Across the Land and the Water, By WG Sebald
Boyd Tonkin is Literary Editor at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Social Policy Editor of the New Statesman and has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes. He has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature.
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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