Cornell University

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The Chatter of the Visible: Montage and Narrative in Weimar Germany

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 4:30pm to 5:30pm

Olin Library, 107
Olin Library, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

Patrizia C. McBride’s new book The Chatter of the Visible (University of Michigan Press; March 22, 2016) examines the paradoxical narrative features of the photo montage aesthetics of artists associated with Dada, Constructivism, and the New Objectivity. These montages have commonly been associated with the purposeful interruption of a narrative, but she offers a new refreshing perspective on the Weimar montage, revealing how its peculiar mimicry was less about the rejection of narrative and more an extension or permutation of it.

Join us for a Chats in the Stacks book talk to hear more about her reappraisal of 1920s and 1930s German photo montage work and the modernist aesthetics. She provides a compelling argument that these narrative textures actually exceed constraints imposed by “flat” print media, especially in the novel and other literary genres, and her masterful analyses is path-breaking for Literary and Media Studies.

Patrizia McBride is a professor of 20th-century German literature and culture and aesthetic theory since the eighteenth century, in the Department of German Studies at Cornell. McBride is also the author of The Void of Ethics: Robert Musil and the Experience of Modernity (Northwestern University Press, 2006) and Legacies of Modernism: Art and Politics in Northern Europe, 1890-1950 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), co-edited with Richard McCormick and Monika Zagar.

This event is sponsored by Olin Library. Buffalo Street Books will offer books for purchase and signing. Refreshments served.

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Event Type

Author Appearance, Presentation, Lecture


Cornell University Library, German Studies, Olin Library


cascal, art, pawprint, history, Cornell University Library, CUL, book talk, German literature, German culture


Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Lynn Bertoia

Contact Phone

(607) 255-4144


Patrizia C. McBride

Speaker Affiliation

Department Chair, German Studies

Disability Access Information

Open To

Free and open to all

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