After Nature

Front Cover
Knopf Canada, 2003 - German fiction - 116 pages
3 Reviews
After Nature, W. G. Sebald’s first literary work, now translated into English by Michael Hamburger, explores the lives of three men connected by their restless questioning of humankind’s place in the natural world. From the efforts of each, “an order arises, in places beautiful and comforting, though more cruel, too, than the previous state of ignorance.” The first figure is the great German Re-naissance painter Matthias Gr newald. The second is the Enlightenment botanist-explorer Georg Steller, who accompanied Bering to the Arctic. The third is the author himself, who describes his wanderings among landscapes scarred by the wrecked certainties of previous ages.

After Nature introduces many of the themes that W. G. Sebald explored in his subsequent books. A haunting vision of the waxing and waning tides of birth and devastation that lie behind and before us, it confirms the author’s position as one of the most profound and original writers of our time.


From the Hardcover edition.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MSarki - LibraryThing

If you enter the reading of this book as prose, and focus on not noticing the format, and just take in the words, it becomes obvious rather fast that this is a well-written piece of literature. I ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - FPdC - LibraryThing

This book is the english translation of the first literary work of Sebald, Nach der Natur. Ein Elementargedicht. It is an extended prose poem divided into three parts. The first is about the German ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2003)

W. G. Sebald was born in Wertach im Allg u, Germany, in 1944. He studied German language and literature in Freiburg, Switzerland, and Manchester. He taught at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, for thirty years, becoming professor of European literature in 1987, and from 1989 to 1994 was the first director of the British Centre for Literary Translation. His previously translated books—The Rings of Saturn, The Emigrants, Vertigo, and Austerlitz—have won a number of international awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the Berlin Literature Prize, and the Literatur Nord Prize. He died in December 2001.


From the Hardcover edition.

Bibliographic information