Word, image & architectural historiography in W.G. Sebald’s austerlitz (2001)

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2015
Sokullu, Seda
This thesis is an attempt to uncover interaction of interdisciplinary practices in the process of writing architectural histories. For this purpose, it examines W.G. Sebald’s last prose work Austerlitz (2001) in the light of some concepts such as “death” and “afterlife”. It traces the textual and visual narrative of the work together and places this narrative at the intersection of architectural history writing and literary writing. What Sebald’s Austerlitz offers is an untraditional way of represention of the built environment, locating it within its social and cultural backgrounds. While containing significant amount of architectural criticism, yet this work reveals an understanding that there are multiple contexts that the built environment fits in. Revolving around the hidden or neglected histories, it questions “reality” and the status of the documentary material whether written or visual, and blends it with fiction, in other words it uses the opportunities of literature.