Structuring and Rectifying the Past in Jérémie Dres' "We Won't See Auschwitz"

This semester, I taught Jérémie Dres’ We Won’t See Auschwitz. I read Dres’ book last year in Norway, after I visited Warsaw, and it made me think about various things, mainly about the ways that we remember and construct the past. This is one of the recurring themes in the books that we are reading this semester, and it is one of the main reasons I chose We Won’t See Auschwitz as one of the course’s texts. Today, I want to look at some of Dres’ books, specifically a few of the pages and panels that explore both memory and identity.

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Kristen Radtke's "Imagine Wanting Only This" and Reality

Last post, I wrote about memory in Kristen Radtke’s Imagine Wanting Only This. Today, I want to continue that discussion by looking at a few more pages in Radtke’s book. Specifically, I want to look at the ways we remember the past, what gets privileged and what gets forgotten. These moments point to one of the themes of Radtke’s book, the ephemeral and fleeting nature of our very existence.

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Our Fleeting Existence in Kristen Radtke's "Imagine Wanting Only This"

Reading Kristen Radtke’s Imagine Wanting Only This, I catch myself constantly moving back and forth within the text, never settling on one page or moving forward in a continuous motion. I find myself caught in, as Hilary Chute says when writing about Joe Sacco’s work, the “often awkward and time-consuming” rhythm, connecting back and forth across the pages the images and text that Radtke uses to address the fleeting nature of existence.

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