Thursday, 28 July 2011

After the Dresden Bombing

A new book by Professor Anne Fuchs of the School of Modern Languages, After the Dresden Bombing, addresses the long aftermath of the bombing of Dresden during World War II in the collective and cultural imagination from 1945 to the present. The book offers the first interdisciplinary study of why and how the destruction of Dresden has entered the global canon of a handful of historical moments that have been turned into abiding emblems of the violence of 20th century history. Pursuing a cultural-historical line of investigation, Fuchs traces forensically how a particular narrative about this event was circulated in 1945, and how it was then relayed, remediated and contested in the following decades across a wide range of genres and media, including rubble photography, rubble film, fine art, post-war architectural debates, newspaper coverage, fiction and poetry. By analysing the generation, transmission and transformation of Dresden as a local, national and global impact narrative, her book examines fundamental processes of cultural transmission that are of relevance far beyond this specific case study. In this way, it exemplifies a new mode of doing cultural history that interweaves the local and the global.

Fuchs' great contribution is to show how the terrible destruction of World War II created the compelling effects of 'the aftermath of history' in our time.” - Peter Fritzsche, University of Illinois, USA