A Place in the Country

WG Sebald, Jo Catling (trs.)

A Place in the Country

When W. G. Sebald, the prize-winning author of Austerlitz, travelled to Manchester in 1966, he packed in his bags certain literary favourites which would remain central to him throughout the rest of his life and during the years when he was settled in England. In A Place in the Country, he reflects on six of the figures who shaped him as a person and as a writer, from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Jan Peter Tripp. Fusing biography and essay, and finding, as ever, inspiration in place - as when he journeys to the Ile St. Pierre, the tiny, lonely Swiss island where Jean-Jacques Rousseau found solace and inspiration - Sebald lovingly brings his subjects to life in his distinctive, inimitable voice. 3.7 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
A Place in the Country

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Essays, Journals & Letters
Format
Pages
RRP
Date of Publication May 2013
ISBN 978-0241144183
Publisher Hamish Hamilton
 

When W. G. Sebald, the prize-winning author of Austerlitz, travelled to Manchester in 1966, he packed in his bags certain literary favourites which would remain central to him throughout the rest of his life and during the years when he was settled in England. In A Place in the Country, he reflects on six of the figures who shaped him as a person and as a writer, from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Jan Peter Tripp. Fusing biography and essay, and finding, as ever, inspiration in place - as when he journeys to the Ile St. Pierre, the tiny, lonely Swiss island where Jean-Jacques Rousseau found solace and inspiration - Sebald lovingly brings his subjects to life in his distinctive, inimitable voice.

Reviews

The Financial Times

Ángel Gurría-Quintana

The first of Sebald’s prose works to be translated into English since 2005 offers welcome glimpses into his stylistic and thematic preoccupations ... This illuminating collection shows a writer at his most inquisitive, gazing deeply under the surface of things and grappling with the difficulties of personal and collective memory.

26/04/2013

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The Observer

Tim Adams

This collection of essays on half a dozen figures mostly little read in English, including the 19th century Swiss writer Gottfried Keller and the Lutheran poet Eduard Mörike, seems at the outset to have all the attributes of a bottom-drawer manuscript, a scraping together of the inimitable East Anglian emigre's stray thoughts on the influences of his youth. The sense is quickly dispelled, however. Sebald was in possession of the uncanny ability to make his own intellectual obsessions, however abstruse, immediately, compulsively his reader's.

28/04/2013

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The Evening Standard

Ian Thomson

… for all their autumnal sense of loss, the essays do not always translate agreeably into English. Really, they amount to a few final, exquisite civilities, but they are none the less valuable for that.

25/04/2013

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