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Across the Land and the Water: Selected Poems, 1964-2001
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“A splendid addition to an already extraordinary oeuvre.”—Teju Cole, The New Yorker
 
German-born W. G. Sebald is best known as the innovative author of Austerlitz, the prose classic of World War II culpability and conscience that put its author in the company of Nabokov, Calvino, and Borges. Now comes the first major collection of this literary master’s poems. Skillfully translated by Iain Galbraith, they range from pieces Sebald wrote as a student in the sixties to those completed right before his untimely death in 2001. In nearly one hundred poems—the majority published in English for the first time—Sebald explores his trademark themes, from nature and history, to wandering and wondering, to oblivion and memory. Soaring and searing, the poetry of W. G. Sebald is an indelible addition to his superb body of work, and this collection is bound to become a classic in its own right.
 
“How fortunate we are to have this writer’s startling imagination freshly on display once again, expressed in language honed to a perfect simplicity.”—Billy Collins
 
“A watershed volume . . . nothing less than transcendent.”—BookPage
 
“[Sebald was] a defining writer of his era.”—The New Republic
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Street Date:
03/27/2012
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781588369567
ASIN:
B005O1BNGU
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APA Citation (style guide)

W.G. Sebald. (2012). Across the Land and the Water: Selected Poems, 1964-2001. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

W.G. Sebald. 2012. Across the Land and the Water: Selected Poems, 1964-2001. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

W.G. Sebald, Across the Land and the Water: Selected Poems, 1964-2001. Random House Publishing Group, 2012.

MLA Citation (style guide)

W.G. Sebald. Across the Land and the Water: Selected Poems, 1964-2001. Random House Publishing Group, 2012. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: W. G. Sebald was born in Wertach im Allgäu, Germany, in 1944. He studied German language and literature in Freiburg, Switzerland, and Manchester. He taught at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, for thirty years, becoming professor of European literature in 1987, and from 1989 to 1994 was the first director of the British Centre for Literary Translation. His previously translated books—The Rings of Saturn, The Emigrants, Vertigo, and Austerlitz—have won a number of international awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the Berlin Literature Prize, and the LiteraTour Nord Prize. He died in December 2001.
         
        Iain Galbraith was born in Glasgow in 1956 and studied modern languages and comparative literature at the universities of Cambridge, Freiburg, and Mainz, where he taught for several years. He has edited works by Stevenson, Hogg, Scott, Boswell, and Conrad, and contributed essays to many books and journals in the U.K., France, and Germany. He is a widely published translator of German-language writing, especially poetry, into English, winning the John Dryden Prize for Literary Translation in 2004.
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title
Across the Land and the Water
fullDescription
“A splendid addition to an already extraordinary oeuvre.”—Teju Cole, The New Yorker
 
German-born W. G. Sebald is best known as the innovative author of Austerlitz, the prose classic of World War II culpability and conscience that put its author in the company of Nabokov, Calvino, and Borges. Now comes the first major collection of this literary master’s poems. Skillfully translated by Iain Galbraith, they range from pieces Sebald wrote as a student in the sixties to those completed right before his untimely death in 2001. In nearly one hundred poems—the majority published in English for the first time—Sebald explores his trademark themes, from nature and history, to wandering and wondering, to oblivion and memory. Soaring and searing, the poetry of W. G. Sebald is an indelible addition to his superb body of work, and this collection is bound to become a classic in its own right.
 
“How fortunate we are to have this writer’s startling imagination freshly on display once again, expressed in language honed to a perfect simplicity.”—Billy Collins
 
“A watershed volume . . . nothing less than transcendent.”—BookPage
 
“[Sebald was] a defining writer of his era.”—The New Republic
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Billy Collins, former United States Poet Laureate
      • content: Praise for W. G. Sebald

        "How fortunate we are to have this writer's startling imagination freshly on display once again, and now in poetry. ACROSS THE LAND AND THE WATER is a rich collection full of little mysteries, unnerving insights, and odd reflections, all expressed in language honed to a perfect simplicity. 'The Three Wise Men/Are walking the earth,' his lines go, and at least one of them is W.G. Sebald."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Guardian UK
      • content: "A significant addition to Sebald's main achievement – full of things that are beautiful and fascinating in themselves, and which cast a revealing light on the evolution and content of his prose . . . . an important book."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Irish Times
      • content: "Now with the publication of Across the Land and the Water: Selected Poems 1962-2001 , thanks to the translation and scholarship of Iain Galbraith, Sebald readers can hear the master's voice again and see in distilled form the Sebald landscape, as if for the first time...Sebald reminds me of the humanist tradition of Günter Grass or Heinrich Böll, company he unquestionably belongs to as poet, essayist and prose writer, one of the great artists of our time."
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 1, 2012

        While Sebald is best known for his novels (e.g., Austerlitz; The Rings of Saturn), he also wrote poetry. This first major collection, published over a decade after his untimely death in a car accident, shows that his poems explore the same themes--memory, for instance--as his novels. The poems included here range from his student work to his final pieces. "Some readers," translator Galbraith points out in his introduction, "may agree with W.G. Sebald that prose was the medium to which his hand was best suited." Certainly, many of these poems read as mere observations and descriptions of places and feel almost like photographs. In some cases, as in the final section ("The Year Before Last"), readers are confronted with a litany of proper nouns that might be better suited to a longer narrative and render some poems difficult. VERDICT The joy of reading these poems can be found in what Galbraith calls the "battle between the intellect and the senses"--what we see, as in Sebald's novels, is complicated by history and memory. Read closely.--Stephen Morrow, Ohio Univ., Chillicothe

        Copyright 2012 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from March 15, 2012
        Sebald (19442011) was tipped for the Nobel Prize but died in a car crash. These 90 poems mostly in short, unpunctuated lines are densely packed with learned literary and historical allusions. He writes about Bruegel, Rembrandt, and Edward Hicks; Beethoven, Schumann, and Chopin; Goethe, Kleist, and Kafka. A dispassionate observer, he sees limbs benumbed / in the quicksilver of their angst. He evokes vivid concrete images: Chestnuts fall from their husks / in the rain. / I saw them in the morning / glossy on the sand of the patio. His poems have mysterious conclusions and gnomic insights. Feelings are stars which guide us / only when the sky is clear, and Sebald describes the slightly menacing abandoned poultry farms / haunted by millions and millions / of breakfast eggs. Sebald's dominant themes are journeys, borders, and landscapes; the burdens of exile; time, dreams and the loss of cultural memory this ground / is steeped in history / they find corpses / every time they dig. His masterpiece, On 9 June 1904, portrays Chekhov's death in Germany. The corpse was returned to Russia, incongruously transferred / in a green, refrigerated / freight car marked / FOR OYSTERS. Iain Galbraith accompanies his clear and suggestive translations with useful explanatory notes.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

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“A splendid addition to an already extraordinary oeuvre.”—Teju Cole, The New Yorker
 
German-born W. G. Sebald is best known as the innovative author of Austerlitz, the prose classic of World War II culpability and conscience that put its author in the company of Nabokov, Calvino, and Borges. Now comes the first major collection of this literary master’s poems. Skillfully translated by Iain Galbraith, they range from pieces Sebald wrote as a student in the sixties to those completed right before his untimely death in 2001. In nearly one hundred poems—the majority published in English for the first time—Sebald explores his trademark themes, from nature and history, to wandering and wondering, to oblivion and memory. Soaring and searing, the poetry of W. G. Sebald is an indelible addition to his superb body of work, and this collection is bound to become a classic in its own right.
 
...
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