Anyone Who Utters a Consoling Word Is a Traitor
Alexander Kluge’s work has long grappled with the Third Reich and its aftermath, and the extermination of the Jews forms its gravitational center. Kluge is forever reminding us to keep our present catastrophes in perspective—‘calibrated’—against this historical monstrosity. Kluge’s newest work is a book about bitter fates, both already known and yet to unfold. Above all, it is about the many kinds of organized machinery built to destroy people. These 48 stories of justice and injustice are dedicated to the memory of Fritz Bauer, determined fighter for justice and district attorney of Hesse during the Auschwitz Trials. ‘The moment they come into existence, monstrous crimes have a unique ability,’ Bauer once said, ‘to ensure their own repetition.’ Kluge takes heed, and in these pages reminds us of the importance of keeping our powers of observation and memory razor sharp.
‘More than a few of Kluge’s many books are essential, brilliant achievements. None are without great interest.’ —Susan Sontag
Praise for Air Raid:
‘An accomplished filmmaker as well as a novelist, Kluge was trained as a lawyer and studied cultural theory with Theodor Adorno. An attorney’s reserve and gravitas are evident throughout his work. The harnessed energy is incorporated in various forms. . . . In Air Raid, one voice is followed by another—the testimonies of survivors, observations of reporters, explanations by American officers.’ —On the Seawall
‘An extraordinary book by an extraordinary artist, Air Raid might be seen less as a reckoning with the second world war as a manual for grappling with manufactured realities and media-filtered landscapes in the age of the drone.’—Financial Times
‘Excellently and integrally translated. . . . Exquisite. . . . This multimedia work was ahead of its time, and it’s still effective; as long as aerial militarism continues to rain misery on millions, Air Raid remains timely.’—Rain Taxi
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