W. G. Sebald, After Nature

After Nature by W.G. Sebald My rating: 4 of 5 stars Given my mild ambivalence about Sebald, I thought I would make this small book, the author's first, my next destination on the gray-toned walking tour of European ruin that is the Sebaldian oeuvre. I think of Sebald's gift as essentially lyric, in the sense … Continue reading W. G. Sebald, After Nature

W. G. Sebald, The Rings of Saturn

The Rings of Saturn by W.G. Sebald My rating: 3 of 5 stars I do not feel as I am supposed to, as a good literary citizen should, about Sebald. I am certainly entertained by him (I have read Austerlitz as well as The Rings of Saturn) but no more than entertained. His appropriative art … Continue reading W. G. Sebald, The Rings of Saturn

Penitential Realism?

It's been almost fourteen years since James Wood warned us about "hysterical realism," presumably the major novelistic mode of the late twentieth century.¬† According to Wood, it is a mode devoted to information, coincidence, captial-P Politics, various forms of irrealism (caricature, fantasy, metafiction), and a breathlessness of tone: Rushdie, DeLillo, Pynchon, Wallace, etc. We're well … Continue reading Penitential Realism?