On the Natural History of Destruction

W. G. Sebald
In the last years of World War II, a million tons of bombs were dropped by the Allies on one hundred and thirty-one German towns and cities. This title explores German writers' strange silence about a moment of mass destruction. The first of W.G. Sebald's non-fiction books to be translated into English, "On the Natural History of Destruction" explores German writers' strange silence about a moment of mass destruction. In the last years of World War II, a million tons of bombs were dropped by the Allies on one hundred and thirty-one German towns and cities. Six hundred thousand civilians died, and three and a half million homes were destroyed. When it has cast such a very dark shadow over his life and work, Sebald asks, how have so many writers allowed themselves to write it out of their experience and avoid articulating the horror? W.G. Sebald's "On the Natural History of Destruction" sparked a wide-ranging debate in the German press.

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