By W. G. Sebald
After Nature, W. G. Sebald’s first literary paintings, now translated into English via Michael Hamburger, explores the lives of 3 males attached through their stressed wondering of humankind’s position within the wildlife. From the efforts of every, “an order arises, in areas attractive and comforting, even though extra merciless, too, than the former kingdom of ignorance.” the 1st determine is the good German Re-naissance painter Matthias Grünewald. the second one is the Enlightenment botanist-explorer Georg Steller, who followed Bering to the Arctic. The 3rd is the writer himself, who describes his wanderings between landscapes scarred via the wrecked certainties of earlier ages.
After Nature introduces the various topics that W. G. Sebald explored in his next books. A haunting imaginative and prescient of the waxing and waning tides of start and devastation that lie in the back of and earlier than us, it confirms the author’s place as probably the most profound and unique writers of our time.
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Additional resources for After Nature (Modern Library Paperbacks)
Consider yourself and your feeling right every time with regard to every such argumenta tion, discus? ion or introduction; if you are wrong after all, the natural growth of your inner life will lead you slowly and with time to other insights. Leave to your opinions their own quiet undis turbed development, which, like all progress, must come from deep within and cannot be pressed or hurried by anything. Everything is gestation and then bringing forth. To let each impression and each germ of a feeling come to completion wholly in itself, in the dark, in the inexpressible, the un conscious, beyond the reach of one’s own intelli- 29 gence, and await with deep humility and patience the birth-hour of a new clarity: that alone is living the artists life: in understanding as in creating.
Going-into- 45 oneself and for hours meeting no one—this one must be able to attain. To be solitary, the way one was solitary as a child, when the grownups went around involved with things that seemed impor tant and big because they themselves looked so busy and because one comprehended nothing of their doings. And when one day one perceives that their occu pations are paltry, their professions petrified and no longer linked with living, why not then con tinue to look like a child upon it all as upon some thing unfamiliar, from out of the depth of one’s own world, out of the expanse of one’s own soli tude, which is itself work and status and vocation?
But leaming-time is always a long, secluded time, and so loving^ for a long while ahead and far o d into life, is—solitude, intensified and deepened loneness for him who loves. ), it is a high inducement to the individual to ripen, to become something in him self, to become world, to become world for him self for another’s sake, it is a great exacting claim upon him, something that chooses him out and calls him to vast things. Only in this sense, as the task of working at themselves ( “to hearken and to hammer day and night” ), might young people use the love that is given them.
After Nature (Modern Library Paperbacks) by W. G. Sebald