Sebaldian Artists

Interest in W.G. Sebald’s work has cut across different disciplines and registers giving rise to a series of proposals that chime with, engage in a dialogue with and appropriate this intricate network of images and texts that forms the Sebaldian universe. This is perhaps one of the distinctive traits of Sebald’s project along with its ability to be absorbed by other writers and artists; the way it acts as a possible graft, a virus, a contagion.

It’s hard to write about travel, surviving horror, historical asides, eccentrics, antique furniture, birds, architecture, landscapes, schools, dust… without evoking the German master, Sabina Murray says in an article about the Sebald phenomenon. Although the canvas composed by Sebaldian techniques and devices is present in the works of many of his predecessors, his proposal has given rise to complex poetics which many other authors have engaged with. The journey is long and may include writers from different backgrounds and generations: the Auster of The Invention of Solitude, the Pierre Michon of Small Lives, the Don DeLillo of Underworld, the Enrique Vila-Matas of Doctor Pasavento and A Brief History of Portable Literature. More recent still, the Nicole Krauss of Great House, the Sergio Chejfec of Baroni: un viaje and My Two Worlds, the Teju Cole of Open City. Nevertheless, the simple truth is that the echoes of Sebald are present in the works of many creators beyond the realms of literature on paper. Below is a list of artists who work in a similar way to Sebald and are present on or scan, in some way, the virtual pages of the visual and textual essay that Sebald Variations seeks to compose.