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On (Not) Reading Wales In W.G. Sebald's Austerlitz (2001)

Davies, MP; (2018) On (Not) Reading Wales In W.G. Sebald's Austerlitz (2001). Oxford German Studies , 47 (1) pp. 84-102. 10.1080/00787191.2018.1409512. Green open access

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Abstract

This article explores representations of Wales in W. G. Sebald’s novel Austerlitz (2001). It considers why the novel’s passages on Wales have often evaded scholarship on Sebald’s writing to date, and ways in which Austerlitz may seem eccentric to Welsh critical canons too. The article places Austerlitz in intertextual relationships with the literatures and cultural history of Wales and so uncovers some of the novel’s hidden Welsh references. In alluding to Evan Morgan, 2nd Viscount Tredegar for example, Austerlitz simultaneously turns away from Welsh history and reveals it in unexpected ways. The novel also calls to mind the nineteenth-century preacher John Elias in a way which offers an unusual perspective on Sebald’s poetics of coincidence. The article suggests alternative critical contexts in which Sebald’s Wales becomes productively legible; put most globally, it is interested in the practice and rewards of non-metropolitan reading, relationships between the supposed centres and margins of literature and the ways in which they remain in perpetual (re-)negotiation.

Type: Article
Title: On (Not) Reading Wales In W.G. Sebald's Austerlitz (2001)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/00787191.2018.1409512
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/00787191.2018.1409512
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Sebald, Austerlitz, Wales, Welsh, Gothic, Evan Morgan, John Elias, Intertextuality, Birds, Names, Uncanny, Coincidence, Reservoirs, Non-metropolitan, Tryweryn, Vyrnwy
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10027843
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