Advertisement

Reconciling History in Alain Resnais’s L’Année dernière à Marienbad (1961)

  • Hannah Mowat
  • Emma Wilson
Chapter
Part of the The Holocaust and Its Contexts book series (HOLC)

Abstract

In W. G. Sebald’s novel Austerlitz there is brief mention of the spa town Marienbad, in the Karlovy Vary region of the Czech Republic. Marienbad, for Sebald’s eponymous character, Austerlitz, is a peace-time destination, a location of memory, of serenity, before the madness to come. Austerlitz, who as a Jewish child will be sent away from Central Europe on a Kindertransport to England, losing his bearings, his parents, his history in this momentous journey, is, far after the war, brought to remember Marienbad. His memory of this summer retreat, and its loveliness, is already ghosted by his departure. He left for England from the same station from which the family departed, just the year before, for Marienbad. This coincidence is recalled for Austerlitz far in the future as he hears a narrative of his life from Vera, his former nursery maid: Towards evening, when I said goodbye to Vera, holding her weightless hands in mine, she suddenly remembered how, on the day of my departure from the Wilsonova station, Agáta had turned to her when the train disappeared from view, and said: We left from here for Marienbad only last summer. And now — where will we be going now?

Keywords

Material Trace Jewish Child Nazi Concentration Camp Concentrationary Universe Grand Hotel 
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.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Works cited

  1. Bowie, M (2003) ‘Introduction’, in S. Freud, An Outline of Psychoanalysis, H. Ragg Kirkby (trans.) (London: Penguin), pp. vii–xxi.Google Scholar
  2. Buci-Glucksmann, C. (1994) Baroque Reason: The Aesthetics of Modernity,P. Camiller (trans.) (London: Sage Publications).Google Scholar
  3. Chare, N. (2011) Auschwitz and Afterimages: Abjection, Witnessing and Representation (London: I. B. Tauris).Google Scholar
  4. Daney, S. (2007) Postcards from the Cinema, P. Grant (trans.) (Oxford: Berg).Google Scholar
  5. Deleuze, G. (1989) Cinema 2: The Time-Image, H. Tomlinson & R. Galeta (trans.) (London and New York: Continuum).Google Scholar
  6. Didi-Huberman, G. (2008) Images in Spite of All: Four Photographs from Auschwitz, S. Lillis (trans.) (Chicago: University of Chicago Press).Google Scholar
  7. Dimendberg, E. (2005) ‘ “These Are not Exercises in Style”: Le chant du styrène’, October 112, 65–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lindeperg, S. (2007)‘Nuit et brouillard’: un film dans l’histoire (Paris: Odile Jacob).Google Scholar
  9. Pollock, G. & Silverman, M. (eds.) (2011) Concentrationary Cinema: Aesthetics as Political Resistance in Alain Resnais’s Night and Fog (London: Berghahn Books).Google Scholar
  10. Resnais, A. (1961) ‘Interview with Alain Resnais’, Premier Plan 18, 36–89.Google Scholar
  11. Rilke, R. M. (1991) ‘From a Stormy Night: Eight Leaves with a Title Leaf’, in The Book of Images, E. Snow (trans.) (San Francisco: North Point Press), pp. 215–231.Google Scholar
  12. Russell, C. (1994) Narrative Mortality: Death, Closure and New Wave Cinemas. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press).Google Scholar
  13. Sebald, W. (2002) Austerlitz (London: Penguin Books).Google Scholar
  14. Sellier, G. (2005) La Nouvelle Vague: Un cinéma au masculin singulier (Paris: CNRS).Google Scholar
  15. Tassone, A. (ed.) (2003) Que reste-t-il de la Nouvelle Vague? (Paris: Stock).Google Scholar
  16. Ungar, S. (2012) ‘Scenes in a Library: Alain Resnais and Toute la mémoire du monde’, SubStance 128, 41:2, 58–78.Google Scholar
  17. Vincendeau, G. (2005) ‘Introduction’ on the Optimum Home Entertainment DVD edition of Marienbad (see filmography, below).Google Scholar
  18. Wilson, E. (2006) Alain Resnais (Manchester: Manchester University Press).Google Scholar
  19. Wilson, E. (2012) Love, Mortality and the Moving Image (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Filmography

  1. L’Année dernière à Marienbad/Last Year in Marienbad, Dir. A. Resnais (Optimum Home Entertainment, 2005 [1961]) [on DVD]Google Scholar
  2. Hiroshima mon amour, Dir. A. Resnais (Arte Vidéo/Argos Films, 2004 [1959]) [on DVD]Google Scholar
  3. Souvenirs d’une année à Marienbad, (ed.) V. Schlöndorff from original footage by F. Spira (2010), accessed online on 15 July 2012 at laregledujeu.org/2010/07/23/2445/last-year-at-marienbad-making-of/Google Scholar
  4. Le chant du styrène/The Song of Styrene, Dir. A. Resnais (Arte Vidéo/Argos Films, 2004 [1959] as an extra on the DVD of Muriel ou le temps d’un retour) [on DVD]Google Scholar
  5. Muriel ou Le temps d’un retour/Muriel or The Time of Return, Dir. A. Resnais (Arte Vidéo/Argos Films, 2004 [1963]) [on DVD]Google Scholar
  6. Toute la mémoire du monde/All the Memory in the World, Dir. A. Resnais (Arte Vidéo/Argos Films, 2004[1956]) [on DVD]Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Hannah Mowat with Emma Wilson 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hannah Mowat
  • Emma Wilson

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations