By Donovan Webster
In riveting and revelatory element, Aftermath records the ways that wars have remodeled the terrain of the battlefield into landscapes of reminiscence and enduring terror: in France, the place thousands of acres of farmland are cordoned off to all yet a corps of demolition specialists accountable for the undetonated bombs and mines of global warfare I which are now emerging up in fields, gardens, and backyards; in a sixty-square-mile region outdoors Stalingrad that was once a cauldron of destruction in 1941 and is at the present time an never-ending box of bones; within the Nevada deserts, the place the United States waged a hidden nuclear struggle opposed to itself within the 1950's, the result of that are purely now changing into obvious; in Vietnam, the place a nation's attempt to take away the actual detritus of struggle has created mental and genetic devastation; in Kuwait, the place terrifyingly subtle war used to be by way of the Sisyphean activity of creating an uninhabitable desolate tract in a position to maintaining life.
Aftermath excavates our century's darkest heritage, revealing that the destruction of the prior is still deeply, inextricably embedded within the current.
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Chastellain, the historiographer of the dukes of Burgundy, may serve as an instance. A Fleming by birth, he had been face to face, in the Netherlands, with the power and the wealth of the commoners, nowhere stronger and more self-conscious than there. The extraordinary fortune of the Burgundian branch of Valois transplanted to Flanders was in reality based on the wealth of the Flemish and Brabant towns. Nevertheless, dazzled by the splendour and magnificence of an extravagant court, Chastellain imagined that the power of the house of Burgundy was especially due to the heroism and the devotion of knighthood.
Who went out to the meeting of Troyes, Philip wears a mantle of black velvet Pessimism and the Ideal of the Sublime Life 41 which is so long as to hang down from his horse to the ground. For a long time afterwards he and his court only show themselves dressed in black. Amidst the general black of court mourning the red worn only by the king of France (not even by the queen) must have made a most startling contrast. In 1393 the Parisians had the surprise of a pompous funeral all in white that of the king of Armenia, Leon de Lusignan, who died in exile.
An analogous case occurred in 1461, at the funeral of Charles VII. In consequence of an altercation with the monks, the " henouars " put down the coffin when they have come halfway and refuse to carry it any further, unless they are paid ten pounds Paris. The Lord Grand Master of the Horse quiets them by promising to pay them out of his own pocket, but the delay had been so long that the cortege arrives at SaintDenis only towards eight at night. After the interment, a new conflict arises with regard to the pall of gold-cloth, between the monks and the Grand Master of the Horse himself.
Aftermath: The Remnants of War by Donovan Webster