Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Alexander Kluge wrote the texts, one or more corresponding to each day in December, arranged in order from December 1st to December 31st, but each December day chosen from a different year of the modern age. Sometimes there is more than one little story for one day. They can be a few sentences or a few pages in extent. Here is a favorite of my own, as translated into English by Martin Chalmers –

18 December 1941: A WRONG DECISION IN WARTIME. In the month of great uncertainties, in December 1941, Marita, the wife of the surgeon Dalquen, had come to Berlin from her provincial town, was staying at the Grand Hotel Fürstenberg on Potsdamer Platz and had refused the request of First Lieutenant Berlepsch to copulate with him. Only three weeks later she regretted her decision. The young officer fell in the fighting in northern Russia. She would have been a last comfort to him, and from that viewpoint would have judged the little card he had sent up to her room differently (they knew each other from a fancy-dress ball in the provincial town in peacetime). She would have stolen away to him. Now it was all too late. She had wanted to save up the promising relationship. Not squander it for the sake of a brief moment. She had liked the young officer.

Winter is the common thread. There are 39 stories and 39 photographs. Hyper-famous, multimedia German artist Gerhard Richter made the pictures from up inside the trees (somehow) with a camera in a forest in the snow, a snow-coated German forest of branches and twigs without sky or horizon.

Gerhard Richter by David Seidner, 1991