What is it about?

The carnivalesque can be defined as temporary suspensions of social order, marked by transgression, laughter and inversions of normal relationships. In this article, I identify carnivalesque elements in Sebald's writing, and argue that these are central to what he was trying to achieve in his writing.

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Why is it important?

Sebald's work has generally been read as a pessimistic or melancholic comment on the modern world. The carnivalesque elements of his writing have, in my view, so far been under-acknowledged. For this reason, in this article, I have attempted to show why these episodes of his work are important to his whole artistic project.

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This page is a summary of: Carnival exhausted: Roguishness and resistance in W. G. Sebald, Journal of European Studies, January 2019, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0047244118818996.
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