Ein Wanderer in ökologisch zerrütteten Vorstellungswelten. Konfiguration eines vernetzten Mensch-Seins in W.G. Sebalds Die Ringe des Saturn

Hanne Janssens


This article focuses on the configuration of a connected humanity in W.G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn. Although Sebald’s ecological landscapes show-case human-inflicted damage to the environment, the development of the terrain proceeds of its own accord. These evolutions, which are both anthropogenic and autopoietic, demonstrate the agency of human and non-human actors alike, thus destabilizing the traditional distinction between the active human subject and its passive material surroundings. In a typical anthropogenic search for meaning, the narrator sets out on a journey and explores the interconnectedness of the human and the non-human, the natural and the cultural. However, immersion in his surroundings does not lead to a contingent understanding of such connectedness. The process of writing allows the narrator to restructure places and experiences. He assembles his notes in the hope of gaining an overview of their complexity. (HJ, in German)

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