W. G. Sebald

(1944—2001) writer and scholar of literature in German

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Anglo‐German novelist, poet, translator, and academic, born in Wertach‐im‐Allgäu, Bavaria. Sebald moved to Manchester in 1966, where he taught at the University; from 1970 he taught at the University of East Anglia, where he became a professor of German literature in 1987 and founder of the British Centre for Literary Translation in 1989. In a series of highly distinctive works of fiction—notably Vertigo (1990, trans. 1999), The Emigrants (1993, trans. 1996), The Rings of Saturn (1995, trans. 1998), and Austerlitz (2001)—that combine novel, memoir, travelogue, and fact, often illustrated with ambiguous black and white photographs, Sebald ruminated on memory, loss, exile, transience, and, more explicitly, the shadow of the Holocaust and post‐war Germany's relationship with its past. He closely supervised the translation of his work from the German (with Michael Hulse or Anthea Bell) and conveyed England, particularly East Anglia, with such close attention that he has some claim to be as much a British as a German writer.

Subjects: Literature.

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