Chapter

The Ambulatory Narrative: <i>The Rings of Saturn</i>

J. J. Long

in W. G. Sebald - Image, Archive, Modernity

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780748633876
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651757 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748633876.003.0007
The Ambulatory Narrative: The Rings of Saturn

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This chapter studies the archival nature of the text, explaining how Sebald's narrator is able to show desire to escape the biopolitical effects of modernity's archives. This is shown to go hand in hand with poetics of digression. The chapter looks at the rejection of modern modes of transport in favour of walking, and studies the only way dilatoriness can be avoided from degenerating into complete incoherence in The Rings of Saturn. It concludes that the archive can be seen to include the possibility of meaninglessness but still represent the intrusion of a technology of modernity.

Keywords: archival nature; biopolitical effects; modernity archives; poetics of digression; Rings of Saturn; technology of modernity

Chapter.  9150 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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