Tag Archives: German

Fragments of Inheritance: The Subject Behind My Object Series

1 Oct

For this Monday’s Blog we’re starting a new intermittent mini-series called The Subject Behind My Object (the name has gone through various permutations, which you’ll hear on the mini video below, apologies, if there’s a bit of a descrepency (!))

The idea for this  mini-series was inspired by the latest ArtiPeep Session we had on Wednesday where we looked at the relationship between subject-and-object. The ArtiPeeps were asked to bring  along two objects to the session: one that meant something to them in a meaningful way, and one that was pleasurable to them aesthetically. Our evening was spent talking through the objects and their meaning, and then we individually produced something creative from that engagement. This  engagement inspired this mini-series. So over the months  ahead we’re going to recurrently feature an object and the personal story and/or meaning behind it, for the subject. Initially we’ll feature the Peeps’ objects but if you would like to be part of this feature as well, let me know and we can gladly arrange this. Your involvement would be very much welcomed!

The first object we’re going to focus on is a meaningful one.

‘It is the function of creative man to perceive and to connect the seemingly unconnected. ‘ William Plomer

So,  here’s the OBJECT:

A piece of the Berlin Wall

Here’s the STORY behind the Object 

And here’s the SUBJECT  Behind the Object


‘I was born on the 4th of November 1937, just one day before Gun-powder Day! So, I celebrated my entrance with a BANG, yet far away from England then, in fact, in Leipzig, Germany. After the end of the Second World War, Leipzig in Saxony became part of East-Germany, which I left, illegally, in 1953. My family and I settled in West-Berlin, where I went to High-School, when finished there I left Berlin for Cambridge, England. I was a student of English for a while, took a BA Degree in European Thought and Literature and English History at Anglia Polytechnic University, where I also took a MA in Women’s Studies with a Dissertation on German History. I became a teacher of the German Language,Literature and History during my working life. I have now retired from teaching and find myself writing, reading and enjoying life to the full’.

Aftermath by Sigfried Sassoon
(March 1919)

Have you forgotten yet? …
For the world’s events have rumbled on since those gagged days,
Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways:
And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow
Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you’re a man reprieved to go,
Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.
But the past is just the same – and War’s a bloody game …
Have you forgotten yet? …
Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you’ll never forget.

Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz –
The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
Do you remember the rats; and the stench
of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench –
And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?
Do you ever stop and ask, “Is it all going to happen again?”

Do you remember the hour of din before the attack –
And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you
As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
With dying eyes and lolling heads – those ashen-grey
Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?

Have you forgotten yet? …
Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you’ll never forget.

Hope you found this stimulating. Please feel free to comment.

All the very best!

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