Book 854 W.G. Sebald – Vertigo


After disliking Austerlitz, I sort of groaned when I found out that I had to plow through another Sebald but this time round I quite enjoyed Vertigo and as the quotes say, it is definitely original and unique.

The main plot is about a narrator (or the author) who escapes Britain in order to travel around Italy and Southern Germany. From then onwards the book’s tone shifts. In some parts it’s a travelogue, in others it’s a biography on Stendhal and Franz Kafka. It shifts again into an appreciation of Pisanello’s art. There anecdotes, bits of trivia,  pictures, and illustrations. In fact it is admirable on how Sebald takes the concept of a novel, turns it around and makes it so much fun. Throughout this book I felt like I was participating in some game. The novel itself is divided into four parts and they are all interlinked, albeit loosely. One main theme being a sense of vertigo both the narrator and the historical characters he describes suffer from. Could be a result of their society and times they live in??

However there were some sections (mostly the Southern Germany section) which I did find a little tedious but on the whole I cannot say that I hated this book.  Whatever view you hold you definitely have to say that there is absolutely nothing like this.


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