THERE CAN BE few lovers of literature who do not know that W G Sebald died a few months after the publication of Austerlitz, at only fie-seven, and apparently at the height of his powers. Scholars of his work have known, however, that something more mysterious was happening.
Sebald's first non-academic work was a poem, After Nature. But After Nature was closer to prose than poetry, and proved to be closest of all to Sebald's own prose, which soon followed: a series of portraits strung on a long narrative line. This line grew steadily richer and more complex.