Modern Library, Paperback, 9780812972320, 240pp.
Publication Date: February 14, 2006
The Washington Post Book World
This final collection of essays by W. G. Sebald offers profound ruminations on many themes common to his work the power of memory and personal history, the connections between images in the arts and life, the presence of ghosts in places and artifacts. Some of these pieces pay tribute to the Mediterranean island of Corsica, weaving elegiacally between past and present, examining, among other things, the island's formative effect on its most famous citizen, Napoleon. In others, Sebald 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 status as one of the great modern writers who divined and expressed the invisible connections that determine our lives.
“A writer whose work [belongs] on the high shelf alongside that of Kafka, Borges and Proust.”
–The New York Times Book Review
“Far outdoing even the best of these pieces are three set in Corsica. Perhaps intended as part of a new work of imagination, they compel a startled delight, and they compel painful regret–outrage even–that Sebald is gone and unable to continue.”
–Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Brilliant . . . rollicking, sorrowful . . . [a] wonderfully mellifluous translation.”
–The Boston Globe