So here’s the official announcement: my monograph on queer masculinities in Sebald (the monograph formerly known as A Madness Most Discreet) will be published later this year by Legenda as Sebald’s Bachelors: Queer Resistance and the Unconforming Life, as no. 2 in their new Germanic Literatures series. Just to prove it’s true: look, here’s the cover!
Today, I’ve just finished going through the first proofs, and am alternately thrilled and terrified at the thoughts of my fanciful theories about queer resistance, lines of escape, homoerotic Orientalism and the camp style of the Sebaldian bachelor reaching a wider audience. Producing the book with Legenda has been an enormously rewarding experience, from the extremely rigorous and constructive reader’s report to the precise process of copyediting, to say nothing of swiftly re-teaching myself enough French to carry out a correspondence about copyright and image quality with a French museum! My seventeen-year-old self would be delighted that I actually wrote an email asking someone to accept the expression of my most distinguished sentiments.
A finished and printed book gives the illusion of completeness, and yet my ideas about Sebald and his queer bachelors seem so far from complete, and keep roving on. In a very Sebaldian fashion, I find I’m mourning the book that I’m about to abandon to its readers, and hope very much that I’ll have the time to go travelling in different directions with the ‘Sebaldian queer’ in future. In the meantime, my piles of Sebald books are being bagged up ready to return to the library… and Sebald’s Bachelors is ready for you to pre-order online. The writing is over, but I very much hope a conversation is about to begin!