By Dr. Agnes von Harnack (auth.)
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This quantity presents a dissection of W. G. Sebald's fiction and his acclaim. A German author who taught in England for 30 years, he released 4 novels, first in German after which in English. His paintings won even larger acclaim after his dying in 2001, simply months after the booklet of his name Austerlitz.
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These features of the Introductory indicate the degree to which Dostoevsky relied on tried-and-true narrative techniques for his re-entry into literary activity. Neither a first person narrator nor a frame structure represented any kind of literary innovation. Well attested though they may have been in Dostoevsky’s time (and long before it), 2 The “third message” is the focus of Charles Isenberg’s Telling Silence: Russian Frame Narratives of Renunciation (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1993).
The novel has very great defects, perhaps its worst being that it’s too drawn out; but I am sure of one thing, as of an axiom, that at the same time it also has the greatest qualities and that it is my very best work. ’ The beginning and the middle portions are already completed, the end [will be] soon. But here I place my whole soul, my flesh and blood. . [If] the public receives it coldly, then, I confess, I may very well fall into despair. ”3 Even after the work had been turned down outright by a string of publishers, Dostoevsky remained hopeful.
He did not invent them or write them down from direct experience. 50 In the introduction to The Belkin Tales Pushkin plays with reader curiosity about the relationship between authorial identity and authorial personae. Pushkin’s preface parodies the assumption that authors are their characters in mufti. He also satirizes the reader’s willingness to believe that fiction and life coincide, not only in the figure of the author, who mediates the two, but also in the figures of the dramatis personae.