Distributed for Seagull Books
On April 8, 1945, several American bomber squadrons were informed that their German targets were temporarily unavailable due to cloud cover. As it was too late to turn back, the assembled ordnance of more than two hundred bombers was diverted to nearby Halberstadt. A mid-sized cathedral town of no particular industrial or strategic importance, Halberstadt was almost totally destroyed, and a then-thirteen-year-old Alexander Kluge watched his town burn to the ground.
“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.”
“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.”
“A small masterpiece of exploratory fiction.”
Table of Contents
The Air Raid on Halberstadt on 8 April 1945
What Does ‘Really’ Mean in Retrospect? 17 More Stories About the Air War
Dragonflies of Death
Commentary on ‘Dragonflies of Death’
The Long Paths to Knowledge
What Does ‘Really’ Mean in Retrospect?
Fires Inside People
Zoo Animals in the Air Raids
What Holds Voluntary Actions Together?
Fire Brigade Commander W. Schönecke Reports
The Run-Up to the Catastrophe
Inexplicable Reactions in Sandstone Rock
How the ‘Flying Fortresses’ Disappeared in Lake Constance
The Gleam in the Enemy’s Eye
News of Star Wars
W. G. Sebald
Between History and Natural History.
On the Literary Description of Total Destruction. Remarks on Kluge