Dec 20, 2021 Uncategorized

Literary History of Atrocity – Aerial Bombing

Instructions

The texts by Hersey (https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1946/08/31/hiroshima) Vonnegut (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slaughterhouse-Five) and Kluge (https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/abs/alexander-kluge/alexander-kluge-and-german-history-the-air-raid-on-halberstadt-on-841945/CF12B12BE6999282C68CC9F1F3FB35A4
all concern aerial bombing, or violence from the air. One result of this spatial distancing, as the Kluge text points out, is that the ancient motive of loot or booty drops out; if plunder or economic self-interest is an explanation for violence, it is not an explanation at the level of the personal subjectivity of the perpetrators but rather at the level of the social organizations involved (like the nation). What challenges does this situation present to the writer, and how do these writers confront them? What is it they are trying (successfully or not) to do with the atrocities they represent? Are they, for example, writing against national loyalty or national pride?

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