Abstract

Aspects of the "ethics of representation" are explored with reference to W.G. Sebald's critique of Günter Grass and West German literature in Luftkrieg und Literatur (On the Natural History of Destruction) and his early literary essays. Sebald takes Grass to task for failing to tell the story of the Danzig Jews as though it were his own story, and for inventing the figure of Hermann Ott, the German who does not betray the Jews, in Aus dem Tagebuch einer Schnecke (From the Diary of a Snail, 1972). Sebald's critique of Grass is examined with reference to Avishai Margalit's philosophical essay, The Ethics of Memory, and questions are raised regarding the ethics of representation in the work of both Sebald and Grass.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-2810
Print ISSN
0026-9271
Pages
pp. 186-206
Launched on MUSE
2009-05-13
Open Access
No
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