On Vanishing Land (2013): The Eerie, W. G. Sebald, and English Hauntology

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Abstract

This chapter looks at the connection—and disconnection—between W. G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn, undoubtedly one of the great artistic expressions of melancholy of the past several decades, and Justin Barton and Mark Fisher’s On Vanishing Land. The works share much in common—landscape, Englishness, even aspects of mood—but are also opposed in a number of ways: The Rings of Saturn is humanist, On Vanishing Land is post-humanist; The Rings of Saturn is melancholy, On Vanishing Land is post-melancholy. Indeed, Barton and Fisher’s work could even be understood as a polemic against such a revered and now celebrated figure as Sebald and the kind of institutional acclaim (e.g., James Wood) that has built up around his work.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Persistence of Melancholia in Arts and Culture
EditorsAndrea Bubenik
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter5
Pages94-106
Number of pages13
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9780429468469
ISBN (Print)9781138604490
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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