Luisa BankiJun 4, 2018
Zu W. G. Sebald und Walter Benjamin
Wilhelm Fink 2016
W. G. Sebald, one of the most prominent German-speaking authors of the late 20th century, has been discussed in German literary studies again and again. Nonetheless, many questions about him and his work remain open. In her dissertation Post-Catastrophic Poetics (Post-Katastrophische Poetik [Wilhelm Fink, 2016]), Luisa Banki, postdoc at the University of Wuppertal, challenges common assumptions about Sebald. By putting him in comparison with Walter Benjamin, she argues that Sebald’s narrator is driven by what she calls "paranoia," which basically means he sees all sorts of connections and meanings in everything whether they are there or not. According to Banki, Sebald’s texts are not only structured by melancholia – as the majority of interpreters claim – but also by this intense, imaginative watchfulness.