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The Street

  • Jennifer V. Evans
Chapter
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History book series (GSX)

Abstract

Sitting in the number 46 tram sometime in 1960 and passing through the intersection of Invalidenstrasse and Chausseestrasse just to the north of Unter den Linden, Monika Maron, the daughter of a prominent GDR (German Democratic Republic) minister and soon-to-be celebrated writer was momentarily overcome by swells of emotion for her native city. “Looking through the back window …at the hot asphalt on this ugly, war-damaged junction” she felt a rush “of disquiet and delight in equal measure.” Searching for words to describe her conflicted state, she realized “the only appropriate word is love.” Reminiscing about the event 40 years later, Maron remembered that all she wanted was “to lie down flat… with my arms out wide and embrace the street, the city.”1 Amidst the otherwise bleak descriptions of homely East Berlin neighborhoods (and the lingering image of a prostrate woman kissing the earth), two things jump off the page: the use of the affective register in describing her sense of belonging and the image of the still-broken streetscape in triggering such an intense emotional response. Not only is it curious that an otherwise banal act of traveling on a tram could bring on a host of associations, but the contemporary reader is certainly somewhat surprised at the suggestion that the dreary eastern portion of the city might actually inspire a profoundly pleasant memory from one of its citizens.2

Keywords

Public Space City Street Street Scene Photo Book Photo Credit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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