Masters Thesis

Ghosts, zombies, and angels: an exploration of metaphysics and the possibility of redemption in W. G. Sebald's prose narratives

Melancholy, enigmatic, haunting, spectral. These are words often used to describe W.G. Sebald’s prose style. Critics and lay readers who find themselves enmeshed in Sebald’s enchanting, dark web of words sometimes find his work difficult to categorize, yet strangely alluring. W.G. Sebald, a German-born professor who spent most of his adult life living and teaching in England, challenged old notions of what a novel should look like and be about. His four “prose-narratives,” published between 1990 and 2002, explore intense themes such as trauma, loss, identity, time, sexuality, psychosis, war, and amnesia. Sebald strongly emphasizes the unspeakable horror of the holocaust and its aftermath, while incorporating non-traditional elements in his creative works such as photography, old postcards and scribbled notes, antiquated words, verbosity, and quite a few digressions.

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