Mapping Literature : W.G. Sebald “The Ring of Saturn”

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LITMAP: Mapping Literature – Barbara L Hui

Litmap is a geological references of  literature using Google Map.  The website shows all places refereed in “The Ring of Saturn” by German novelist W.G. Sebald.

W.G. Sebald “The Ring of Saturn”

After World War II, Sebald moved to England and settled in Norwich until his death by a car accident in 2001.  In “The Ring of Saturn”, a character wanders both real places in Suffork and reminiscent places, related to literature and Sebald’s memory in the World War II.  In other words, the book is an noctambulous travel essay the author is straying around his memory and imaginary landscapes written in literature, he had never been before.

Litmap and “Patience : After Sebald”

The book has fascinated many people, and some of them created fan works.  Litmap is one of the fun works about “Ring of Saturn” by Barbara L Hui.  She checked all places refereed in the book, and added pins on Google Map.  In the book, it is almost impossible to follow his journey because he was straying not only Suffolk (he was there) but also around German, Africa, Poland and France at the same time.  She unveiled his mysterious footsteps by elaborate research.  We can see a episode of the book if we click a pin on the Litmap.

One of the most significant work is “Patience After Sebald”, which is a video directed by Grant Geed.  In the video, Litmap was introduced.

Patience (After Sebald) Full Movie

Non-linear Narrative and Mapping

As seen above, “The Ring of Saturn” is a kind of non-linear narrative.  There are lots of landscapes which seems not to be related to each other.  However, Sebald connect these landscapes within his memory.  He took a walk from Suffolk in 1990’s to Germany under the fire in 1940’s in a sentence.  Litmap sorted out the incoherent narrative order and shows them as a visual.

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