I have to wait for the author I read in the run up to New Year to appear out of the mists and whisper 'choose me' in my ear.
It only happens once a year and I treat it as a very special reading time, a sprinkling of magic reading dust required. One year's reading drawing to a close, new and exciting reading journeys about to begin that will take me who knows where, so it always needs something special to help reflect and recharge the batteries.
I also have absolute confidence every year that it WILL happen and it does.
There will be a sign.
This year I knew the week before Christmas exactly who was going to bless me with their bookish presence because I was given a sign in comments on the blog (thanks Mark Thwaite!) and it gave me enough time to do what John Self over at Asylum calls the online trolley dash as I heaped five of my chosen one's books into my virtual basket.Then I checked out some reviews and added a book of interviews and essays by and about...then another book of commentaries and actually there doesn't seem to be anything else available.
I'd only read one of his books before, struggled a bit with another, but knew that his moment would come here and now it has, so this New Year readers, I shall be mostly reading W.G.Sebald.I also know that his tragic death some years ago means there is a finite amount; what there is, is all there is.This adds an intensity to any contemporary literary reading experience for me. Sebald cited Adalbert Stifter as an influence on his writing and Adalbert is my new best friend so we must get acquainted
In the past The Rings of Saturn, fabulous, Austerlitz, floundered but clearly didn't try hard enough because this time round I can't put it down.
Now landed via The Book Depository Fairy, (the fairy flies free to anywhere in the world which I hope you all know by now) Vertigo, The Emigrants, Campo Santo, Unrecounted, After Nature and Emergence of Memory and a few more on the way.Already I've jumped in with both feet and have that glorious one - author - several - books - in - succession gorge feast going on that has me immersed up to my neck in the power of Sebald's writing.
While you wait for me to have anything even remotely original to say on the subject of W.G.Sebald that hasn't been said before, you might like to check out this brilliant blog which takes Sebald's writing as its main theme. My attention was seized by this connection to one of my favourites and I've spent a happy hour browsing over at Vertigo:Collecting W.G.Sebald and noting down plenty more authors who have admired this quietly astonishing literary figure.
In Pursuit of Sebald most certainly another reading project here for 2008.