W.G. Sebald’s tips for writing – from his final fiction workshop

9383015W.G. Sebald’s tips for writing – from his final fiction workshop, but lots here for writers of non-fiction to think about. Here’s the first section:

On Approach 

  • Fiction should have a ghostlike presence in it somewhere, something omniscient. It makes it a different reality.
  • Writing is about discovering things hitherto unseen. Otherwise there’s no point to the process.
  • By all means be experimental, but let the reader be part of the experiment.
  • Expressionism was really a kind of willful avant-gardism after the First World War, an attempt to wrench language into a form it does not normally have. It must have purpose, though. It hasn’t really occurred in English but is very common in German.
  • Write about obscure things but don’t write obscurely.
  • There is a certain merit in leaving some parts of your writing obscure.
  • It’s hard to write something original about Napoleon, but one of his minor aides is another matter.
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1 Response to W.G. Sebald’s tips for writing – from his final fiction workshop

  1. Pingback: Top posts this week on Progressive Geographies | Progressive Geographies

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