Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

Home To the Archive

I'm sitting at my hotel -- an astonishingly nice room overlooking Dupont Circle that I got cheap on Christmas Eve -- getting ready to head over to the MLA, which I'm now really looking forward to. I had a great visit with my parents last night, in the internet and cell phone-free zone that is their current life. We took advantage of the remnants of their Christmas feast, eating roast beef sandwiches with nothing more than butter and rolls, a family tradition. Then we watched Cabaret on Laser Disc, which looked great despite not being in letterbox format. It's such a great movie. When I asked Kim recently whether it mattered to her and she told me it had been a favorite of early teen years, many puzzle pieces fit into place. The film and the stage version I saw at a Gifted and Talented summer camp had a huge effect on me as well. Watching it this time, I remembered how much I wanted to live in that late Weimar world, despite the dark shadows in the story's margins. Afterwards, I got out the scanner I'd brought back on the plane and started to digitize old family photos and documents. I'm so glad I made the effort, because there are great things amid the piles of stuff in my parents' house to which I have limited access. I was particularly taken with the material from the 1920s and early 1930s, since it slotted so well into my Cabaret-viewing experience. I'll be sharing some of what I excavated here, of course, thereby reviving the archival dimension to De File, which has been atrophying as a result of my excessive preoccupation with other matters. Well, time to hit Connecticut Avenue!
Tags: archive, family, memory

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