Keynote Roundtable: Saturday, May 6th at 3:00 PM, The New York Public Library Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Trustees Room, 2nd Floor
Reservations Required; Register Here
Art, Fiction, & History: The Work of W.G. Sebald
Join Mark Anderson, Daniel Kehlmann, and Judith Ryan for a wide-ranging discussion of the relationship between fiction and history in W.G. Sebald’s work. Sebald situates his novels in the perpetually shifting and disquieting gray zone hovering between fact and fiction where truth is forgotten and recovered and where the author himself stands in painful yet elusive proximity to his subject.
Mark Anderson is a professor of German and Comparative literature at Columbia University, where he is also the Director of Deutsches Haus. He is the author of numerous books and articles on Kafka and European modernism as well as several articles on Sebald, which have been published in several journals, including Representations and Critique.
Judith Ryan is the Robert K. and Dale J. Weary Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Harvard University. Her main focus is the period from about 1890 to the present, with special emphases on early twentieth-century modernism and literature of the present day. Recent publications include a book, The Novel After Theory (Columbia University Press, 2012), and articles on “Rilke’s Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus,” in Jean-Michel Rabaté, ed., 1922: Literature, Culture, Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2015), and “The Ransmayr-Sebald Connection: History, Intertextuality, and Critical Theory,” in Gegenwartsliteratur, Fall 2016). She has published some half a dozen articles on W.G. Sebald. Certainly his work, with its complex and often problematic relationship to previous authors and texts, its exploration of power and territory, its challenging notions of history, and its skeptical handling of narrative conventions, can be expected to continue as an important point of reference in her thinking.