ABOUT THIS BOOK
Esteemed scholar Françoise Meltzer examines images of war ruins in Nazi Germany and the role that images play in how we construct memories of war.
The ruins of war have long held the power to stupefy and appall. Can such ruins ever be persuasively depicted and comprehended? Can images of ruins force us to identify with the suffering of the enemy and raise uncomfortable questions about forgiveness and revenge?
Françoise Meltzer explores these questions in Dark Lens, which uses the images of war ruins in Nazi Germany to investigate problems of aestheticization and the representation of catastrophe. Through texts that give accounts of bombed-out towns in Germany in the last years of the war, painters’ attempts to depict the destruction, and her own mother’s photographs taken in 1945, Meltzer asks if any medium offers a direct experience of war ruins for the viewer. Refreshingly accessible and deeply personal, Dark Lens is a compelling look at the role images play in constructing memory.