Across the Land and the Water, By WG Sebald
Boyd Tonkin is Senior Writer and a columnist at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Literary Editor at The Independent, and before that Social Policy Editor and then Books Editor at the New Statesman magazine. He has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes and has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize. In 2001, he re-founded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for literature in translation, and serves on its judging panel every year.
Friday 25 January 2013
This invaluable volume selects, in Iain Galbraith's graceful translations, poems from all stages of WG Sebald's life. Now a mythical figure, the late Bavarian-born, Norwich-settled author of Austerlitz and The Emigrants begins as a gnomic miniaturist.
Later poems reflect his voyages, into pasts and places, and often contain the kernel of his prose masterpieces. In glittering fragments, they compress a tragic history and "inquire/ Into the whereabouts of the dead".
Droll, wry and enigmatic, his poems register "what we have forgotten" .
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