“Seboldian” is virtually a genre in its own right. It means an intimate and authoritative voice, one equally at home in memoir, travelogue, history, and fiction—usually all at once. It’s as intellectual as it is personal, discussing the brutality of war and intolerance as well as diving into the whimsies of imagination. Above all, it guarantees that anything written by this German master is worth many readings. Quintessentially Seboldian, then, his final book is a collection of essays in tribute to five writers and one painter Sebold revered. If you haven’t heard of Hebel, Morike, and Keller—don’t worry. Sebold brings these artists to life and makes their work immediate—you’ll want to seek them out (and the volume has a list of English translations).
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