Photography & literature


“[Sebald’s pictures] feel like fragments of evidence that can help us understand the book and point to things in the real world that we can see for ourselves.and point to things in the real world that we can see for ourselves.”

The current issue of Source explores the “photographically illustrated novel, the relationship between Swiss writer Robert Walser and Robert Frank and a comparison of the literary and photobook markets.” There’s also a series of related short films that includes Kafka’s Amerika, Clive Scott and Will Stone on the Symbolist Bruges-la-Morte, thought to be the first photographically illustrated novel. Scott also contributes to Austerlitz alongside Sebaldian Jonathan Long:

WG Sebald’s last novel, like its predecessors, is illustrated with mysterious photographs. Sebald scholar Jonathan Long visits locations featured in the book and explores how the photographs correspond to (or conceal) reality. Clive Scott, Sebald’s former colleague, recalls conversations with the author about the book. Michael Brandon-Jones, the technician who prepared Sebald’s manuscripts for publication, talks about how the books were arranged and the different sources of the visual material they contain.