Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Thursday, January 18, 2007

American images

On my first week in Lueneburg, I was puzzled by the store known as the US Store and I have written about it before. I was then and am now unhappy that at least one image that Germans have of Americans is of gun-toting, camouflage-wearing, goofballs - however self-inflicted that view of the US might be. See the bottom photo above. Over the months that I was there, however, I began to appreciate that Germans I met had a complex understanding of the US and not one that was naive. They do tend to focus on the more bizarre American behavior but, heck, so do we. At top is a photo of Hemingway's, a great bar/restaurant devoted to the memory of Papa Hemingway. Over the door, you can see his smiling visage. the walls inside are covered with large photos of Hemingway in Paris, fishing, hunting, writing, traveling, etc. I am a great Hemingway fan and spent nearly a half hour wandering around the restaurant, which has a kind of Key West motif, looking at each photo in detail. I think it is great that while Germans might be able to make use of some unfortunate perceptions about the US, they can also appreciate and celebrate an American literary great. When have you seen an American restaurant devoted to Gunter Grass, Heinrich Heine, or Goethe?


Blogger Rachel Richardson said...

Oh pray to god they never come to Newport. I'd hate for Newportonians to be the archetypical American ambassador.

7:08 PM  

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