Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1969. First edition. 8vo, 146 pp, printed wraps. Text in German. Though unstated, one of 2000 copies produced, the bulk of which were distributed to libraries.
The rare first edition of Sebald's controversial first published book, a critical study of Carl Sternheim and a landmark work of postwar literature that is little known outside of German studies, remaining untranslated even after the success of his later hybrid works. The work grew out of Sebald's thesis, but is here radically and violently revised by the 24 year-old Sebald, who states in the foreward "Da es sich bei dieser Revision vorwiegend um eine Destrucktion handelt" (this revision is largely concerned with destruction). Sheppard, in Saturn's Moons, makes the case that the book is essential to understanding Sebald's later works: "For in the Sternheim book we are seeing Max's first major raid in his metaphorical 'Luftkrieg' (air war) against Germany. It was not primarily concerned with accuracy of fairness, and its most violent current, unnamed as yet, is Bejamin's destructive wind of history. Nor can I help wondering how many of Max's anglophone admirers understand that a straigt, albeit subterranean line runs from his early saturation in revisionist Marxism to the nostalgia-laden critique of the postmodern, 'hamburgerized world' (Max's phrase) that informs his literary work of the 1990's." [p. 184].
The work was largely distributed to libraries, and is usually found as a deaccessioned ex-library book. This copy is not, having remained in private circulation. Paper and wraps rather toned, a bump and small resulting tear to head of spine, but a solid, very good example.
[Sheppard A. 1]. Item #27052