W G Sebald and Vertigo

I found a website I wish to share with all my avid readers around the globe.

The German-born writer Sebald lived in Great Britain and died in a car accident.

The website Vertigo:

Just check Sebald out for yourself via the link provided here.

Linked here …

Greek Tribute to Sebald | Vertigo (wordpress.com)

Quoted from the website Vertigo:

W.G. Sebald is a writer whose roving takes us from the beginning of each of his texts to an out there, to an exteriority, where we paradoxically come closer to ourselves as it overwhelms us with knowledge of a complete self-awareness. And this paradox…

Sebald is a stranger, and with us as his personal friends in a foreign land, he departs to observe critically from a supervisory distance of epic proportion and always with the pursuit of a certain tension in mind, as he once said, often ominous and threatening.

Perhaps here the blurriness of his scattered images and photographs, the levitation embedded in them…

Read the full text via the link.

Author: Vasilis Papageorgiou

Greek Tribute to Sebald | Vertigo (wordpress.com)


Mr. Vertigo written by Paul Auster, published in 1994.

This novel tells the story of Walter Claireborne Rawley, also known as Walt, a neglected orphan who is taken under the wing of Master Yehudi. Yehudi promises to teach Walt how to fly, both literally and metaphorically.

Plot Overview

  • Walt’s Journey: Walt starts as a street urchin in St. Louis and is taken to a remote house where he undergoes rigorous and often bizarre training to learn the art of levitation and flight.
  • Challenges and Growth: Throughout the novel, Walt faces numerous challenges, including encounters with the Ku Klux Klan and the Chicago Mob. His journey is not just about physical flight but also about personal growth and overcoming prejudice.
  • Performances: Eventually, Walt becomes a performer, showcasing his ability to levitate and fly, which brings him both fame and danger.


  • Transformation and Identity: The novel explores themes of transformation, identity, and the quest for self-discovery. Walt’s ability to fly symbolizes his escape from a life of poverty and neglect.
  • Mentorship and Learning: The relationship between Walt and Master Yehudi highlights the importance of mentorship and the transformative power of education and discipline.

Literary Style

Auster’s writing in “Mr. Vertigo” blends elements of absurdist fiction, crime fiction, and existentialism, creating a rich and multifaceted narrative that resonates with readers on multiple levels.

If you’re interested in more works by Paul Auster or similar themes in literature, feel free to ask!

Source: Conversation with Copilot, 08/07/2024

(1) Mr. Vertigo – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Vertigo.
(2) Paul Auster: Master of Metafiction and the Modern Self. https://thewellix.com/onculture/paul-auster-master-metafiction-modern-self/.
(3) City of Glass- Author as Character · Metafiction Across the Mediums …. http://blair.ds.lib.uw.edu/TheModernNovel/exhibits/show/metafiction-across-the-mediums/city-of-glass.


Origin and Medical Context

Vertigo originates from the Latin word “vertigo,” meaning a whirling or spinning movement. Medically, it refers to a sensation of spinning or dizziness, often caused by issues in the inner ear or the vestibular system[^10^]¹¹. It can be a symptom of various conditions, such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Ménière’s disease, or vestibular neuritis¹³.


“Vertigo” (1958) is a classic psychological thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film stars James Stewart as a former police detective who suffers from acrophobia (fear of heights) and vertigo. He is hired to follow a woman (played by Kim Novak) who exhibits strange behavior. The film is renowned for its innovative use of the “dolly zoom” technique, also known as the “Vertigo effect,” which creates a disorienting visual experience to convey the protagonist’s dizziness¹². Despite mixed reviews upon its release, “Vertigo” is now considered one of Hitchcock’s masterpieces and one of the greatest films of all time¹.


“Vertigo” by W.G. Sebald is a novel first published in 1990. The book is a blend of memoir, biography, and fiction, divided into four sections. It explores themes of memory, history, and human experience through the lives of various historical and fictional characters, including Stendhal, Casanova, and Franz Kafka⁵⁶. Sebald’s use of the term “vertigo” reflects the disorienting and dizzying nature of memory and the past, as well as the physical sensation of dizziness experienced by the characters⁷.


  • Medical: A sensation of spinning or dizziness.
  • Film: A 1958 psychological thriller by Alfred Hitchcock, known for its innovative visual effects and complex narrative.
  • Literature: A 1990 novel by W.G. Sebald, exploring themes of memory and history through a blend of fiction and biography.

Each context adds a unique layer to the understanding of “vertigo,” from a physical condition to a metaphor for psychological and emotional states.

Source: Conversation with Copilot, 09/07/2024
(1) Things Doctors Wish You Knew About Vertigo | The Healthy. https://www.thehealthy.com/neurological/what-causes-vertigo/.
(2) Vertigo – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertigo.
(3) Vertigo: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment – Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/21769-vertigo.
(4) Vertigo (film) – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertigo_%28film%29.
(5) Vertigo (1958) – IMDb. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052357/.
(6) Vertigo (Sebald novel) – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertigo_%28Sebald_novel%29.
(7) Vertigo by W.G. Sebald | Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/730376.Vertigo.
(8) Vertigo Summary – BookBrief. https://bookbrief.io/books/vertigo-wg-sebald/summary.
(9) What Is The Vertigo Effect: The Definitive Guide – Filmmaking Lifestyle. https://filmlifestyle.com/what-is-the-vertigo-effect-in-film/.
(10) What is the Vertigo Effect? The Hitchcock Zoom Explained – StudioBinder. https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/what-is-the-vertigo-effect/.
(11) Vertigo (1990) | W.G. Sebald | Liverpool Scholarship Online | Oxford …. https://academic.oup.com/liverpool-scholarship-online/book/31202/chapter/264268119.
(12) Vertigo – W. G. Sebald – Google Books. https://books.google.com/books/about/Vertigo.html?id=ONFPrOJ3Wq8C.
(13) vertigo | Etymology of vertigo by etymonline. https://www.etymonline.com/word/vertigo.
(14) goodreads.com. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/730376.Vertigo.

Updated on 8 Jul 2024

By Author P H Bloecker