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Shadows of Reality

A Catalogue of W.G. Sebald's Photographic Materials
Eds. Clive Scott & Nick Warr
ISBN: 9781911343660

The first-ever volume of the photographs of W.G. Sebald, exquisitely designed to shed new light on his creative process, as it chronicles the places, people, and events that shaped his writing life.


Shadows of Reality presents a unique, fully-illustrated catalogue of W. G. Sebald's photographs: an extraordinary combination of film negatives, prints, and slides from the University of East Anglia's photographic collection, the Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach, and the Sebald Estate.


Edited by literary scholar Clive Scott and photography curator Nick Warr, this wonderfully comprehensive book covers every element of Sebald's published work and includes a substantial amount of material that has not been made public before.


Introduced by Nick Warr, who offers an intriguing overview of the author's critical relationship to photography, Shadows of Reality also incorporates an illuminating interview with Michael Brandon-Jones, the photographer who collaborated with Sebald on all of his publications. It further contains a collection of extracts, principally on photography, from interviews with Sebald himself, held in the library of recordings in the possession of his close friend, Gordon Turner, who also provides a memoir. Accompanying these are inspired essays by Clive Scott and Angela Breidbach on Sebald's writing-with-photographs and the complex and mercurial interactions of those photographs with narrative design and fascinating insights from Francisco Cantú and Glen Jamieson who both re-photograph Sebald’s work, the latter in a diagnosis of the kind of illumination the camera flash imparts to Sebald's subjects.


A deeply important collection for anyone interested in Sebald's creative processes or the ways in which photography might serve fiction, Shadows of Reality is an inexhaustible treasure-trove of new discoveries and revelations about the cherished international author.




Clive Scott is Emeritus Professor of Drama and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Among his many roles and honors, he was President of the Modern Humanities Research Association, Acting Director of the British Centre for Literary Translation, and Head of the School of Literature and Creative Writing, and received the R.H. Gapper Book Prize, in 2004, for Channel Crossings: French and English poetry in Dialogue 1550-2000.


Nick Warr is Lecturer in Art History and Curation in the School of Art, Media, and American Studies at the University of East Anglia. He is also Curator of Photographic Collections, Course Director of Art History and World Art Studies, and Academic Director of the East Anglian Film Archive.

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Press Copy - SoR

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