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History's affective turn: Historical reenactment and its work in the present

Author: Vanessa Agnew DOI: 10.1080/13642520701353108 Publication Frequency: 4 issues per year Published in: Rethinking History, Volume 11, Issue 3 September 2007 , pages 299 312

Abstract
The article argues that contemporary reenactment is indicative of history's recent affective turn, i.e. of historical representation characterized by conjectural interpretations of the past, the collapsing of temporalities and an emphasis on affect, individual experience and daily life rather than historical events, structures and processes. The affective turn signals a break with the kind of ethical and political responsibilities that adhered to some postwar historiography. The article makes this argument in reference to recent German historical reality television series, including Abenteuer 1900, Abenteuer 1927, and Windstrke 8: Das Auswandererschiff. While their format is similar to that of the Wall to Wall House series, resulting in a certain leveling of historical and geographical specificity, the article shows that the German reenactment series use history as a conceit for performing a particular form of cultural and political work - the attempt to reconcile current economic and social conditions in postunification Germany (Gegenwartsbewltigung). The article concludes by emphasizing the necessity for continued scholarly interrogation of reenactment's epistemological and political claims. Keywords: Reenactment; Affective History; Vergangenheitsbewltigung; Reality Television; 1900 House; Abenteuer 1900; Germany; Unification

Introduction
While reenactment was long considered a marginal cultural phenomenon and ignored by academic historians, the past five years have reversed this trend. The need to define reenactment (see Agnew 2004; Cook 2004; McCalman 2004) has given way to wide acceptance that reenactment is a vibrant area of study spanning a range of forms and practices. Recent scholars use the term to include everything from living history museums, technical reconstructions and 'nostalgia' toys (e.g. tin figures, dioramas and architectural models) to literature, film, photography, video games, television shows, pageants, parades and, reenactment's most ubiquitous instantiation, social and cyber groups devoted to historical performance. What these forms share is a concern with personal experience, social relations and everyday life, and with conjectural and provisional interpretations of the past. We can, in other words, see reenactment as one of

the indicators of history's recent affective turn, and as signaling an end to what was once regarded as the general neglect of affect within postwar scholarship (Cascardi 1999, p. 3).1 There are, of course, difficulties in using reenactment as a comprehensive term: different genres make their own contributions to historical thought and are governed by specific rhetorical conventions and codes of professional and social practice.2 The contributors to this volume show, however, that there is much to be gained by thinking of reenactment in broad comparative terms. Harry Liebersohn, for instance, contrasts Patrick O'Brian's novels and the film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) with naval sources in order to raise questions about the nature of historical inquiry. A comparative approach is likewise adopted by Brian Rejack in his article on World War II video games like Brothers in Arms (2005). Although such games claim a high level of historical verisimilitude, Rejack argues that this form of reenactment conveys a slanted view of the past. He attributes this to the structural limitations of the genre itself, but he also raises the possibility that new technical developments will eventually allow for more productive intersections between history and its simulation. Where Rejack's interest is in the present and future of reenactment, Simon During's genealogical handling of the subject establishes reenactment's centrality to the eighteenth-century historical imagination, something that is observable, he says, in history painting, aesthetic treatises, novels and tournaments. At the same time, During draws a link between eighteenthcentury reenactment's mimetic 'preconditions' and the modern historical reenactment. Marc Fehlmann likewise establishes the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries as decisive moments for performing the past. His article on British Parthenon reconstructions explores how Greek antiquity was invoked in order to foster specific ideas about Britishness at a time when national identity seemed most under threat. Helmut Walser Smith takes an even longer historical view, using the notion of reenactment to raise questions about our understanding of anti-Semitism and about cultural historical inquiry: Judeo-Christian relations, he argues, have been informed by the perpetual restaging of a pattern of ritual murder and revenge. Reenactment as a vehicle for historical continuity also underpins Kerstin Barndt's article on the Henry Ford Museum. Barndt shows that elements of living history and the World Fair are combined to create an experience of the past that seeks to overcome historical and economic ruptures. Anja Schwarz, on the other hand, posits reenactment's possibilities for realizing change. Her article on the reenactment television show The Ship (2002) suggests that reenacting the imperial past might promote indigenous/non-indigenous rapprochement in the present. As these contributions show, the capacious definition of reenactment enables us to map trends within historical thought, examine the implications for our understanding of the past and interrogate history's social and political uses. With reenactment's definitional questions largely satisfied, we can say that reenactment scholarship is now turning to questions of epistemology, affect, disciplinary practice, interdisciplinary overlap and ideological investment. Various contributors to this volume remind us that reenactment is not new theatricalizing and sentimentalizing the past lie at the very foundations of modern historical thought (see also Brewer 2004; Phillips 2000; Reddy 2006). Yet, During's

genealogical distinction remains an important one for historicizing historical representation. It is only thus that we can situate reenactment within a broader intellectual and cultural landscape and thereby investigate its interests. In what follows, I will argue that reenactment constitutes a break with more traditional forms of historiography. As a form of affective history - i.e. historical representation that both takes affect as its object and attempts to elicit affect - reenactment is less concerned with events, processes or structures than with the individual's physical and psychological experience. Further, testimony about daily life and social interaction in the present is often equated with, and becomes evidentiary for, a generalized notion of historical experience (Agnew 2002, p. 4). I will argue that these characteristics - in particular, reenactment's collapsing of temporalities and its privileging of experience over event or structure - raise questions about its capacity to further historical understanding and reconcile the past to the present. *** To date, most scholarly studies have dealt with reenactment as an essentially Anglophone phenomenon and often within the framework of imperial historiography.3 It is clear, however, that reenactment is not peculiar to any single linguistic, national or imperial context and that many of its forms - including living history and historical reality television - now have transnational reach. This is also true of Germany, a country with its own historical traditions and political legacies. For Germany specifically, the turn to affective history means breaking some of the longstanding public taboos surrounding the simulation of the past.4 This has given rise to new possibilities for historical representation, possibilities that may be cautiously welcomed within and without the academy.5 The shift implies, however, that German historiography has been decoupled from what was long understood to be its ethical, if not literal, raison d'tre - explicating the Nazi period and coming to terms with the past (something known as Vergangenheitsbewltigung).6 If this decoupling raises questions for the discipline of history, it should be self-evident that the need to confront fascism and other historical injustices continues as before. Further, it raises questions about the nature of the cultural and political work that affective history is now to perform, so too about the new knowledge that affective history hopes to advance. We expect affective history to open fresh avenues thanks to the kind of sympathetic identification with the past that R. G. Collingwood (1946, p. 215) called the precondition for historical understanding. As an offshoot of affective history, reenactment, specifically, seems to offer a framework within which large-scale processes may be reduced to a comprehensible scale and historical grievances redressed in the present. Yet it remains an open question as to whether affective history understands its historical mandate in the kind of ethical and political terms that were once hotly debated, but also self-understood, by scholars and cultural producers dealing with modern German history. By focusing on German versions of the British historical reality television series 1900 House, I will argue that, if anything, German reenactments tend to elegize certain aspects of the past and elide what remains uncomfortable and troubling. Whether these reenactments advance new historical knowledge thus seems doubtful. Drawing on a distinction made by Helmut Peitsch (2006) about the dual valence of the term

Vergangenheitsbewltigung, I argue that this approach is tantamount to an act of mastery, not one of confrontation with the past. These reenactments promote a form of understanding that neither explains historical processes nor interrogates historical injustices. What they do instead is deal with Germany today and, in particular, with the aftermath of unification. The examples discussed below thus demonstrate that history is the conceit for what could be called Gegenwartsbewltigung, or coming to terms with the present.

Inside History
The historical reality television show 1900 House first aired on UK's Channel 4 in 1999 to immense popular and critical acclaim. The winning formula involved transplanting a group of people into a historical setting where they took on the domestic roles of one century earlier. Although the series claimed a high degree of historical professionalism a consultant historian added an air of credibility - it was also avowedly populist. Instead of using 'talking heads' and professional actors, the show would depict 'ordinary people' and their daily lives. Prospective participants were thus vetted for their psychological robustness and their capacity to identify with the subject matter - to draw links between, for example, their own biographies and those of the historical characters they were to inhabit. At the same time, participants had to demonstrate a sense of naivet and a capacity for personal transformation. The director, Ross-Pirie, explained that experts were generally unsuitable as reality television reenactors because of their tendency to 'just get on with it'; laymen, on the other hand, could actually show the audience 'what the past was really like'. When casting the butler in Edwardian Country House, for example, the role thus went not to one of the Queen's eminently qualified employees but to a man whose knowledge about service was limited to what he could recall about the formality of his grandfather's table (Ross-Pirie 2006). A similar logic underlay the way in which the various series were structured. Participants were subject to new and ever more challenging situations so that their surprise, incompetence and sense of dislocation could be registered by the viewer. This testing generated what has come to be referred to in the language of Hollywood script writing as the 'inciting incident' that gives the series their dramatic shape (Baker and Weinstein 2006; McKee 1993, pp. 135ff.). Such directorial choices are instructive. They define history not in terms of narrating past events and large-scale processes, but as the substance of transformative experience and staging. Although reenactment often centers on the iconographic moment and presumes an understanding of the past 'as it really was', reenactment is, one might say, always a performance in search of a storyline. This is particularly true of historical reality television, where the apparent lack of a script and openness of form foster a dependence, first, on the psychological development (or anatomization) of the participants and, second, on the materiality of their setting. Thus, we find that each of the House series traces a similar arc - estrangement from familiar surroundings, depravation in the historical setting, the precipitation of a crisis, followed by resolution (or expulsion from the group), and finally reintegration into the present. The circularity of this movement

from present to past and back is often couched as a form of adventure tourism. The German series, for example, go so far as to use the word 'adventure' in their titles and characterize reenactment as a form of 'time travel' (Zeitreise) in which the participants access the past via a 'time lock' or 'time tunnel' (Zeitschleuse; Zeittunnel) (Windstrke 8; Abenteuer1900; Abenteuer 1927). In ways that recall the eighteenth century's juxtaposition of time and place - voyaging to the Pacific was supposed to be like going back in time - contemporary reenactment often gives the past an exotic or remote spatial location. To use Lowenthal's phrase, the past is literally a 'foreign country' that the reenactor - as eyewitness and ethnographer - tours, stages and describes on behalf of the audience (Lowenthal 1985). It is 1900 House's emphasis on both the quotidian and the exotic that helps explain its tremendous portability. The format could be readily applied to other time periods - 1940s House (2001), Edwardian Country House (2002) and Regency House Party (2004) - and other contexts - The Ship (2002), Frontier House (2004), Outback House (2005) and Texas Ranch House (2006), to name just a few. German television also capitalized on the popularity of the Wall to Wall series, producing Das Schwarzwald Haus 1902 (The Black Forest House; 2002), Abenteuer 1900: Leben im Gutshaus (Adventure 1900: Life in the Manor House; 2004), Abenteuer 1927: Sommerfrische (Adventure 1927: Summer Resort; 2005), Windstrke 8: Das Auswandererschiff (Gale Force 8: The Emigrant Ship; 2005) and, most recently, Bruteschule 1958 (Brides' School 1958; 2007). Each of these series makes use of similar structural components, a fact that contributes to a striking leveling of historical and geographical specificity: 1920s Mecklenburg - Western Pomerania comes to look like Edwardian Britain and the transatlantic voyage of the migrant ship the Bremen uncannily like the voyage of the Endeavour to the Pacific a century earlier. This sort of leveling is perhaps to be expected from a genre that tends to be more psychological than historical. Yet there are also important ways in which these series differ. As I will show in my discussion of the German House series, the main difference lies in the larger meaning that these series hold for their respective national contexts. It is the local stories that are not told about the past and the conflicts that do find voice in the present that contribute most forcefully to the series' specificity and thus to their contemporary relevance. In making Abenteuer 1900, the director and producer cleaved to the Wall to Wall format: the casting, location, narrative structure, even the filming, editing and voice-over all followed a similar McHistory approach to historical representation. A family and their servants would spend eight weeks living in a country house called Gut Belitz (Belitz Manor) located not far from Rostock in the northeastern state of Mecklenburg - Western Pomerania. As the producer, Thomas Kufus, pointed out in an interview, the series would deal with the challenges posed by living under strictly 'historical' conditions and in the absence of modern conveniences. For the servants, this 'living history project' would mean mucking out the water closets and stables, overcoming qualms about slaughtering a pig, and learning the price that hard physical labor exacts on the body and mind; the country gentleman, his wife and children, in turn, would perfect their table manners and social etiquette and end up enjoying themselves a little too much. Kufus stressed that this

division of labor and social standing was intended to raise a set of larger questions: How do I master the problem of living with different social groups in a manor house? How do I deal with the fact that the scullery maid has to work ten, twelve, fourteen hours while everyone upstairs enjoys a banquet with music? But also, how do I deal with the fact that I am only allowed to stand for something [reprsentieren] when everyone else has to work hard and contributes to society? (Production Notes, Abenteuer 1900 n.d.) For reasons already discussed, it comes as no surprise to learn that this reenactment hinges on sympathetic identification among viewer, participant and historical subject: the genre itself does not permit the kind of critical detachment that Bertolt Brecht thought requisite for social and political change (Brecht 1991, pp. 639 - 640). What is striking, however, is the way in which reenactment has a substitutive character that allows viewers to choose from a variety of pasts in response to a conflicted present (Agnew 2004, p. 328). In the examples discussed here, the present-day viewer is aligned with a specific set of historical class interests that most viewers do not in fact share (Agnew 2006). Viewers do not identify with their historical corollaries - the governess, housekeeper and tutor, who represent early twentieth-century Prussia's middling sort - nor do they see themselves reflected in the exploited servants. Rather it is with the nobility, or, in this case, the bourgeoisie (Grobrger) that viewers are expected to identify ('Interview mit Thomas Kufus' n.d.). As a result, the task of reconciling bourgeois privilege with bourgeois morality becomes the responsibility of the viewer as well. The central conflict is defined, in other words, as one in which capitalism's costs are ethical ones that are borne by the wealthy, not existential ones borne by the working and lower middle classes. The wages paid out to the employees have no discernable source of origin and the employees have limited means of disposing of their wages; the estate produces nothing, yet goods appear like manna. It goes without saying that this never-never-land has no bearing on the economic realities of Germany around 1900. In the follow-on series, Abenteuer 1927, the distinctions between upstairs and downstairs are even more rigidly drawn. The series - also set at Gut Belitz - centers on a single woman hosting five musicians and writers for the summer. While the servants scrub floors, peel potatoes and mow the estate's lawns with a blunt scythe, the guests learn to dine, dress and amuse themselves 1920s style. There is a trip in a plane, a musical review for guests from Berlin, riding and dancing, a camping trip to the Baltic and a lavish wedding hosted for two 'visitors from the future' (Abenteuer 1927, Episode 9, 'Ein Sommer der Liebe'). The resulting sense of social constraint contributes to a rather confused picture of the period. On the one hand, the series gestures at the social developments we associate with the early twentieth century - greater equality between the sexes, the gradual emancipation of middle- and upper-class women and a relaxation in social mores. In keeping with these changes, the wedding at Gut Belitz becomes an occasion for referencing sex education, pornography and abortion, and the musical review brings up the subject of transvestism. The household is also introduced to some of the technological inventions that have come to stand for modernity - the airplane,

telephone, electricity, washing machine and vacuum cleaner. On the other hand, this series - like reenactment generally - needs to uphold a vivid distinction between past and present.7 In ways that would have appealed to Pierre Bourdieu, the closer the past comes to the present - whether temporally or in superficial disposition - the greater the emphasis on social behavior and class distinction as the means of reinforcing the foreignness of the past (see Bourdieu 1987). The producers enlist the services of a 'style trainer', Uwe Fenner, who instructs the guests in good form; for the servants, says Fenner, 'there [is] no real etiquette only servants' rules' ('Interview mit Uwe Fenner' n.d.). So it follows that the guests and servants are divided by an exaggerated insistence on form and by the hermetic spaces they respectively inhabit (the guests only tour the downstairs shortly before leaving Gut Belitz, when, as one of the scullery maids says, they are put on display like animals 'in the zoo'; Abenteuer 1927, Episode 12, 04:24). By contrasting the Abenteuer series with literature from the 1920s, we gain an entirely different view of Germany during this period. The novels of Alfred Dblin and Irmgard Keun, for example, make clear that many of the contemporary social and economic developments - poverty, civic unrest, paid women's employment and so on - were predominantly urban phenomena (Dblin 2002; Keun 2002). Setting the Abenteuer series in the Mecklenburg countryside thus seems a considered choice. Locating the estate far from other signs of habitation - tenant farmers, local villages and the nearest city - puts it out of reach of the kinds of thematic considerations that might trouble the series' view of the period. Yet the geographical and social isolation of Gut Belitz also reinforces the fact that 1920s Germany is no easy subject for historical reenactment. The early years of the decade were plagued by hyperinflation, mass unemployment and political unrest; the end of the decade saw the crisis of social democracy, the stock market crash and the rise of the Nazi Party. If 1923 - 1929 represents a brief period of stability, the year 1927, like the isolated Gut Belitz, assumes a special status. It is the only year of that decade that is not explicitly mentioned at the German Historical Museum - the only year, one could say, that was not characterized by momentous social or political events, the only year ordinary enough to make a representative form of reenactment possible. If this brings home the point that the two Abenteuer series have little to do with 1900 and 1927, it is worth stressing the series' pertinence for the present. Mecklenburg - Western Pomerania is in the former German Democratic Republic, and there is a certain bitter irony about introducing the discussion of class into a setting where class was never supposed to exist yet high unemployment rates now make it an unavoidable reality. We can, in other words, see the series' emphasis on class as a direct appropriation of the Wall to Wall model, but one that has special salience for the German context. Aligning the viewer with the bourgeoisie seems to fulfill a dual purpose. For Germans in the East, whose experience speaks of historical discontinuity, the Abenteuer series perform an act of wish fulfillment: what is missing in the present can be reclaimed from the past. For the more prosperous West, by contrast, the nub of the series lies in the dilemma articulated by the wealthy bourgeoisie, namely how to live with the uncomfortable awareness that privilege comes at the price of others. The series thus produce two operative metaphors

for postunification Germany - first, there are the hermetic spaces of Gut Belitz that transpose the upstairs/downstairs to an East - West axis and, second, the claustrophobia that comes from having all social classes exist, as Kufus says, 'cheek by jowl under a single roof' (hautnah unter einem Dach) ('Interview mit Thomas Kufus' n.d.). If these metaphors seem mutually irreconcilable, then this, too, conveys something about the act of Gegenwartsbewltigung that the reenactment attempts to perform. We find a similar set of concerns taken up in Windstrke 8: Das Auswandererschiff, which, like the BBC2 production The Ship, sends the House format to sea. Although the series purports to retrace the 1855 voyage of a group of German emigrants to the United States, what the viewer learns about mid-nineteenth-century German emigration is negligible (there are only allusions to economic hardship and religious persecution). Windstrke 8 also pays relatively scant attention to the business of seafaring. It references The Ship by using similar shots of the sextant and logline, sail handling, weighing anchor and changing watch. Sailing, however, generates little of the dramatic action or historical interest. Rather, it is the relationships between the participants (including, incidentally, a number of couples and families with children) that form the main focus. The narrative traces an arc similar to that of the other House shows: a crisis is precipitated through the estrangement from familiar surroundings, physical labor, inequitable allocation of resources and lack of privacy and autonomy on board ship. In Windstrke 8 this crisis centers on the distribution of labor. In the absence of prescribed duties and a work schedule, tasks like cleaning the heads and baking bread have devolved to a small group of increasingly resentful volunteers. The ensuing row avoids any pretence of historical fidelity and is catalyzed exclusively around German - German relations in the present. While one couple complains about the lack of activity and tedium of shipboard life (Windstrke 8, Episode 3, 12:25), another participant from the former GDR, who has been grinding flour to the point of exhaustion, says there is actually 'very little free time [aboard ship] because there's always work to be done'. There are passengers, he adds pointedly, who 'avoid getting their hands dirty' and 'getting stuck in the shit' (13:13). The next scene shows such a passenger - a software salesman from North Rhine - Westphalia - trying to give the children a math lesson. Although the between deck conflict is resolved by instituting work details and a schedule, the dichotomy between self-centered individuals and communally spirited ones is preserved as an East - West division. 'I don't want to work with you ', says the East German, Jens Schneider, to the Westerners, 'because you have a totally different outlook on life" (Production Notes, Windstrke 2005). In Abenteuer 1900 and Abenteuer 1927, these kinds of divisions are overcome through a celebration of capitalism's possibilities. Windstrke 8 adopts a more distinctly elegiac tone and, drawing on a kind of Ostalgie (Communist nostalgia), it mourns the loss of a cooperative way of life. As in the other reenactment series, however, the transition from 'the past' to the present brings the possibility of transcendence. The squabbles of the sea voyage are apparently forgotten the moment the ship puts into New York harbor, where the Statue of Liberty and her promise of 'freedom and a new life' seem to reconcile German divisions in the present (Episode 6, 34:35). We can conclude, however, that in the absence of critical historical interrogation the cipher at the heart of the reenactment - these social, economic and political divisions

are in fact likely to persist.

Conclusion
While reenactment's conciliatory gestures and expressive aesthetic possibilities may be welcomed, concerns about the genre remain. These extend, first, to the historical distortions that arise when strong claims are made about reenactment's epistemological possibilities, yet the past is reduced to a conceit for dealing with the present. If reenactment is to gain legitimacy as a historical genre it will thus be necessary to do for reenactment what has been done for other forms of history writing (see Chandler et al. 1993; Poovey 1998). This will involve disambiguating experience and understanding and determining the extent to which affect can indeed be considered evidentiary. Second, reenactment has the tendency to collapse temporalities, and this implies forms of historical continuity that are not only potentially inaccurate but also exploitable for ideological ends. This danger will continue as long as reenactment ignores Walter Benjamin's insistence that historical empathy brings with it the question of perspective. Specifically, Benjamin's seventh thesis on the concept of history reminds us that empathizing with history's victors produces a corresponding kind of historical narrative (Benjamin 1973). If reenactment is to posit a genuinely new form of historical representation, it will be necessary for it to foreground its own interests rather than claim a kind of universalism that conceals hidden ideologies. Third, as a form of speculative historical representation, reenactment insists that the past (and hence the present) might have been different and that acts of oppression and exploitation need not have occurred. While this kind of conjecture is salutary in its antiteleological understanding of history, it is necessary to ask what the direct implications of this are for the present. Reenactors and scholars of reenactment often claim an emancipatory potential for the genre, thinking of it in Adornian terms as a fait social (Adorno 1970, p. 16). Yet whether retributive justice can be accomplished through sympathy and identification seems doubtful if it is not accompanied by a hard-eyed investigation of historical processes and a rigorous coming to terms with the past.

Acknowledgements
This article has benefited from discussions with Kader Konuk, Kerstin Barndt and Julia Hell. I would also like to thank participants at the Settlers, Creoles and the Reenactment of History Conference (10 - 12 November 2005) and the Reenactment Workshop at Vanderbilt University (26 - 27 October 2006), in particular Jonathan Lamb, Iain McCalman, Simon Baker and Helen Weinstein.

Notes

[1] While history's affective turn is a recent one, media, gender and cultural studies have been referring to (or calling for) an 'affective turn' since the late 1990s. See, for example, Robert A. Rosenstone (1998), who sees affective film as a fruitful alternative to the narrative limitations of traditional history. See also Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (2003) and, for a critique, Hemmings (2005).

[2] Using reenactment as an umbrella term does not go uncontested (see Gapps 2007).

[3] There are exceptions, including Julia Hell (2004), Todd Presner (2004) and Helmut Walser Smith, whose article appears in this volume. H. Glenn Penny (2006) and Katrin Sieg (2002) deal with German American Indian reenactments, although neither scholar specifically refers to these practices as forms of reenactment.

[4] Consider, for example, the debates in the 1990s over Germany's Holocaust memorial, in which the desire to document and commemorate the Holocaust was tempered by the need to avoid sensationalizing, diminishing, misrepresenting or in any way symbolically repeating its travesties. The winning design - a vast field of stone plinths supplemented by an underground documentation center - suggests that these problems were circumvented by an affective, but essentially nonrepresentational, solution.

[5] For research on affect within German historical representation, see, for example, Johannes von Moltke's (in press) work on recent Hitler films.

[6] This point also extends to German history prior to the twentieth century, where the question of the Holocaust hangs like an ethical, if not political, injunction over most historical investigation. See, for example, Gilman (1989, pp. 200 - 201).

[7] The promotional material for the series also hints at this dichotomization and its pedagogical function: 'The docu-series brings a piece of the German past to life, a past that is distinctly different from everyday life today - vastly more freedoms but also the loss of traditional figures of authority and ties. Thus, for the viewer, Adventure 1900: Life in the Manor House constitutes not only a journey into history but also an impetus to

reflect on the present' (DVD Liner Notes, Abenteuer 1900 : Leben im Gutshaus (2004).

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