,

If You Like W.G. Sebald

Books evocative of the style, themes, and/or subject matter of the late great W.G. Sebald.
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16

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3.92 avg rating — 4,634 ratings
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18

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19

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20

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21

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22

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23

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24

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25

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26

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27

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28

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29

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30

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4.14 avg rating — 249,698 ratings
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31

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32

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33

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34

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35

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36

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36

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38

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38

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40

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40

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42

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43

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3.96 avg rating — 272,469 ratings
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43

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45

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45

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45

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48

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3.84 avg rating — 274 ratings
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48

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50

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51

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52

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52

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54

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56

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57

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58

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58

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60

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60

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62

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63

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63

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66

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66

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68

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69

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70

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71

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72

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73

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74

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78

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80

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81

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82

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83

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85

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86

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90

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91

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92

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93

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3.69 avg rating — 293,573 ratings
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95

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96

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98

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4.32 avg rating — 352 ratings
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115 books · 14 voters · list created June 3rd, 2015 by Brandon (votes) .
53 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


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Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

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message 1: by Noel (new)

Noel I’m trying to make a similar list for Proust. Do you have any suggestions?

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1...


message 2: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Noel wrote: "I’m trying to make a similar list for Proust. Do you have any suggestions?

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1..."


Thanks for checking out my list! Yours is great! I love Proust. I made a few suggestions. I, too, am always looking for books with that melancholy feel...


message 3: by Noel (new)

Noel You know, I was just thinking about how easy it is to create a list like this for Sebald, who is incredibly intertextual and wears his myriad influences on his sleeve, as opposed to someone like Proust who seems to be a tradition unto himself and virtually stands alone as an author. That aspect of Proust makes me a bit sad. Constructing Sebald from his influences—all of which I like so far—has been a fun exercise as I continue to explore German literature…


message 4: by Noel (last edited May 10, 2022 08:23PM) (new)

Noel I think about this list way too often :) I’ve also noticed that people who like Sebald almost always like Bernhard, Walser, Kafka, Borges, Pessoa, Schulz, Proust, Celan, and Benjamin as well, which is interesting because most of these writers don’t have all that much in common. Most of them do have an undercurrent of pessimism, but I doubt that’s the only reason.


message 5: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Noel wrote: "I think about this list way too often :) I’ve also noticed that people who like Sebald almost always like Bernhard, Walser, Kafka, Borges, Pessoa, Schulz, Proust, Celan, and Benjamin as well, which..."

I'm pretty sure Bernhard was a admirer of Walser and Kafka; Sebald, too, liked Walser and Kafka, and considered himself a follower of Bernhard, after a fashion. Thus you have these "family likenesses."


message 6: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Noel wrote: "You know, I was just thinking about how easy it is to create a list like this for Sebald, who is incredibly intertextual and wears his myriad influences on his sleeve, as opposed to someone like Pr..."

Proust is very intertextual too, but tracing the lineage of his style is not so straightforward. Like Sebald, he has many, many influences, and being from France, many of those influences are naturally French--Flaubert, Balzac, and Baudelaire are some of the biggies. However, the biggest non-French influence on Proust probably has to be the English art critic John Ruskin. In fact, Proust translated some of his work into French and wrote a long essay about reading Ruskin, aptly titled "On Reading Ruskin." It's definitely worth a read.


message 7: by Noel (last edited May 08, 2022 02:53PM) (new)

Noel Thanks, Brandon. I was aware of Ruskin’s influence on Proust although I haven’t gotten around to reading him yet. I came across an internet post that made me realize one thing almost of these authors do have in common is a sense of confusion and disorientation from living in an absurd or unjust world, touching on pessimism and surrealism. (This helps me understand choices like Kafka, although now I question choices like Borges.) I’ve realized I really like this kind of literature so it’s great to finally have a definition. I’m planning to spend the next few years exploring this and I’ve made a list of authors I want to check out that might belong to this “genre,” some of which aren’t on here, like Gombrowicz, Krasznahorkai, and Beckett. I’m very excited :)


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