Karine Winkelvoss

W. G. Sebald: Formen des Pathos
[W. G. Sebald: Forms of Pathos]

Brill | Fink, Paderborn 2022, 313 pages
ISBN 978-3-7705-6618-1

This is the first book that explores the question of pathos in Sebald’s self-understanding and reception. It highlights the relation between Sebald’s ideal style of dispassionate speech that is devoid of pathos and his ethics of sympathy, of em-pathy as a protest against political a-pathy. Thus, pathos is not a transgression against the good “ethical-aesthetic” taste but a central dimension of the preoccupation with the Shoah. In the light of Aby Warburg’s concept of the pathos formula that both increases and tames the intensity of expression, Sebald’s often-discussed use of documental material and images as well as his more discreet motifs such as gestures and references to film, theater, and opera are newly read as forms of pathos.

French edition:

W. G. Sebald, l’économie du pathos. Paris: Classiques Garnier 2021


Bücher im Gespräch

Episode 4: Selbstübersetzung

For our podcast, Karine Winkelvoss and Stefan Willer talked about scientific self-translation. (in German)

Media Response

01 Apr 2023
W.G. Sebald: Formen des Pathos

Review by Uwe Schütte, in: Weimarer Beiträge 69.1 (2023), 151–154

31 Mar 2023
Über den richtigen Umgang mit dem kaum Sagbaren

Review by Manfred Roth, in: literaturkritik.de, 31 Mar 2023