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A Tour of Micro-Germany

‘This German failure to establish a London shows the extremely deep-rooted nature of German fissiparousness. There was something about this region – an issue not resolved in our own lifetime – that tended to splinter power and authority. It is also what makes it so enjoyable to wander around today – these fossil records of earlier political decisions, expressed in buildings and artworks, are scattered in a thousand different places, leaving all kinds of surprising traces.’[i]In Simon Winder’s Germania (2010), his clever fusion of narrative history and travelogue in which we spin spatially around contemporary Germany as we are taken forward through its history, ‘German fissiparousness’ is appropriately asserted as both a fundamental principle of political life and the factor structuring the tourist’s fun – at once a serious ‘issue’ to be ‘resolved’ and a source of unexpected delight. The political climate wherein, for example, for ‘much of the entire period up to the seventeenth centur…

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