Edgar Reitz and Carlo Ginzburg between History and Morphology: Reconstructing the Duplicity of a Transcultural Origin
Keywords:Edgar Reitz, Carlo Ginzburg, History, Morphology, Origin
Through a comparison with Ginzburg’s historical inquiry and an analysis of a number of significant scenes from Die andere Heimat (2013), this paper aims to investigate the fundamental problem that the director Edgar Reitz constantly faces in the hard and endless attempt to represent the Heimat. By an analysis of the editing in Reitz’s trilogy, the essay will show that the core of the problem is the conflictual and paradoxical relationship between a historic-chronological conception of the original form, repeating itself in cross-cultural variations in space and time, and an innate and archetypical imagination of it. It is argued that both authors, conscious of the limits of the knowledge of the past, are prone to entertaining the paradoxical hypothesis, borrowed from Goethe’s morphological approach, according to which the origin of some formal affinities found in the comparative work of data editing, made in their investigation with the aim to reconstruct the temporal sequence of a historical tradition, could present a non-chronological and archetypical part. The first part of the essay will also include a preliminary examination of the hypothesis of an influence of Goethean morphology on Reitz’s work.
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