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      German Pop Music in Literary and Transmedial Perspectives 

      First World War Commemoration: Einstürzende Neubauten ‘Do It A Dada’

      Peter Lang

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          Abstract

          Once the various centennial commemorations associated with the First World War had passed, we were left with a mountain of material of which it remains to be seen how much will prove in any way productive for an ongoing engagement with the legacy of the conflict. The focus of this chapter is Einstürzende Neubauten’s Lament (2014), a work commissioned by the town of Diksmuide in Flanders, which was rebuilt after being wholly destroyed in the war. Lament was performed there for the first time and served as the kick-off for a series of events commemorating the hostilities: ‘Against the Neglection: GoneWest – the Fall of Diksmuide 1914–2014’. Before diving into Lament, however, I should like to offer brief discussions of two other album-length works created to coincide with the centenary: the Tindersticks’ Ypres (2014) and Mick Harvey and Christopher Richard Barker’s The Fall & Rise Of Edgar Bourchier and the Horrors of War (2018). Each work can be seen as standing in a particular aesthetic tradition, but I hope to illustrate that Neubauten’s decision to ‘Do It A Dada’, (as a song from their 2007 album Alles Wieder Offen is entitled), which is to say their employment of a montage of sources and original material, results in the creation of a much larger canvas and as a result a more challenging, open-ended piece, the form of which not only mitigates against the creation of a singular narrative, but also precludes an instrumentalization of mass death as necessarily leading to reassuring reconciliation.

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          10.3726/9781789976557.003.0003
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