Mapping Sebald: Themes in The Rings of Saturn

Rings of Saturn by WG Sebald

Every summer, I have a ritual: I read W.G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn. Sebald and his work has captivated me for years. So far, this has been a personal and highly individualized ritual. But not this year! This year, my ritual becomes more purposeful and more public facing. To do this, I’m pairing my reading with an experiment in literary “mapping” by cataloging each emergence of various themes or “threads” in the book. At this point, I’m not necessarily analyzing any of these. However, I do anticipate that I’ll periodically add some selective commentary when I get particularly excited …

Another Trip Around the Rings of Saturn

Rings of Saturn by WG Sebald

I have this ritual. Every summer, usually in the first few weeks of the season, I re-read W.G. Sebald’s Rings of Saturn. I can’t recall the exact year I started this practice but I do remember that the first time I read the book I was in my senior year of college, back in 2006. In that class, I was introduced to two pieces of art that I’ve been obsessed with ever since. Rings of Saturn and Hans Holbein’s painting The Ambassadors, which I’m sure I’ll write about sometime as well. Sebald immediately became one of my favorite authors, and …