essay, memoir, novel and found images, deployed in books such as Vertigo (1990) and The Rings of Saturn (1999), will be grateful for A Place in the Country. The first of Sebald’s prose works to be translated into English since 2005 (he died in 2001) offers welcome glimpses into his stylistic and thematic preoccupations. The volume collects six pieces of writing about artists for whom Sebald declares an “unwavering affection”. These “extended marginal notes and glosses”, as the author modestly calls them, connect and overlap through shared allusions, recurring subjects and a common tone. Sebald’s fascination with written and visual ephemera is vividly displayed in the first essay, about the German-Swiss writer of almanacs Johann Peter Hebel (1760-1826).
more from Ángel Gurría-Quintana at the FT here.