1000 copies, first edition
W. G. SEBALD. AIR WAR AND LITERATURE
In 1997, at the Zurich Puppet Theater, W. G. Sebald (1944–2001) gave lectures on the carpet bombing of the German cities in the last years of the World War II. Being a writer and literary critic, he pointed out to a void in the collective memory of Germans regarding the experience of destruction, and based upon rare examples of literary works that attempted to describe the horror of the total destruction of cities.
The lectures raised two difficult and also at the same time sensitive questions: about the social contract based on silencing the experience, and about the poetic language in timesof catastrophes. By criticising texts Sebald was able to note the different styles of writing that emerge in a silent tension. On the one hand, it is justified by the right to keep silence inherent to the survivors, on the other hand, it is threatening as individual, collective and cultural oblivions become the consequences of silence.
In 1999, due to numerous requests for the lectures to be republished, Sebald prepared the text for the book "Luftkrieg und Literatur" (Air War and Literature). He also included an essay on Alfred Andersch in it. In 2003, an expanded version of the book, with additional essays on Peter Weiss and Jean Amery, was published in London under the title On the Natural History of Destruction.
This Ukrainian-language edition includes four texts: "Air War and Literature. Zurich Lectures", "Writer Alfred Andersch", "The Remorse of the Heart. On Memory and Cruelty in the Works of Peter Weiss" and "Through the Eyes of a Night Bird. About Jean Amery".
The book W.G. Zebald. Air War and Literature launches a new series by ist publishing, which presents interdisciplinary researches on war and culture — warning books series.
Team and publication details
Publishing house: ist publishing
Author: W. G. Sebald
Author of the foreword to the Ukrainian edition, compiler of the warning books series: Boris Filonenko
Translation from German: Roman Osadchuk
Editing: Oleksandra Sauliak
Correction: Iryna Kurhanska
Book design and layout: Volodymyr Havrysh
Printing house: Kolo
Funding is provided from the Stabilization Fund for Culture and Education 2022, by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany and the Goethe-Institut. The publication is also supported by Hlib Naumenko.