By Joshua Parker
Of all eu towns, american citizens at the present time are possibly such a lot fascinated by Berlin, whose place within the American mind's eye is a vital part of nineteenth-century, postwar and modern transatlantic imagology. Over a number of sessions, Berlin has been a tenuous house for American claims to cultural historical past and to genuine geographic house in Europe, symbolizing the final word evil and the ability of redemption. This quantity deals a complete exam of the town s picture in American literature from 1840 to the current. Tracing either a historical past of Berlin and of yankee tradition throughout the methods town has been narrated throughout 3 centuries via a few a hundred authors via a hundred forty five novels, brief tales, performs and poems, "Tales of Berlin" offers a composite panorama not just of the German capital, yet of moving subtexts in American society that have contextualized its which means for americans some time past, and proceed to take action today."
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Extra resources for Tales of Berlin in American Literature up to the 21st Century
Chapter 1 American Space Denn » space « ist die zentrale Kategorie der Anschauung in Amerika gerhard hoffmann (642) “I take space to be the central fact to man born in America,” Charles Olson wrote at the Second World War’s close. It loomed large in the American imagination, he practically surmised, “because it comes large here. Large, without mercy” (11). For Americans, Klaus Benesch writes, space was “perhaps the most important single driving force not only to build a new nation but to imagine one” (18).
In leaving a place one identifies with, one leaves, in a sense, part of one’s self behind, only to more plainly see the ties binding one to it. In our initiation to a relationship with place, de Certeau imagines we see ourselves, “just as in the ‘joyful activity’ 22 “Le corps propre est dans le monde comme le cœur dans l’organisme” (Merleau-Ponty 235). ” Practicing space is, “in a place, to be other and to move toward the other” (109–10). ” Sontag’s call for a focus on literary form rather than on hermeneutics offered as a model the work of Pierre Francastel,24 suggesting analysis of a literary text as one might analyze a painting, taking its space as a system and examining the forms within it as they relate to each other.
Americans feel they “stand for everything that Europe is not” (Boorstin 36), anti-Europeanism allowing them “to indulge simultaneously in self-hatred and selfrighteousness”—a handy psychological device “not readily surrendered” (Kühnel 158). 1163/9789004312098_003 American Space 29 rewrite and re-right their own past. This meant not only depicting an Old World whose borders would be held apart from the self, but exploring a vicarious identity beyond the self’s bounds. William Cullen Bryant wrote to Thomas Cole on Cole’s departure for Europe in 1829 that Fair scenes shall greet thee where thou goest – fair, But different – everywhere the trace of men, Paths, homes, graves, ruins, from the lowest glen To where life shrinks from the fierce Alpine air.