Austerlitz | Study Guide

W. G. Sebald

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W. G. Sebald

Year Published





Historical Fiction

Perspective and Narrator

Austerlitz is told in the first person by an anonymous narrator. The character of Austerlitz spends much of the novel telling the narrator his story. Occasionally other characters will narrate a story to Austerlitz, resulting in a layered "chain of narration."


The novel Austerlitz is narrated in the past tense.

About the Title

"Austerlitz" is the Czech last name protagonist Jacques Austerlitz was given at birth. However, as a Jewish refugee from Prague during World War II, Austerlitz was raised in Wales with almost no knowledge of his birth family. He was 15 by the time he learned his original name. The novel tracks Austerlitz's journey to rediscover his origins, and the title reflects this focus.


This study guide for W. G. Sebald's Austerlitz offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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