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Eins zu Eins. Jens Sparschuh Function of Maps. The Power of Maps Denis Wood. “They make present - they represent - the accumulated thought and labor of the past... about the milieu we simultaneously live in and collaborate on bringing being.”

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eins zu eins


Jens Sparschuh

Function of Maps

the power of maps denis wood
The Power of MapsDenis Wood
  • “They make present - they represent - the accumulated thought and labor of the past... about the milieu we simultaneously live in and collaborate on bringing being.”
  • Maps “enable the past to become part of our living...now...here.”
  • “The map’s effectiveness is a consequence of the selectivity with which it brings this past to bear on the present. This selectivity, this focus, this particular attention, this...interest...is what frees the map to be a representation of the past.”
  • “The map doesn’t let us see anything, but it does let us know what others have seen or found out or discovered...”
1 gruber s search for his cartographer colleague wenzel
1. Gruber’s search for his cartographer colleague Wenzel
  • “[...]ich[...]sahübersiehinweg. Mein Blick lag auf den grauenFeldern, Wäldern und Sümpfen der Mark Brandenburg, die sichhinterihremRücken auf der großenOesfeld-Wandkarte von 1778 breitmachten.” p.12.
  • Wenzel was a kind of “Hobbyexpertefür die Geschichte der Mark Brandenburg.” p.22.
  • Once Gruber realises that Wenzel is following a planned route, he goes on the search for the ruins of the Wendish pagan temple of Rethra (destroyed in 1068-69) in the hope to find him.
  • Whilst trying to find where Wenzel has disappeared to, Gruber uses the sheet ‘Wohin des Wegs’ as a kind of map.
  • “EsisteinKreuz! Die Kirchen - ohneeszuwissen - sind der Schlüssel!” p.74.
  • Each of Wenzel’s Landkartenare annotated and surveyed. Gruber attempts to define the letters which Wenzel has allocated to certain destinations and noted on his maps, “AlleWegeführennach R.” p.324, which is evidently to the temple of Rethra.
2 the transformation of east german identity since reunification
2. The Transformation of East German identity since reunification
  • p.317, “Westberlin war einweißer Fleck auf der Karte, eine “terra incognita”” - unknown land to them.
  • p.318: “Damals, alsesnochdieseverboteneStadt in Berlin gab, die eingemauerte, nichtzubetretendeStadt in der Stadt, schienmir Berlin größerzusein. Es gab nochetwas, das man nieimLebenerreichenkonnte. Wie das Unendliche.”
  • Little changes, “Früher, imOsten, haben die mich ‘Chef’ genannt. Jetzt, imWesten war ichplötzlich der Brigadier geworden.”
  • On p.365, Gruber arrives at a Küchenstudio, where a man is exploiting the areas Wendish history in order to sell his food. The man is wearing a Mickey mouse tie, which is a well-known mascot of Capitalism. Gruber gets angry, “Der istjapervers, dachteich, fehltbloßnocheinSchürzchen an diesemHampelmann.” p.366
3 gruber s attempt to unearth the hidden cultural heritage of the wenden archaeological search
3. Gruber’s attempt to unearth the hidden cultural heritage of the Wenden(archaeological search)
  • Die Wendenwere an ancient Slavic people who lived over a thousand years ago and were inhabitants of Mark Brandenburg, but unusually they disappeared, not leaving much of a trace behind. Their disappearance can be likened to that of Wenzel’s.
  • The motivation for Gruber’s journey gradually changes as he becomes more interested in the prospect of uncovering the history of the Wenden.
  • “Erhatte da eine Geschichte ausgegraben, die genau das hatte, was andersWandern und leiderauchallenmeinenbisherigenKonzeptionenvölligfehlte: ein Hinterland, das nochkaumerforscht war und das jedeMengeGeheimnissebarg.” p.52.
  • “BeimeinerDurchsichthatteichbemerkt, daßüberall in WenzelsPapieren, wo won Rethra die Rede war, die jeweiligenSeitenmitLesezeichenoderfarbigenBüroklammernversehenwaren - und das Wortselbsthatteer an allenStellen, woesauftauchte, dick mitBleistifteingekreist.”, p.100. It was destroyed, and then rebuilt, then in 1150 it was destroyed again by Heinrich demLöwen. Since then it has been regarded as disappeared. There are supposedly 30 different places where Rethra could be situated, according to Wenzel’s documents.
  • “ein Volk, das beinahespurlosimFrühnebel der Geschichte verschwundenist.”. p.101.
  • They had fourteen Gods. They were mostly fishermen and hunters. They hunted the land between the Elbe and Oder because it “bestandjahauptsächlichausFlüssen, Seen und Wäldern.” p.55.
  • Mapping 1st hand: full scale 1Km=1Km
  • Notion was criticised as Romantic
  • Uses of maps are not undermined – Gruber uses ‘real’ maps to travel
  • Refers to oneself, building experiences with the aid of maps “Die einzigwahreKarte, die KrönungallerKartenwerke, das Hauptwerküberhaupt - das wäremeinWeltplanimMaßstab 1:1! AllesandereistStümperei.”p.408
  • Does not mean that there is a need for one defining map as they are all different and give different cultural backgrounds e.g: “EineStraße in den Wald sahichnicht, natürlichnicht. Siehätte, falls essiegegebenhätte, beidiesemMaßstabjaaucheingezeichnetseinmüssen. Wahrscheinlichhatteichmir das nureingebildet.” p.181
  • Various encounters and different references which are not restricted to one definition help build a cultural picture. Mind Mapping
  • Mosaic- Effect
  • The authenticity of nature promises an individualistic experience, just as andersWandernattempts to offer unique, alternative hiking tours to its customers. This is an example of the paradoxical promise made by the tourist industry that it can organise an authentic experience for us. The question arises as to whether it is possible to make an authentic experience or not.
  • Essentially marketing ‘authentic experiences’ for economic gain
  • Throughout the novel, competing ideas of tourism are evident. andersWandern, the post-WendeVerlagwhich produces maps, has ultimately transformed into a tourist outfit. The transformation began after Germany’s reunification.
  • The company’s initial interests are economic and cultural. The agency itself was founded in 1990 by a West German businessman, who took over a DDR map-publishing enterprise which dated back to 1953.
  • In this narrative, the dislocation is caused by the shift from the DDR to the reunification of Germany, in comparison to Die Vermessung der Welt (Kehlmann) whose narrative-dislocation is caused by the integration of both fact and fiction within the narrative.
  • In a similar manner, there are numerous inter-textual ‘conversations’ within EinszuEins, with archaeologists and with Fontane (figuratively), which can be likened to the inclusion of historical figures within Die Vermessung der Welt as Kehlmann draws on elements of their biographies. 
  • In both novels there is an attempt by the protagonist to discover new people and lands. Humboldt focuses on categorisation and Gruber’s concern is less scientific
  • “WennichetwasbeiandersWanderngelernthabe: man kannniegenugKarten von einerGegendhaben, jedeistanders, immerwird man etwasNeuesentdecken.” - every map is different, even if it is of the same place. “KeineKartestimmtoderist “wahr””. p.183.