Max: a Celebration – Remembering W.G. Sebald

Max: A Celebration

Max: a Celebration – Remembering W.G. Sebald

Readings, Music and Film & Book Launches: W.G Sebald – Across the Land and the Water: Selected Poems (1964-2001) & Austerlitz – 10th Anniversary Edition, newly introduced by James Wood

On the 10th anniversary of his death, a unique event celebrating the late, great writer W.G. Max Sebald; with Anthea Bell, Ian Bostridge, A.S. Byatt, Julius Drake (tbc), Ian Galbraith, Dan Gretton, Grant Gee, Rachel Lichtenstein, Christopher MacLehose, Katie Mitchell, Andrew Motion, Iain Sinclair, Will Stone, Bill Swainson, Marina Warner and Stephen Watts.

Curated by Gareth Evans; staged in association with Katie Mitchell.

The late W.G. Sebald (18.5.44 – 14.12.01) was one of the most acclaimed writers of the last 50 years. Describing his ‘incandescent body of work’, Susan Sontag asked, “is literary greatness still possible? …One of the few answers available to English-language readers is the work of W.G. Sebald… he demonstrates that literature can be, literally, indispensable. He was one by whom literature continues to live.”

Over four key books in the 1990s (Vertigo, The Emigrants, The Rings of Saturn, Austerlitz) he created a style and a range of concerns that has had a huge and ongoing influence on numerous writers, artists and filmmakers. Uniquely hybrid works, his books combine fiction, memoir, history and travelogue into a seamless whole.

Spending almost all his adult life in England, firstly in Manchester and then Norwich, Sebald is perhaps most well-known for the remarkable Suffolk travelogue The Rings of Saturn and his Holocaust fiction Austerlitz, much of which is set in East London and the streets close to Wilton’s Music Hall.

In this unique event, many of Britain’s leading writers and artists celebrate Sebald’s life and writing in an evening of readings, music and film. Drawing from his remarkable oeuvre and their own reflections, on the 10th anniversary of his untimely death, they will honour a man whose profound and searching work has exerted an almost uncanny influence on our times.

Writers taking part include the multi-award winning essayists, novelists and poets A.S. Byatt, Dan Gretton, Rachel Lichtenstein, Andrew Motion, Iain Sinclair, Will Stone, Marina Warner and Stephen Watts. The books launched tonight will be introduced by their translators, Anthea Bell and Iain Galbraith.

One of the world’s greatest tenors, Ian Bostridge, will sing from Schubert’s iconic song cycle Winterreise, with remarkable accompaniment by Julius Drake (tbc).

Award-winning filmmaker Grant Gee (Joy Division) will present an exclusive ‘landscape edit’ of his forthcoming feature essay film Patience (After Sebald), a multi-layered meditation on landscape, art, history, life and loss, and the first film internationally about Sebald. It is produced by Artevents ( and released in the UK in January 2012 by Soda Pictures (image from film).

Finally, it is a privilege to announce that Sebald’s UK publisher Christopher MacLehose and his editor Bill Swainson will attend and share their recollections.

There will be an event bookshop provided by independent booksellers Pages of Hackney ( Event filmed by Fugitive Images (

Many thanks to Andrew Wylie, Luke Ingram, The Wylie Agency and the Estate of W.G.Sebald; and to Simon Prosser, Joe Pickering and Anna Kelly at Penguin Books.

Booking Information:

Dates: Wednesday 14th December

Times: Starts 7:30pm

Prices: £17.50