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Luisa Banki

Post-Katastrophische Poetik

Zu W. G. Sebald und Walter Benjamin

Wilhelm Fink 2016

New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in German StudiesNew Books in Literary StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books Network June 4, 2018 Julia Stetter

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...

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.