Download e-book for kindle: After the Dresden Bombing: Pathways of Memory, 1945 to the by Anne Fuchs (auth.)

By Anne Fuchs (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230359523

ISBN-13: 9780230359529

ISBN-10: 1349330868

ISBN-13: 9781349330867

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Extra info for After the Dresden Bombing: Pathways of Memory, 1945 to the Present

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Immediately recognisable, these photographs appear to capture the lived moment when the fighting troops declare victory over their enemy by raising a flag. The appeal lies in the apparent spontaneity of a gesture, which appears as an unrehearsed patriotic expression by common soldiers. However, as noted in many studies on the subject, the supposed evidential authority of such images is often the effect of careful orchestration and staging by the two photographers. 5 The Russians had already taken the Reichstag on 30 April, but the picture was only shot on 2 May.

In this way the book fosters an alliance between the beautiful and the melancholic that can be tipped either way: while, as I argue below, for the postwar German audience the melancholic register prevailed, the more distanced viewer can more easily focus on the aesthetic appeal of the wreckage photography. Both readings emerge from the evocation of excess. Although the idea of excess unhinges the idea of a gradual passage through time, it nevertheless evokes a specifically Romantic allegorisation of the city’s ruination.

However, in the current context it is his cycle of 150 drawings produced in the months after the bombing that is of particular interest. Entitled Das zerstörte Dresden (Destroyed Dresden) it presents a topography of destruction through a process of serialisation that lends the cycle a compelling effect. As pars pro toto for an unrepresentable totality, each drawing documents the emotional impact of the destruction from a particular perspective that raises the problem of recognition. Rudolph’s serialised street views map a city centre that can no longer be recognised but that is nevertheless conjured up as a memoryscape.

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After the Dresden Bombing: Pathways of Memory, 1945 to the Present by Anne Fuchs (auth.)

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