BOOKS: PICK OF THE WEEK

WG Sebald Thur Royal Overseas League, London SW1
Click to follow
The Independent Culture
It's almost an offence to categorise the writing of WG Sebald, who, in his two "novels" so far in English translation, has pursued an innovative form of documentary fiction, a brilliantly idiosyncratic blend of travelogue, history and personal narrative in words and images.

His forthcoming Vertigo (Harvill pounds 16.99), originally published in German in 1990, again uses this inventive style to explore the distortion of memory through journeys taken by Stendhal, Kafka and the narrator.

This is intense, stylish prose, brought to life in an excellent translation. While rich in meaning and language, the stories of these journeys are also very readable, giving everyday events an emotional and metaphysical weight that never sounds dour or morose. This may well be the best prose writing in English in the 1990s.

Royal Overseas League, Park Place, St James's St, London SW1 (0171-408 0214 ext 325) Thur, 7.30pm, pounds 3/pounds 2.50

Comments