Sebald's Kindred Spirit

Sebald found in Browne a kindred spirit of a very high order, and when Sebald writes about Browne he seems to be writing about himself as well. The two writers’ similarities are manifold, from their fascination with nature and mortality to their love of words. Warranted or not, Sebald seems to have wanted to view Browne as a fellow melancholic.

On every new thing [Sebald writes] there lies already the shadow of annihilation. For the history of every individual, of every social order, indeed of the whole world, does not describe an ever-widening, more and more wonderful arc, but rather follows a course which, once the meridian is reached, leads without fail down into the dark. Knowledge of that descent into the dark, for Browne, is inseparable from his belief in the day of resurrection…

Sebald himself seems to have indicated the same hope for resurrection.

More at Vertigo. In October New Directions published a new edition of Urn Burial with “foreword” by W.G. Sebald.

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