The children miraculously survived of Stalingrad, and indeed one of the few images of that devastation I can recall is Evzerikhin’s, along with an image of a man saving what I remember was a contrabas from a devastated building.
Just a few days ago I passed through Nice on my way to where I am now. I just heard about the terrible act of terror there yesterday. The ultra-violence, it’s weighing on me. I find it difficult to write.
We keep trying to place complex circumstances into reductive contexts. Perhaps retrospection will help us to explain and properly contextualise this era, but meanwhile we endure, failing to understand why.
When the next history books are printed. When our time is added alongside all the others. We will be reduced to a simple chapter in history. Our chapter could be terrorism, alongside the human genome, internet, AI, climate change, migration, waste, and the depletion of fossil fuels. And Higgs Boson. I might miss quite a few here, I admit. I fail to properly delimit in time.
How would history name our era? And what if we’d fictionally try to write this future-past chapter, using our available templates to describe the past? And of course, with obligatory quantities of Carrara marble sprinkled here and there.
Clouds roll over the hilltops in the distance, south of Parma, where I’m heading. Lighting strikes and heavy raindrops fall. I hear no thunder. We both seem to be traveling a lot. My journeys pale in comparison to what I imagine the weight of the journey of your father’s family must have been.