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Aerial Bombardments in German Literature

  • Apr 26, 2014 · 4:00 PM
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The Aestheticization of Terror: The Depiction of World War II Aerial Bombardments in German Literature

DGC Lecture by Prof. Dr. Christoph Weber, University of North Texas. "With his 1997 lectures entitled 'Aerial Warfare and Literature' the German author and academic W. G. Sebald put the spotlight on the inability of German writers to give adequate expression to the trauma caused by the World War II aerial bombardments. He noted that during the immediate postwar years, an objective and unpretentious depiction of the total annihilation was virtually nonexistent in the West German literary market. However, in the ensuing scholarly debate it became apparent that a wide range of German-speaking authors did react to the horrific effects of strategic bombings in Germany. Dr. Christoph Weber, assistant professor of German at the University of North Texas, will provide an analytic overview of written testimonies and literary works on the destruction of urban centers by writers such as Hans Erich Nossack, Erich Kästner, Gert Ledig, Dieter Forte, and Ernst Jünger. Special consideration will be given on the question of how these authors attempted to depict and to make sense of the unprecedented loss of civilian lives and cultural artifacts" (Christoph Weber).

This is a 45 minute lecture followed by Q & A. There will be a reception after the talk. Non-DGC members are asked for a donation to help cover food and alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverage expenses.

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