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Journal ArticleDOI

Bastardized History: How Inglourious Basterds Breaks through American Screen Memory

01 Oct 2015-Vol. 3, Iss: 2, pp 141-169
TL;DR: Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (2009) as discussed by the authors is a satire of the movie version of The Diary of Anne Frank (1952) adapted for the silver screen by George Stevens and George Stevens.
Abstract: I think America is one of the only countries that has not been forced . . . to look [its] own past sins in the face. And it's only by looking them in the face that you can possibly work past them.1-Quentin TarantinoDespite the fact that the Holocaust took place on another continent and directly involved few Americans, this event has become integrated into the fabric of the American story. The trauma of the Holocaust entered American mainstream consciousness with the publication in English of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl in 1952, which met with wild success when it was adapted for the silver screen in 1959 as The Diary of Anne Frank (George Stevens, USA). American awareness of the Final Solution was reinforced for later generations with the premiere of the television miniseries Holocaust (Marvin J. Chomsky, USA, NBC) in 1978 and again with the release of Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List (USA) and the opening of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1993. With the proliferation of Holocaust memorials and representations in the American arts since the landmark date of 1993, the Holocaust has been transformed in the United States from a specifically Jewish trauma into a broadly defined mainstream American experience.2 America's adoption of European Jewish history is part of a process by which the story of the Holocaust-and America's presumed role in ending it-is incorporated into "the fundamental tale of pluralism, tolerance, democracy, and human rights that America tells about itself."3 Peter Novick confirms this trend in his study The Holocaust in American Life, observing that "the Holocaust has come to be presented-come to be thought of-as not just a Jewish memory but an American memory."4In its use of postmodern parody, Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (USA, 2009) calls attention to American culture's appropriation of Holocaust memory through its conflation of Jewish and American identities in the elite fighting unit that gives the film its title. The film's self-conscious Americaniza-tion of the Holocaust functions as a critique of American popular culture's tendency to adopt Holocaust trauma as a screen memory, a means of displacing or repressing its own historical guilt-traumas. Rather than participating in this phenomenon, however, Inglourious Basterds uses parody to lay bare the ways in which American film representations of the Holocaust have shaped, and in some cases have distorted, public cultural memory of the event. Unlike earlier Holocaust films that endeavored to seamlessly integrate a specifically Jewish history into the broader fabric of the American story, Inglourious Basterds calls attention to its Americanization of the Holocaust through its ironic revision of history. Tarantino confirms this reading, explaining that the film broadly examines "the tragedy of genocide. I'm dealing with the Jewish genocide in Europe, but my Jews are going native and taking the roles of American Indians-another genocide. Then there's a King Kong metaphor about the slave trade, that's another genocide."5 Through this revision the film challenges the primacy of the Holocaust as an American memory and consequently draws attention to America's reluctance to confront its own legacy of racial prejudice.Moreover, the film unsettles received representations of America as the liberator of Europe's Jews from their Nazi oppressors, and in this way acts in a manner similar to what Linda Hutcheon has called historiographic metafiction-what I term "historiographic metacinema"-which locates in popular film representations of the Holocaust a complicated intertextual relationship between history and fiction.6 As historiographic metacinema-the film clearly "situate[s] itself within historical discourse without surrendering its autonomy as fiction"7-Inglourious Basterds prompts us to question the reliability of films as instruments of public memory by calling attention to the cinematic strategies by which they represent the Holocaust. …
Citations
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01 Jan 1993

165 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Horsemen of the Apocalypse as discussed by the authors is an example of a group of characters from the Bible who were involved in a war against the forces of the Roman Empire in the Middle Ages.
Abstract: Dedication - Abbreviations - Preface - Acknowledgements - PART 1: NATURE - Earth - Vegetation - Light and Darkness - The Seasons - Notes - PART 2: THE SOLDIERS - The Allies - The Enemies - PART 3: THE CIVILIANS - The Labyrinth of Nations - The Limits of Communication - The Totality of War - The Old World - PART 4: THE APOCALYPSE - The Strange - The Genocide - The Horsemen of the Apocalypse - Notes - Epilogue - Bibliography - Index

12 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Jan 2020
TL;DR: The authors examined the messaging, delivery, and visible impact of pop cultural icons on the ways people remember and forget the Holocaust and found that contemporary Holocaust-themed animation on sitcoms like Family Guy and South Park sometimes poke "irresponsible" fun.
Abstract: In 1986, cartoonist Art Spiegelman published Maus: A Survivor’s Tale, the first book in his two-volume graphic comic novel about the Holocaust. He established, perhaps unwittingly, a new genre of Holocaust representation, i.e., comic animation that thrives in current times. While his intervention was “responsible” in the sense that it spurred, rather than spurned reverent remembrance, contemporary Holocaust-themed animation on sitcoms like Family Guy and South Park sometimes poke “irresponsible” fun. American cultural producers have a long tradition of ridiculing Adolf Hitler and Nazism. Joking about the Holocaust and its survivors, however, is something new. This chapter does not consider the question of whether or not this sort of humor is amusing, or appropriate. Rather, this study examines the messaging, delivery, and visible impact of such pop cultural icons on the ways people remember and forget the Holocaust.

2 citations

References
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Book
01 Feb 2003
TL;DR: The origins of Native American code-talkers can be traced back to World War I and World War II as discussed by the authors, when Choctaw Code Talkers were active in the US Army.
Abstract: Preface Acknowledgments Notes on the Comanche Sound System by Jean O. Charney Chapter 1: The Origins of Native American Code Talking Chapter 2: Native American Veterans and Code Talkers in World War II Chapter 3: "Get him back on that scale and weigh him again!" Chapter 4: "Utekwapa naka: I hear what you say." Chapter 5: Fighting Po'sataiboo': Crazy White Man Chapter 6: "Numurekwa'etuu: Comanche Speakers!" Appendix A: Members of Company E, 142d Infantry, Thirty-sixth Division, World War I Appendix B: World War I Choctaw Code Talkers Appendix C: Organization of the Fourth Infantry Division, 1941-1945 Appendix D: Combat Narrative of the Fourth Infantry Division Appendix E: Fourth Infantry Division Campaign (June 6, 1944, to May 8, 1945) Appendix F: Fourth Signal Company Activities, 1940-1945 Appendix G: Glossary of Comanche Code Terms Appendix H: Known Native American Code Talkers of World Wars I and II (Tribes, Group Size, Form of Code Talking, and Military Units) Notes Bibliography Index

12 citations

Book
20 Sep 2012
TL;DR: The foundations of Nazi Cultural History: 1. The 'Germanic' origins of western culture 2. Voxvolkish 3. The western tradition as political and patriotic 4. The archenemy incarnate 5. Blind to the Light: 6. Classicism romanticized 7. Intolerance toward enlightenment 8. Forging steel romanticism 9. Modern Dilemmas: 10. Realist paradox and expressionist confusion 11 Nordic existentialists and volkish founders 12. Music after Wagner Part IV. Weimar culture wars i: defending German spirit from 'circumcision' 15
Abstract: Introduction Part I. Foundations of Nazi Cultural History: 1. The 'Germanic' origins of western culture 2. Voxvolkish 3. The western tradition as political and patriotic 4. The western tradition as anti-Semitic 5. The archenemy incarnate Part II. Blind to the Light: 6. Classicism romanticized 7. Intolerance toward enlightenment 8. Forging steel romanticism 9. Romantic music as 'our greatest legacy' Part III. Modern Dilemmas: 10. Realist paradox and expressionist confusion 11. Nordic existentialists and volkish founders 12. Music after Wagner Part IV. 'Holy' War and Weimar 'Crisis': 13. Heralds of the front experience 14. Weimar culture wars i: defending German spirit from 'circumcision' 15. Weimar culture wars ii: combating 'degeneracy' Part V. Nazi 'Solutions': 16. 'Honour your German masters' 17. The Nazi 'Renaissance' 18. Kultur at war Conclusion.

11 citations

Book
21 Jun 2007
TL;DR: This book discusses playing Indian, Inc: Para-Estoericism, Ethnic Patents, Culture Clones, Culture clones, and Cybertribes, which explores the role of technology in the development of Indian identity.
Abstract: Part 1 Preface Chapter 2 Europe Writing the Indian Land of Enchantment: Charles Sealsfield a.k.a. Karl Postl and Karl May Chapter 3 Indianness Touring Europe: Buffalo Bill's Wild West Chapter 4 Dressing in Feathers Transatlantically: Grey Owl and Neo-Primitivism Chapter 5 Playing Indian, Inc.: Para-Estoericism, Ethnic Patents, Culture Clones, and Cybertribes Chapter 6 Postscript Part 7 Index Part 8 About the Author

9 citations

Journal Article
TL;DR: The authors argue that American baseball and American studies would not exist without American Indians and argue that they are both wholly "American" because they signify cultural patterns coterminous with the patterns valued by the Indigenous peoples of North America.
Abstract: To argue that baseball and American studies would not exist without American Indians might seem ludicrous, if it weren't so obvious. Well, perhaps we should say obvious to the four of us. Although one is a sport and the other an academic field of study, we suggest that they are both wholly "American" because they signify cultural patterns coterminous with the patterns valued by the Indigenous peoples of North America. Before you stop reading give us a chance to pitch some American Indian ball stories and hurl the discussion in four directions (first, second, third, and home), looking at how American Indian studies scholars respond to the place of Indian peoples in American legal and cultural nationalism, as well as in contemporary post-nationalist and transnationalist American studies. American Indian cultural patterns are intrinsic to the practice of American studies as a central and original—if too often overlooked—way of generating understanding in America. This recognition takes Indian writers, thinkers, and peoples off of the jerseys and ball caps where they have been mascotted into a grinning silence and places them on the ball field as active players in an inter-tribal, inter-national, and inter-disciplinary game. In our article we hope to show that the goals of American baseball and American studies are to bring people together from diverse backgrounds to produce knowledge. To create. Baseball and American studies depend upon collaboration to bring something

7 citations