Campo Santo. English

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Random House, 2005 - Literary Collections - 221 pages
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In this final collection of sixteen essays by W. G. Sebald, one of the most elegant and incisive authors of our time, all of his trademark themes are contained-the power of memory and personal history, the connections between images in the arts and life, the presence of ghosts in places and artifacts.
Four pieces pay tribute to the Mediterranean island of Corsica, weaving elegiacally between past and present. In "A Little Excursion to Ajaccio," Sebald visits the birthplace of Napoleon and muses on the hints in his childhood home of a great man's future. Inspired by an Italian cemetery, "Campo Santo" is a reverie on death, ranging from the ambiguity of inscriptions to the size of and adornment of gravestones to the blood-soaked legend of Saint Julien.
Sebald also examines how the works of Gunter Grass and Heinrich Boll reveal "the grave and lasting deformities in the emotional lives" of postwar Germans, how Kafka echoes Sebald's own interest in spirit presences among mortal beings, and how literature can be an attempt at restitution for the injustices of the real world.
Dazzling in its erudition, accessible in its deep emotion, "Campo Santo" confirms Sebald's place beside Proust and Nabokov, great writers who perceive the invisible connections that determine our lives.

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Campo Santo

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Shortly before his accidental and premature death in 2001, Sebald, one of postwar Germany's greatest writers, had just published his celebrated novel, Austerlitz . But according to some critics, the ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

He studied German language and literature in Freiburg, Switzerland and Manchester. He has taught at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England since 1970. He became a professor of European literature in 1987. From 1989 to 1994 was the first director of the British Centre for Literary Translation. He was born in Wertach in Allgau, Germany in 1944.

Anthea Bell was born in Suffolk, was educated at Somerville College, Oxford, and works as a translator, primarily from German and French. Her translations include works of non-fiction, literary and popular fiction, and books for young people including classic German works by the Brothers Grimm, Clemens Brentano, Wilhelm Hauff and Christian Morgenstern. She has been the recipient of a number of translation prizes and awards including the 1987 Schlegel-Tieck Award for Hans Berman's The Stone and the Flute, the Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation for Christine Nöstlinger's A Dog's Life, the 2002 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize for her translation of W.G. Sebald's novel Austerlitz, and the Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize in 2009 for How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone.

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