The Making of The Rings of Saturn

Tip of the day:

The Making of The Rings of Saturn.

an Essay by Aashish Kaul

At heart Sebald’s writing is uncategorizable and that is one of the things that makes it so special. As Ali Smith puts it:

      ‘In the meld of fiction, biography, autobiography, travel-writing, history, memoir, poetry, documentary, essay, theory, illustration, natural history, aesthetic analysis and quiet but profoundly urgent story that makes up the text of practically everything he wrote, Sebald found new literary form (and in finding it I think he also suggests new literary possibility, subconsciously suggests all literary forms are themselves in some way multiple). His writing ignored the fake – and, he more than hints, even dangerous – borders and fortifications between people and places in the same way as it does the differentiations between literary genres, in what turns out in the full run of his books to be an act of dual generosity and atonement. Nobody wrote like him, and he has transformed the literary imagination with the few books he had the time to write and we have had the luck to read.’

An A to Z of W.G. Sebald 


7 thoughts on “The Making of The Rings of Saturn

  1. Hi Sigrun. I read Rings of Saturn around 11 years ago. It was in a class that delt with cross-genre books…those that didn’t fit any 1 category. While i don’t remember in much detail, i do recall those silk worms and all that dreamy walking, and the feeling that i was walking, too, instead of just reading. Vivian Gornick said that what struck her was Sebald’s preternatural calm and the absence of other people from the text. I think what struck me was how huge this book was, how he managed to weave together stuff that was so far apart, in time and in subject. You have a great week.

    1. Thank you K!
      I find Sebald’s work both strange and intriguing, or – to tell the truth – DIFFICULT! But still there is something in his universe that catches a hold on me, I don’t yet know what, I just know that I have to try reading my way through his texts even if I loose my track all the time – .

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