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The spatial supplement: landscape and perspective in W.G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn

Weston, Daniel


Daniel Weston


For cultural geographers, uncertainties inhabit the concept of ‘landscape'. The term shuttles between describing embodied practice of immersion in an environment, and indicating representational strategies for looking at an environment. This article provides a reading of W.G. Sebald's The Rings of Saturn as a platform from which to offer a critique of current understandings of landscape from a critical perspective that looks to assimilate the findings of cultural geography and literary studies. Sebald's record of an ambulatory journey through coastal Suffolk aims not to resolve the instabilities of ‘landscape', but to collapse into one another its discrete meanings: it is through the history of previous artistic visitation, coupled with his own sensory involvement, that Sebald engages with and inhabits the landscape that he describes. Derrida's notion of ‘supplementarity' is employed to provide purchase by which to recognize the interdependence of practice and representation in the production of landscape in Sebald's text, and in a widely applicable understanding of the term's complexities.


Weston, D. (2011). The spatial supplement: landscape and perspective in W.G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn. cultural geographies, 18(2), 171-186.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Apr 12, 2011
Publication Date Apr 1, 2011
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Cultural Geographies
Print ISSN 1474-4740
Electronic ISSN 1477-0881
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 2
Pages 171-186
Keywords East Anglia; Landscape; Perspective; Supplement; Representation; WG Sebald
Public URL
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