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Joseph Pearson’s Piece

Never have I sat before a man as animated as he is intelligent. This afternoon, though, I had the opportunity to both hear historian Joseph Pearson speak on “Commemorating the Berlin Wall,” and watch his cinematic performance; his eyes bulged, his arms gestured and beyond all that, he offered a storyline—plot—a start and end. So generous, he was, to provide such a concrete trajectory, making temporary sense out of German temperament. In his allotted hour, he blazed through over a hundred years of German unification, de-unification, reunification and the sludgey, muddy, muddled realities binding these events together. It was then no surprise that as he opened for questions, the issues raised all seemed to deal with the fragmentation that Germany—Berlin, in particular—is still dealing with today. The residual effect, or one residual effect, of such chopping, dicing and consequent poor re-stitching of Berlin has manifested itself as a bit of

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