Solms, Wilhelm, author. R65 S65 Unavailable At bindery Request. Autorenlexikon : deutsche Rhetoren . Knape, Joachim, author. Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz Verlag, Description Book — xxvii, pages : illustrations some color ; 25 cm. K53 Unknown. The Cambridge companion to the literature of Berlin . Description Book — xvii, pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm.
Summary Introduction Andrew J. Webber-- 1. Literature and the Enlightenment Matt Erlin-- 2. Romantic sociability, aesthetics and politics Jurgen Barkhoff-- 3. Literary realism and naturalism John B. Lyon-- 4. Short prose around Anne Fuchs-- 5. Modernist writing and visual culture Carolin Duttlinger-- 6. Writing under National Socialism Reinhard Zachau-- 7. Writing in the Cold War Alison Lewis-- 8.
Writing after the Wall Katharina Gerstenberger-- 9. Women writers and gender Lyn Marven-- Queer writing Andreas Krass and Benedikt Wolf-- Berlin as a migratory setting Yasemin Yildiz-- Modern drama and theatre David Barnett-- Twentieth-century poetry Gerrit-Jan Berendse.
Each chapter provides an informative overview along with closer readings of exemplary texts. The volume is designed to be accessible for readers seeking an introduction to the literature of Berlin, while also providing new perspectives for those already familiar with the topic. With a particular focus on the turbulent twentieth century, the account of Berlin's literary production is set against broader cultural and political developments in one of the most fascinating of global cities.
G4 B Unknown. Beck, Wolfgang, author. Stuttgart : S. Hirzel Verlag,  Description Book — x, pages ; 25 cm. Z V. Die "engagierte Literatur" und die Religion : politische Autorschaft im literarischen Feld zwischen und . Sieg, Christian, author. S Unknown. Enlightenment and religion in German and Austrian literature . Robertson, Ritchie, author. Description Book — xi, pages ; 24 cm. R63 Unknown. Die Familie : ein Archiv . Familie Deutsche Schillergesellschaft Marbach am Neckar : Deutsche Schillergesellschaft,  Description Book — pages : illustrations some color ; 23 cm.
F36 Unknown. Figures of natality : reading the political in the age of Goethe . O'Neil, Joseph D. Description Book — ix, pages ; 23 cm. Using Hannah Arendt's concept of natality, Joseph O'Neil argues that Lessing, Goethe, and Kleist see birth as challenging paradigms of Romanticism as well as of Enlightenment, resisting the assimilation of the political to economics, science, or morality. They choose instead to preserve the conflicts and tensions at the heart of social, political, and poetic revolutions.
In a historical reading, these tensions evolve from the idea of revolution as Arendt reads it in British North America to the social and economic questions that shape the French Revolution, culminating in a consideration of the culture of the modern republic as such. Alongside this geopolitical evolution, the ways of representing the political change, too, moving from the new as revolutionary eruption to economic metaphors of birth. More pressing still is the question of revolutionary subjectivity and political agency, and Lessing, Goethe, and Kleist have an answer that is remarkably close to that of Walter Benjamin, as that "secret index" through which each past age is "pointed toward redemption.
B55 O54 Unknown. Stuttgart : J. S7 F6 Unknown. Die ideale Lesung . A Z68 Unknown. McCarthy, Margaret, author. New York : Berghahn Books, W7 M43 Unknown. Nachlassbewusstsein, Nachlasspolitik und Nachlassverwaltung bei Gerhart Hauptmann . Katins-Riha, Janine, author. Z9 K38 Unknown. A pedagogy of observation : nineteenth-century panoramas, German literature, and reading culture .
Byrd, Vance, author. Lewisburg : Bucknell University Press,  Description Book — x, pages, 4 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations some color ; 24 cm. Although painted panoramas captivated audiences from Hamburg to Leipzig and Berlin to Vienna, relatively few people had direct access to this invention. Instead, most Germans in the early nineteenth century encountered panoramas for the first time through the written word.
The panorama experience described in this book centers on the emergence of a new type of visual language and self-fashioning in material culture adopted by Germans at the turn of the nineteenth century, one that took cues from the pedagogy of observing and interpreting space at panorama shows. By reading about what editors, newspaper correspondents, and writers referred to as "panoramas, " curious Germans learned about a new representational medium and a new way to organize and produce knowledge about the scenes on display, even if they had never seen these marvels in person.
Like an audience member standing on a panorama platform at a show, reading about panoramas transported Germans to new worlds in the imagination, while maintaining a safe distance from the actual transformations being portrayed. A Pedagogy of Observation identifies how the German bourgeois intelligentsia created literature as panoramic stages both for self-representation and as a venue for critiquing modern life. These written panoramas, so to speak, helped German readers see before their eyes industrial transformations, urban development, scientific exploration, and new possibilities for social interactions.
Through the immersive act of reading, Germans entered an experimental realm that fostered critical engagement with modern life before it was experienced firsthand. Surrounded on all sides by new perspectives into the world, these readers occupied the position of the characters that they read about in panoramic literature. From this vantage point, Germans apprehended changes to their immediate environment and prepared themselves for the ones still to come. B97 Unknown. Dresden : Neisse Verlag, Description Book — pages : illustrations, maps, music ; 22 cm Summary Vorwort Eichendorffs romantische Welten Romantische Universalpoesie oder christlicher Universalismus?
O vallespatulae R Unknown. Wiesbaden : Reichert Verlag, Description Book — pages, 31 pages of plates : illustrations some color ; 25 cm. U24 Unknown. W45 Unknown. Dieckmann, Friedrich author. Description Book — pages : illustrations ; 21 cm Summary Weltverwunderung oder Warum Philosophie? D Unknown. Jahrhundert . Ingen, Ferdinand van, author.
Passau : Ralf Schuster Verlag, I54 Unknown. Jahrhunderts . A73 Unknown. Armed ambiguity : women warriors in German literature and culture in the age of Goethe . Koser, Julie, author. Description Book — x, pages ; 23 cm Summary Mythologizing the woman warrior The power of the press: eighteenth-century German print culture constructs the woman warrior Armed ambiguity personified: the French assassin Charlotte Corday and German ambivalence Armed virtue: the woman warrior as defender of the "domestic" good Emancipatory fantasies: the woman warrior as liberator and proto- feminist Treasonous transgressions: a nation of women warriors and the politics of desire.
Armed Ambiguity interrogates tropes of the woman warrior constructed by print culture-including press reports, novels, dramatic works, and lyrical texts-during the decades-long conflict in Europe around Julie Koser sheds new light on how women's bodies became a semiotic battleground for competing social, cultural, and political agendas in one of the most critical periods of modern history. Reading the women warriors in this book as barometers of the social and political climate in German? Koser illuminates how reactionary visions of "ideal femininity" competed with subversive fantasies of new femininities in the ideological battle being waged over the restructuring of German society.
W7 K Unknown. Vordermayer, Thomas, author. Description Book — ix, pages ; 25 cm. V67 Unknown. China in the German Enlightenment . Carhart 4. Noyes 7. That transformation had little to do with changes in China itself, and everything to do with Enlightenment conceptions of political identity and Europe's own burgeoning global power. China in the German Enlightenment considers the place of German philosophy, particularly the work of Leibniz, Goethe, Herder, and Hegel, in this development.
Beginning with the first English translation of Walter Demel's classic essay "How the Chinese Became Yellow, " the collection's essays examine the connections between eighteenth-century philosophy, German Orientalism, and the origins of modern race theory. C55 Unknown. Links Verlag, Description Book — pages : illustrations ; 24 cm. R43 A5 Unknown. S37 Unknown. Exile and gender I : literature and the press . The contributions are in English or German. Dieser Band Exile and Gender I: Literature and the Press enthalt Beitrage zu den Werken exilierter Schriftstellerinnen und Journalistinnen und zu geschlechtsspezifischen Darstellungen in den Texten von Exilschriftstellern und Exilschriftstellerinnen, sowie zu Gender- und Sexualitatskonzepten.
Die Beitrage sind entweder in deutscher oder englischer Sprache. E85 Unknown. Fact and fiction : literary and scientific cultures in Germany and Britain . Observing that it was in the eighteenth century that the divide between science and literature as disciplines first began to be defined, the contributors to this collection probe how authors from that time onwards have assessed and affected the relationship between literary and scientific cultures. Fact and Fiction's twelve essays cover a wide range of scientific disciplines, from physics and chemistry to medicine and anthropology, and a variety of literary texts, such as Erasmus Darwin's poem The Botanic Garden, George Eliot's Daniel Deronda, and Goethe's Elective Affinities.
The collection will appeal to scholars of literature and of the history of science, and to those interested in the connections between the two. S3 F33 Unknown. Bernhardt, Susanne, author. S B47 Unknown. Gelehrtenkultur und Spiritualismus . Heidelberg : Mattes Verlag, Description Book — 3 volumes xx, ; ; pages ; 24 cm Summary Band .
K84 A25 BD. K54 Unknown. Lange Lieben : Interviews . Sie arbeiten u. Ihre Liebes- und Lebenskonzepte sind sehr unterschiedlich. Manchmal sprachen beide Partner mit uns, manchmal nur eine oder einer der beiden. Sprengel, Marja-Christine, author. Description Book — viii, pages ; 24 cm. S92 S67 Unknown. The life of August Wilhelm Schlegel : cosmopolitan of art and poetry . Paulin, Roger, author.
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- Augustus und der Senat (German Edition).
S3 P Unknown. Menger, Michaela, author. Berlin ; Boston : De Gruyter,  Description Book — vii, pages : 34 illustrations some color ; 24 cm. L15 M Unknown. B81 F67 V. First edition. Description Book — x, pages : illustrations ; 24 cm Summary No Hamlets is the first critical account of the role of Shakespeare in the intellectual tradition of the political right in Germany from the founding of the Empire in to the 'Bonn Republic' of the Cold War era.
In this sustained study, Andreas Hofele begins with Friedrich Nietzsche and follows the rightist engagement with Shakespeare to the poet Stefan George and his circle, including Ernst Kantorowicz, and the literary efforts of the young Joseph Goebbels during the Weimar Republic, continuing with the Shakespeare debate in the Third Reich and its aftermath in the controversy over 'inner emigration' and concluding with Carl Schmitt's Shakespeare writings of the s.
Central to this enquiry is the identification of Germany and, more specifically, German intellectuals with Hamlet. The special relationship of Germany with Shakespeare found highly personal and at the same time highIy political expression in this recurring identification, and in its denial. But Hamlet is not the only Shakespearean character with strong appeal: Carl Schmitt's largely still unpublished diaries of the s reveal an obsessive engagement with Othello which has never before been examined.
Interest in German philosophy and political thought has increased in recent Shakespeare studies. No Hamlets brings historical depth to this international discussion. Illuminating the constellations that shaped and were shaped by specific appropriations of Shakespeare, Hofele shows how individual engagements with Shakespeare and a whole strand of Shakespeare reception were embedded in German history from the s to the s and eventually , the year of German reunification.
H53 Unknown. Soltani, Zakariae, author. Description Book — xi, pages : illustrations ; 24 cm. O75 S65 Unknown. Persistent legacy : the Holocaust and German studies . Description Book — vi, pages : illustrations ; 24 cm. Richardson Part VI. In studies of Holocaust representation and memory, scholars of literature and culture traditionally have focused on particular national contexts. At the same time, recent work has brought the Holocaust into the arena of the transnational, leading to a crossroads between localized and global understandings of Holocaust memory.
Further complicating the issue are generational shifts that occur with the passage of time, and which render memory and representations of the Holocaust ever more mediated, commodified, and departicularized. Nowhere is the inquiry into Holocaust memory more fraught or potentially more productive than in German Studies, where scholars have struggled to address German guilt and responsibility while doing justice to the global impact of the Holocaust, and are increasingly facing the challenge of engaging with the broader, interdisciplinary, transnational field.
Persistent Legacy connects the present, critical scholarly moment with this long disciplinary tradition, probing the relationship between German Studies and Holocaust Studies today. Fifteen prominent scholars explore how German Studies engages with Holocaust memory and representation, pursuing critical questions concerning the borders between the two fields and how they are impacted by emerging scholarly methods, new areas of inquiry, and the changing place of Holocaust memory in contemporary Germany.
Richardson, Liliane Weissberg. Erin McGlothlin and Jennifer M. P47 Unknown. Pabst, Stephan, author. P33 Unknown. V45 Unknown. After the Stasi : collaboration and the struggle for sovereign subjectivity in the writing of German unification . Ring, Annie, author. Reading works of literature since German unification in the light of previously unseen files from the archives of the Stasi, After the Stasi uncovers how writers to the present day have explored collaboration as a challenge to the sovereignty of subjectivity.
Annie Ring here interweaves close analysis of literary fiction and life-writing by former Stasi spies and victims with documents from the archive, new readings from literary modernism and cultural theories of the self. In its pursuit of the strange power of the Stasi, the book introduces an archetypal character in the writing of German unification: one who is not sovereign over her or his actions, but instead is compelled by an imperative to collaborate - an imperative that persists in new forms in the post-Cold War age.
Ring's study identifies a monumental historical shift after , from a collaboration that took place in concert with others, in a manner that could be recorded in the archive, to the more isolated and ultimately less accountable complicities of the capitalist present. While considering this shift in the most recent texts by East German writers, Ring provocatively suggests that their accounts of collaboration under the Stasi, and of the less-than-sovereign subjectivity to which it attests, remain urgent for understanding the complicities to which we continue to consent in the present day.
R56 Unknown. Archaeologies of modernity : avant-garde Bildung . Rumold, Rainer, author. R84 Unknown. Archive and memory in German literature and visual culture . E35 Unknown. Jahrhundert : ein Epochenbild . Martus, Steffen author. Wer misset dich? M38 Unknown. Bibliophil, engagiert, einzigartig : grosse Literatur in kleinen Verlagen . Bielefeld : AV, Aisthesis Verlag, Description Book — pages : illustrations chiefly color ; 23 cm. Summary Be bibliophil! W42 G33 Unknown. German narratives of belonging : writing generation and place in the twenty-first century .
Shortt, Linda author. Description Book — pages ; 26 cm. Summary Since unification, German culture has experienced a boom in discourses on generation, family and place. Linda Shortt reads this as symptomatic of a wider quest for belonging that mobilises attachment to counter the effects of post-modern deterritorialisation and globalisation. In this way, she combines an analysis of supermodernity with an enquiry into German memory contests on the National Socialist era, and that continue to shape identity in the Berlin Republic.
Exploring a spectrum of narratives that range from agitated disavowals of place to romances of belonging, this study illuminates the topography of belonging in contemporary Germany. S56 Unknown. German pop literature : a companion . Summary Pop literature of the s enjoyed bestselling success, as well as an extensive and sometimes bluntly derogatory reception in the press. Since then, less censorious scholarship on pop has emerged to challenge its flash-in-the-pan status by situating the genre within a longer history of aesthetic practices.
This volume draws on recent work and its attempts to define the genre, locate historical antecedents and assess pop's ability to challenge the status quo. It also remedies the lack of attention to questions of gender in previous pop lit scholarship and demonstrates how the genre has evolved in the new millennium via expanded thematic concerns and new aesthetic approaches. G Unknown. H36 Unknown. Im Umfeld der Weimarer Klassiker : Tagung der Humboldt-Gesellschaft . T34 Unknown. The Italian Renaissance in the German historical imagination, . Ruehl, Martin A. Description Book — xiii, pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Summary List of illustrations-- Acknowledgements-- 1. Introduction: Quattrocento Florence and what it means to be modern-- 2. Ruthless Renaissance: Burckhardt, Nietzsche and the violent birth of the modern self-- 3. Death in Florence: Thomas Mann and the ideologies of Renaissancismus-- 4. Any national consensus that had existed was soon eroded. On the left the Communists and the Inde- pendent Socialists USPD gained an increased number of seats while on the right the DDP lost much of its support to Gustav Stresemanns monarchist Deutsche Volkspartei DVP , which had campaigned under the claim that they were the only party that could resist the threat of tyranny by the left wing.
Although they remained the largest single party in the Reichstag, the Social Democrats temporarily withdrew from the government and went into opposition. The ensuing frequent changes of administration and varying fortunes of the very high number of political parties and factions demonstrate how little enthusiasm or loyalty these successive administrations enjoyed from the general German public. They also showed that Germany lacked any definable or acceptable political course.
The threat of disorder and social upheaval simply caused the middle classes to become increasingly reac- tionary, to embrace the old authoritarian attitudes and to look to the mili- tary as saviors of the national interest. The military in general were still held in high regard. The officer class still commanded respect and was regarded as socially superior, while the military values of loyalty and discip- line were preserved by veterans organizations such as the Stahlhelm steel helmet , whose attraction grew for many as the internal fragmentation of the republic continued apace.
Meanwhile, powerful industrial concerns resisted government attempts to levy more tax from them. As inflation raged, these industrialists made huge profits by selling goods abroad for hard foreign currency while paying their workers in worthless Deutschmarks. Inflation was the greatest destabilizing factor, undermining the whole of German society, and it was a blow from which Weimar Germany never recovered, either politically or socially. The middle classes had their savings wiped out and felt themselves let down by the government as their security was shattered when social and economic stability disappeared.
This led to widespread disillusionment, not only with the parties but with Weimar democracy as a whole. Those that railed against the Treaty of Versailles attacked the political representatives that had accepted it, the republican government in general, the Allies, the Jews in fact anything and anyone that might serve as a scapegoat and persuade people of the acceptability of an authoritarian, nationalistic, militant alternative to further national unity and national pride.
When, in , Walther Rathenau, Minister of Reconstruction, stated that it was Germanys duty to follow the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, whatever its injustices, he was accused of betraying the national cause and of doing so because he was a Jew. The hatred generated against Rathenau led to his assassination on 24 June by two ex-officers from a Freikorps brigade, who were later turned into Nazi heroes for their exem- plary patriotism. The assassination of Rathenau is the subject matter of Vicki Baums novel Feme , discussed by Heather Valencia in this volume, and the lives and motives of these two young men are portrayed in the novel Die Gechteten The Outlaws, by Ernst von Salomon.
The author was himself implicated in Rathenaus murder and was sentenced to five years imprisonment in After his release he became involved in anti- republican activities among farmers in Schleswig-Holstein, activities that are reflected in Hans Falladas novel Bauern, Bonzen und Bomben Farmers, Functionaries, and Fireworks, , which is discussed in Jenny Williamss chapter on Fallada in this volume. Salomon depicts events from the end of the war until Rathenaus assassination. The novel portrays how patri- otic and nationalistic organizations were created as a direct consequence of the abortive revolution, and shows the extremes to which the members of such groups were prepared to go in pursuit of their political principles.
Nor was Rathenaus assassination an isolated case. Anton Gill notes that political murders were committed in Germany between and The German nationalists used this to stimulate further support for their political views. At his trial, together with nine accomplices including General Ludendorff, Hitler presented himself as the defender of national interests, appealing to all who would help to recapture a lost sense of German unity and restore German honor. The lenient sentences passed on those accused of this crime against the state reflect the political attitude of those who meted out such justice.
Hitler, though an Austrian who could have been deported for his act of treason, persuaded the court that he felt himself to be a German, and was therefore sentenced to only five years imprisonment; he was released after only thirteen months. It was obvious that in the civil service and in the judiciary attitudes prevailed that were not those of the Weimar Republic but of Wilhelmine Germany. The political power wielded by the courts in their interpretation of the law might be said to have equaled that of the Reichstag itself. Thus, while left-wing agitators were harshly punished for their activities, peaceful or violent, those responsible for such right-wing acts as the Kapp Putsch or Hitlers Munich Putsch were treated far more leniently, and sometimes even acquitted.
There was the widespread view that western culture was in terminal decline, and was moving towards totalitarianism and technological control, a view that found its echo in the ever-growing popularity of Oswald Spenglers Der Untergang des Abendlandes The Decline of the West, 2 vols.
Spengler dismissed the attachment to liberal idealism as futile in a world destined to decline, and argued it was useless to attempt to resist inexorable historical change. At the end of the Dawes Plan was introduced by the United States, which rescheduled reparation payments and so made them more manageable, and inflation was curbed through the introduction of a new temporary unit of currency, the Rentenmark.
It is a matter of some irony that when Germany emerged from its bout of hyperinflation it found itself in a healthier economic situation than before, having cleared its debts. The post-inflation period of relative economic stability and growing prosperity from to saw rapid industrial growth, not least because of for- eign investment, with the emergence of a number of massive industrial concerns that dominated the countrys economy: the chemical company I.
The result was that by Germany had regained its position as the worlds second leading industrial nation, after the United States, a position it had first achieved just prior to the start of the war. As national prosperity grew, there was the prospect of stability. Under the able stewardship of Gustav Stresemann, who was foreign minister from until his death in , Germany was admitted to the League of Nations , the French evacuation of the Ruhr was agreed upon it was completed in , and the Kellogg-Briand declaration of con- demning war generated an air of optimism and belief in a stable future.
But this was to be short lived, and was brought to an end not least by the very cause of its success, namely dependence on foreign, principally American, short-term loans. As politicians recognized, if there were to be a crisis resulting in America requiring the return of its short-term credits, Germany would in effect be bankrupt. Their worst fears were soon to be realized. Though this was a worldwide economic phenomenon, it had the most devastating effect on countries that relied heavily on investment from abroad.
The more prosperous coun- tries defended their own interests by withdrawing foreign investment and reducing their imports. As a result, Germany was deprived of investment capital and also lost its export markets. Unemployment rose from just over one million in to over six million by In the elections of 14 September the Communists increased their share of the vote by fifty percent. The NSDAPs new brand of nationalism appeared to offer a sense of direction to a younger generation who felt that they had gained nothing from the experiment in democracy.
It also appealed to the disillusioned older generation and the militaristic elements in Germany, stressing the Prussian virtues of national loyalty, discipline, and subordination of the self to the common good. The rising nationalism also fostered a mood of anti-Semitism that had never been far below the surface of the Weimar Republic. The nationalists had stigmatized the Jews as representing an alien and un-German liberal- democratic spirit upon which the disastrous republic had been founded.
Now they sought scapegoats for the economic misery that the country was suffering. Political extremists of either color were vying for domination of contemporary youth who, with no political experience and no evidence that the Weimar Republic had any sound future, had little idea to whom to offer their allegiance. Whoever could harness its support would win the day politically. In its issues, Die neue Rundschau, the liberal democratic journal published by the S. Fischer Verlag, concentrated on the difficulties facing the younger generation. Wassermann, Ernst Robert Curtius, and Peter Suhrkamp were at pains to guide the younger student generation towards the principles of humanism and liberalism, and generate within them a historical awareness that might counteract the irrationalism and emotionalism that would inevitably become self-destructive.
However, by this time democracy had already been fatally under- mined. In his classic study of the Weimar Republic, the historian Detlev Peukert identified four separate processes that destroyed the Weimar Republic: chronic economic and social crisis; the decline of the popular legitimacy of the Republic; the avowed determination of the old anti- republican lites to destroy Weimars already battered parliamentary and democratic institutions; and finally Hitlers broad-based totalitarian movement.
The attempts to deal with the economic crisis by cutting state expenditure alienated the mass of the people even more. Brning was forced to resign, and there followed a sequence of elections that produced no majority for any one political party or coalition of parties. Germany was effectively governed by ministerial decree even before Hitler came to power. Indeed, parliament was deliberately sidelined so that presidential rule could be imposed. After subsequent elections on 6 November , Hindenburg was persuaded that Hitlers support was on the wane, and reluctantly agreed to the suggestion that Hitler could be kept in check as chancellor, a disastrous miscalculation on the part of the old lites, who backed Hitler for tactical reasons.
Hitler was duly appointed chancellor on 30 January Only fourteen years after it started, the Weimar Repub- lic was over, as Hitler immediately set about sidelining the old lites and turning Germany into a totalitarian dictatorship. To take one example, American jazz became hugely popular in Germany, while in the other direction, German Expressionist films were internationally acclaimed and distributed.
Novelists who rose to prominence in Germany were also often quickly translated into English and enjoyed a wide readership and considerable prestige in the United States as well as in their own country, notable exam- ples being Thomas Mann, Jakob Wassermann, and Hermann Hesse, though it is true to some extent of nearly all the novelists featured in this volume. Characteristic of Expressionism is an oscillation between messianic optimism and apocalyptic despair, which was perfectly in tune with the times during the chaotic period of military defeat and the revolutionary events of The greatest Expressionist poetry was written on the eve and in the early years of the war.
By the time Kurt Pinthus published his seminal collection of Expressionist poems, which he ambivalently called Menschheitsdmmerung The Dawn [or Twilight] of Mankind, , many of the greatest poets, amongst them Ernst Stadler, August Stramm, and Georg Trakl, were dead. Expressionist plays did begin to appear on the eve of the war, notable examples being Reinhard Sorges Der Bettler The Beggar, and Walter Hasenclevers Der Sohn The Son, , which as the name implies focuses on the conflict between the generations in a manner that would become typical of Expressionism.
With the first performance of Bertolt Brechts early play Trommeln in der Nacht Drums in the Night, first performed in and published the following year Expressionism in the theater at least was a movement already in decline, Brechts play marking a deliberate challenge to the excessive emotionalism of Expres- sionism. Robert Wienes Das Cabinet des Dr.
Caligari is regarded as the first Expressionism film, and in film the style remained in vogue well into the s, with F. The growth of the metropolis, the experience of urban life, was a central aspect of Weimar culture. Urbanization had proceeded rapidly in Germany during the industrial revolution that followed German unifica- tion in To take the example of the capital, Berlin: in its popu- lation was ,, whereas by , the total population of Greater Berlin had reached four million, making it the second largest city in Europe after London.
This brought with it a sense of the accelera- tion of modern life, a feeling that reached its peak during the middle years of the Weimar Republic, as economic growth picked up and the influence of the USA, perceived as the most modern country in the world, reached its peak. Technological advances also had a direct influence on the arts. Alongside film, other media rose to prominence during the period on the back of advances in technology, contributing to a sense of modernity and change.
Such new media included radio, which began broadcasting in , and photography, which acquired a new status as an art form. These developments were part of a growing vogue for documentary approaches throughout the arts, coupled with a notice- able shift towards visual culture during the period. Also important in this regard was the growth in scope and sophistication of the advertising indus- try, which was transformed by developments in printing and attracted lead- ing artists to the medium.
This is best exemplified in Piscators famous production of Ernst Tollers Hoppla, wir leben! Hoppla, Were Living, at the Theater am Nollendorfplatz in Berlin, which has as its subject changes in Weimar politics, society, culture and even tech- nology from to By , as relative political and eco- nomic stability returned, the talk was of a new artistic style that set its face against the excesses of Expressionism.
A notoriously diffi- cult term to define, the eminent cultural historian Jost Hermand sees it less as an artistic style than as a mode of thinking: Neue Sachlichkeit is primar- ily not so much an artistic as an ideological standpoint that seems to reject everything idealistic, noble, and grandiose, including even bourgeois artis- tic isms themselves, and that, as a world-view, responds specifically to the political, social and economic reality of the newly created Weimar Repub- lic.
Instrumental in this shift was the Bauhaus school of art and design. It was founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar in , and developed its distinc- tive new style seeking to unite art and technology as early as In , due to political pressure following a change in the regional govern- ment, it moved to a new specially designed home in Dessau. With its stress on functionality, simplicity, and clarity, the Bauhaus style was perfectly in tune with the movement of New Sobriety.
In painting too, Expressionism gave way to the more sober, to some eyes cynical, art of Otto Dix and Georg Grosz , whose most typical work includes satirical and often grotesque portraits of everyday characters. Weimar Novelists The Weimar Republic was a propitious time for novelists.
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New genres became popular, such as the detective story and the Zeitroman novel of the times , while older genres such as the historical novel were revived and given a new relevance for the times, notably by Lion Feuchtwanger, discussed in Rolland Dollingers chapter in this vol- ume. Traven, whose distinctive contribution to the Weimar literary scene is explored in these pages by Karl S. While some older writers, such as Hermann Sudermann and Jakob Wassermann the latter the subject of a chapter by Leydecker in this volume , who were already popular long before the war, generally stuck to relatively traditional narrative forms, new forms and narrative styles developed.
The Expressionist style is perhaps best embodied in the early postwar novels of Hermann Hesse, especially Demian , which, as Paul Bishop shows, was heavily influenced by psychoanalytical theories, while the new technique of montage, which was such a feature of all the arts in the latter years of the Republic, is nowhere better exemplified in novel writing than in Dblins Berlin Alexanderplatz, discussed here by David Midgley. Novelists of the Weimar Republic also had a new subject matter, namely modern warfare, characterized by previously unknown levels of mass slaughter, mechanization, and brutality.
Along with painting,28 the novel was the cultural space in which often diametrically opposed views about the nature and meaning of modern warfare in general, and the First World War in particular, clashed. In the present volume Brian Murdoch examines the work of Erich Maria Remarque in the context of the anti-war novels of the political Left, while Roger Woods looks at the war novels of Ernst Jnger and other novelists of the Conservative Revolution.
Although the powerful feminist movements that had developed in Germany around lost some of their momentum during the war and in the s, the Weimar constitution did grant women the right to vote. Womens access to education, including higher educa- tion, also steadily improved. This was the age of the New Woman, with the new hairstyle of the Bubikopf bobbed haircut coming to be synony- mous with burgeoning female emancipation, including sexual emancipa- tion.
Of all the novelists of the Weimar Republic, it was Vicki Baum who best captured this new spirit of possibility for women in a series of popular novels which are explored in this volume by Heather Valencia. In his chap- ter on Wassermann, Leydecker demonstrates the continuing importance of the theme of marriage and relations between the sexes during the Weimar Republic.
Each chapter contains a brief account of the life of the novelist, his or her significant achievements before and after the Weimar Republic where relevant, and the history of their reception, but the principal focus is on the engagement of the novelists with Weimar politics and society, be it in their novels or in essays or other non-fiction such as the feuilleton, a series of subjective impressions that appeared in the section of German newspapers with the same name.
In the case of non- fiction, particular attention is paid to this dimension of the Weimar writ- ings of Heinrich Mann, Gabriele Tergit, and Jakob Wassermann, while Joseph Roths Weimar journalism, a substantial sample of which has recently become available to an English-reading public for the first time, is given special attention in Helen Chamberss chapter on the novelist. The fact that the National Socialists organized public book burnings on 10 May in which works by many of the novelists featured in this volume, including Baum, Feuchtwanger, Mann, Remarque, Roth, Traven, and Wassermann, were destroyed, paradoxically illustrates the perceived political and social power of novelists during the period, which the National Socialists moved rapidly to curtail.
Widdigs excellent book not only contains a lively account of the experience of hyperinflation, but also a wide- ranging investigation of the effects of that inflation on the culture of the Weimar Republic. Richard Deveson London: Penguin, , Bance, ed. Kniesche and Stephen Brockmann, eds. Neil H. Two further chapters of part 3 of that collection of essays focus on Berlin as a case study in Weimar culture; see The photojournalis- tic representation of the Weimar Republic, with a particular focus on Berlin, is the subject of the superbly illustrated The Weimar Republic through the Lens of the Press by Torsten Palmr and Hendrik Neubauer Cologne: Knemann, Schultz, , repr.
Igel Verlag, Nor are there chapters on the two giants of German novel writing in the first half of the twentieth century, Franz Kafka and Thomas Mann , on both of whom there is a mass of critical literature readily available in English as well as German. Moreover, Kafka was in any case a marginal figure during the Weimar Republic and was not widely read until after the Second World War, while Thomas Manns major full- length novel of the Weimar Republic, Der Zauberberg The Magic Mountain, is set before the First World War and is more a diagnosis of the collapse of the old prewar order than a direct engagement with the Weimar Republic.
A selected list of banned authors during the period from is given on p. Other novelists were more popu- lar in the twenties and early thirties, but none of them dealt with the polit- ical, social, and cultural upheavals of the new republic with more energy and courageous vision than he. His work had provoked the authorities to the point where his ninth novel, Die kleine Stadt The Little Town , was at first denied publication in Mann had introduced the work as the song of songs of democracy, and it was feared that it might contaminate the publics faith in the authoritarian national state.
Born in into the world of a well-established bourgeois family of merchants and civil servants, his literary beginnings were situated firmly in the fin-de-sicle aestheticism and political conservatism prevalent at that time. But even as a young man he began to develop a keen interest in the intellectual and artistic history of France. He studied the French philoso- phers of the Enlightenment, and he observed how a novelist like Honor de Balzac stressed the importance of the writer as an anatomist and legislator of his time and nation. As early as Mann defined his role and that of all serious writers as moral and political educators of the people and saw himself specifically as a teacher of democracy for Germany.
From then on, the French Revolution naively stripped of its contradiction between freedom and violence became for Mann the pivotal event in human history. The supreme task of a German artist-intellectual, a person of Geist intellect , he argued, was to educate his nation to follow the demands of critical reason for truth and justice, just as the French people had done in the Revolution of Along with other important writers of the time such as Alfred Dblin and Georg Kaiser, Mann came to under- stand intellect as irrevocably tied to action, a dissecting and equalizing force working on society whenever power obscured social and political truth, and threatened human justice and freedom.
Mann considered Germanys lack of democratic institutions outra- geous in light of the historical development of the previous hundred years. If politicians were unwilling to bring about change, social action had to come from artists like him. Throughout his long life he died in , this mission gave strong urgency of purpose to Manns writings, and it created in him a unique willingness for artistic experimentation and compromise. If the primary function of art was the political and social education of the consumer of art, then writing novels using popular slang and cinematic techniques, or writing words for musicals, might be the most effective means for the serious artist, since the younger generation most closely identified with them.
Heinrich Manns literary output was prodigious: eighteen novels, nine published plays, eleven volumes of short stories, and, most important, over one thousand essays, speeches, and articles. The history of German litera- ture is poor in good essayists, but Heinrich Mann deserves to be remem- bered as one of them.
The essay was the art form best suited to his critical mind and to his sense of mission to provoke change. While only a few of Manns novels can be considered literary masterpieces, a number of his skillfully written essays are invaluable contributions to German intellectual and political history. Despite their historical and intrinsic significance, only a few of Manns essays have been translated into English.
They were published in major Socialist journals and had a significant influence on the expressionists, especially those who called themselves activists. The extensive essay Zola, written in in response to his brother Thomass patriotic welcome of the outbreak of the First World War, helped intensify an ongoing nation-wide debate over the difference between German culture and Western civilization. In his essays and speeches from the twenties and thirties Heinrich took a courageous stand against the political power of big business.
He fought for a better understanding with France and for the idea of a unified Europe. Most striking and audacious are the pieces in which he attacked the curtailment of civil liberties during the Weimar Republic and the urgent warnings against the rise of National Socialism and its consequences. Heinrich Mann has always stood in the shadow of his more famous brother Thomas, considered by many as the greatest storyteller in German literature. Since the novel was completed in , its conception lies before the time that concerns us here.
How- ever, the topic of the book, and the history around its publication, are directly relevant to the problems faced by Germany in the twenties and early thirties. Historians are also interested in how the novel por- trays the political role of the middle class with its antidemocratic national- ism before and after the First World War. In Der Untertan he dramatized a political system in which indecisive liberal parties helplessly watched the coalition between an aggressive nationalism and monopoly capitalism.
Social Democrats had less interest in social reforms than in securing their position in government, and the proletariat was unorganized and open to coercion and corruption. Most important, Mann exposed what he understood to be a uniquely German characteristic, the Untertanengeist spirit of an underling. The underling was the loyal subject who ironically combined a masochistic subservience with a will to wield power over those beneath him. In his late autobiographical memoir, Mann declared power as his most fruitful theme, the topic around which he composed most of his works.
Together with the short story Kobes, from , this novel is the strongest example of Manns belief in the educational role of fiction for public life. The protagonist of the novel, Diederich Heling, the underling, clearly prefigures fascist practices.
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Mann himself called Der Untertan a Kampfbuch polemical treatise against Wilhelmine politics. Mann recognized that the attempt by Wilhelm II to combine a boom- ing, modern, imperialist economy with a backward, restrictive, and authori- tarian political system was a ludicrous anachronism. In order to subdue the increasing opposition and socially integrate his subjects, the emperor had built his personality into mythical heroic proportions. He presented this invented self to the public with great histrionics. His dazzling words about Germanys unique grandeur and expansion through colonies, his boastings about the might with which he was smashing the socialist onslaught, and the hollow threats to his foreign enemies all served to intoxicate his sub- jects with awe and fantasies of unrealistic goals.
The emperors grand behavior provoked in his people a desire for imitation. The development of Diederich Helings character is a reversal of the unfolding of an individual described in the German Bildungsroman. Shaped by various educational factors, he matures into a person whose worth is measured by the degree to which he becomes a useful member of society. In contrast, Heling starts out in his youth knowing very well that he was destined to work and to lead a practical existence, but through various forces of an authoritarian society acting on him, his iden- tity is first lost and then perversely reshaped.
Through his obsession with power, and his identification with the Emperor Wilhelm II, he first becomes a human nothing, ending up as a power-wielding devil. Diederich Helings education into a perfect subject starts at home when he is frightened by threatening fairytales and a terrifying father. In school he faces the imperial authoritarian system for the first time.
He starts to understand that the reward for his subjection to the will of the more powerful, in this case his teacher, is the license to exploit those who are weaker than he is. Proud to be beaten by the teacher, he brutally sub- jects the weakest member of his class, the only Jew, to kneel before a cross he has erected on the desk. The next steps in his education are a dueling student society at Berlin University and his military service.
Hessling is delighted that in both institutions jh und unabnderlich sank man zur Laus herab, zum Bestandteil, zum Rohstoff, an dem ein unermelicher Wille knetete precipitously and inevitably one degenerated to the status of an insect, of a part in the machine, of so much raw material to be molded by an omnipotent will.
Intoxicated, Hessling observes: Auf dem Pferd dort, unter dem Tor der siegreichen Einmrsche und mit Zgen, steinern und blitzend, ritt die Macht! Die Macht, die ber uns hingeht und deren Hufe wir kssen! Die ber Hunger, Trotz und Hohn hingeht! Gegen die wir nichts knnen, weil wir alle sie lieben! Die wir im Blut haben, weil wir die Unterwerfung darin haben! The power that transcends us and whose hooves we kiss, the power that is beyond the reach of hunger, spite and mockery!
Against which we are impotent, for we all love it! Which we have in our blood, for in our blood is submission! Heling, the monarchist and loyal subject, finds here the reason for his existence. After the personal encounter with the Emperor, he feels ready to imitate the monarch and become a pioneer of the spirit of the times in his native town of Netzig.
Mann has Heling imitate the Emperor in looks as well as in exact speech. By taking the Emperors words out of context, he hopes to heighten the readers understanding of their preposterous meaning. Germany, Mann portrays Helings goal to become the most powerful person in his hometown as a purpose parallel to the politics of the emperor.
Both are establishing their power by combating the interior enemy: Social Democrats and Jews. While the Emperor is desperately trying to acquire colonies, Helings imperialism consists of absorbing all competition into his own factory. As town politician Hessling confronts his liberal citizens with the necessity for more funds for patriotic causes, while the Emperor persuades the nation of a military buildup so that the German navy would equal that of Great Britain.
With high emotion inappropriate to the occa- sion, Heling addresses the workers in his factory in the exact words from a speech the Emperor had given at a political rally in Mein Kurs ist der richtige, ich fhre euch herrlichen Tagen entgegen. Diejenigen, welche mir dabei behilflich sein wollen, sind mir von Herzen willkommen; diejeni- gen jedoch, welche sich mir bei dieser Arbeit entgegenstellen, zer- schmettere ich ; My course is right, and I am guiding you to glorious times.
Those who wish to help me are heartily welcome, but whoever opposes me in this work I will smash. Zerschmettern to smash was one of the emperors favorite terms for threatening Social Democrats and any foreign nation that stood in Germanys way as it fought for its Platz an der Sonne ; place in the sun. Clearly, Mann could hope that con- temporary readers who discovered these familiar terms in the text would newly contemplate their irrationality and sinister showmanship.
Later in the novel Mann exposes the corrupt judicial system of the Empire as a theatrical farce. The law courts are exposed as an instrument of arbitrary power. Hessling provokes a Jewish industrialist to commit lse- majest in order to prove to the town audience during the trial that Bis- marcks ideas were still valid: Blut und Eisen bleibt die wirksamste Kur! Macht geht vor Recht! Might makes right! In spite of the lack of evidence, the out- come of the trial is a victory for Heling.
The Jew is convicted because establishing guilt is declared unimportant when weighed against the polit- ical sympathies of the listeners. Heling and his nationalist followers are successful in subduing all opposition in the town. The liberals have sold out over the integrating pol- icy of a strong fleet against Great Britain, the Social Democrats are not interested in social reforms, and the workers are unorganized and equally corrupted by power.
In a boastful speech, again using the Emperors exact words, Heling calls Germany the Schrecken aller Feinde terror of all enemies. The army is the pillar of strength with which German colonies will finally be won, and through which the world will understand that Ger- many is the salt of the earth. The nation has reached the Hhe germani- scher Herrenkultur height of Germanic master-culture and is the envy of all people.
At the end of the novel, Heling senses rumbles from social upheavals to come, but he puts them aside as the horsemen of the apocalypse holding maneuvers for the Day of Judg- ment The only person in the book who understands the full implications of the kind of power represented by Heling is old Herr Buck, a hero of the revolution, once the leader of the liberal bourgeoisie in Netzig but now demoted by Heling, like everyone else.
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Buck watches helplessly as evil in public life grows to mythic proportions. The novel ends with Bucks death. As he lies dying he expresses visions of a brighter, more humane future until the moment he notices Heling standing in the doorway to his bedroom. Terror-stricken as if he had seen the devil, he falls forward and dies. The type Mann called the Untertan has buried all concepts of free- dom, justice, truth, and humanity.
Indeed, Diederich Heling, in his attempt to live his life in imitation of the Emperors power politics, has lost all humane feelings and proportions, and his leadership acts like poison on the moral awareness of the people in his hometown. Helings disregard for the rights of the working class goes so far that he experiences the shoot- ing dead of a worker as etwas direkt Groartiges, sozusagen Majestti- sches ; something really grand, so to speak majestic.
Helings intoxication with power allows him to go even beyond the Emperors own unfeeling fancies. Toward the end of the novel in a public speech, he sketches out his personal vision for a future state in which racial hygiene would be guaranteed by procedures to prevent imbeciles and perverts from breeding. This is the kind of message of terror old Herr Buck feels he is receiving from Heling on his deathbed.
It is a message by which Mann anticipates Nazi eugenics, including sterilization and euthanasia for those perceived to be valueless. An equally striking premonition of things to come is Manns depiction of the devastating power Heling asserts over the people of Netzig. As he outlines his vision of an inhumane future state, the people hail him with whooping elation and raised patriotic beer glasses.
The process of moral desensitization has come a long way.
Mann was cautious about later remarks praising his book as an anti- cipation of National Socialism and its atrocities. He understood himself primarily as a novelist who created his work out of the tension between his desire to diagnose contemporary life and suggest possible alternatives for the future, and his wish to entertain. Mann did not want to be seen, above all, as a critical sociologist or historian, and certainly not as a mere com- mentator on current affairs. Germanys preoccupation with power. With unique insight Mann recogn- ized that these dangers would go far beyond the time in which he wrote this novel, and would have a devastating effect on the future of his country and its eventual struggle with democracy.
The evaluations of the political dimensions of Der Untertan have often obscured the substantial artistic achievement of the novel. The book is not without problems. There are inconsistencies in the plot, and readers may be irritated by the confusing labyrinth of intrigues and the exagger- ated descriptions of facts until they realize that Mann uses them as parts of the world he wishes to depict.
Following the model of the French social novelists, Manns characters and events are larger than life, and serve the purpose of pointing to their moral qualities. Mann hoped that readers would gain insight into the real world surrounding them by means of both the content and the form of the text, and so be motivated to change that world. Critics of the novel have attached the terms parody and bitter satire to the book, frequently as derogatory evaluation, thereby attempting to obscure its resemblance to the real state of the German Empire.
What such criticism overlooks, however, is that Mann believed that German life under Wilhelm II was a parody of the self and of ideas and events. People were living parodies of their ideologies and of reality. Mann explained in his introduction to a new edition of Der Untertan in that he had observed how der Typ des kaiserlichen Deutschen the type of the German imperialists lived their lives as parodies of national pride and of a will to power that wants to dominate the world.
They also paro- died realism because they refused to respect anything that cannons could not destroy, and they despised things invisible that live in the mind. At the same time, the emotional intensity with which this novel was received is proof of Manns success in making literature a means of communicating a political message.
Mann had signed a contract for the publication of the novel in weekly installments in Zeit im Bild from 1 January on, but only after he had agreed to eliminate some of the more incriminating passages con- cerning the emperor so as not to run into trouble with censorship. Even then, the text caused a storm of disputation.
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On 1 August , the day of Germanys declaration of war on Russia and the call for general mobiliza- tion, Mann was informed that in the climate of patriotism the publication of further installments was inappropriate. Not until the end of the war could Der Untertan appear in complete form.
Then, in , the novel immediately gained overwhelming popularity. Seven editions of , copies each were printed within six weeks. The critique from the right went so far as to threaten Manns life for what some called his unpatriotic and communist smear campaign. His brother derided the book as an irresponsible social satire unrelated to real- ity.
He called the novel sheer nonsense Unfug , and he added:. Mann played his most public role in the so-called November Revolu- tion, which followed the armistice of 11 November Unlike their model, however, these councils did not promote radical social change through revolutionary means.
Rather, their primary goal was to establish peace between the radical factions and to represent a strong democratic presence in a newly elected social-democratic government. Kurt Hiller, an activist among the expressionists and a great admirer of Heinrich Mann, organized Intellectual Workers in several German cities that were to coop- erate with the Councils of Workers, Soldiers, and Peasants. In Munich, Manns adopted home town, the Independent Socialist Kurt Eisner had established such a council, and Mann was asked to become its chairman. In the Politische Rte geistiger Arbeiter Councils of Intellectual Workers Mann saw an opportunity for the realization of the idea that was most important to him, the unity of Geist und Tat intellect and action.
Eisner himself combined the qualities Mann thought were necessary for a politic- ally effective artist intellectual. He was a well-educated man though his roots were in the working class. He was a philosopher, educator, writer, politician, and pragmatist, who believed in political change through the power of ideas rather than revolutionary force. Never before in German history had the possibility of an effective involvement of intellectuals in politics looked more hopeful than directly after the First World War.
Germany was finally ready to join the rest of the Western world in the pursuit of freedom and justice. The most important task was the enlightenment of the future voters in order to pre- vent a relapse into reactionary politics. Mann shared with Eisner the recog- nition that after Germanys long experience with power politics, the creation of a democratic system would have to be a slow, dynamic learning process, an approximation of an ideal, the realization of which, most prob- ably, lay beyond their own lifetime.
The Councils only survived until May , when Freikorps free corps , rightist military groups, put a bloody end to them. Eisner himself was murdered by a rightist extremist in February But Manns work for the Council in these short months provided for him public visibility through speeches he gave expressing his thoughts about the kind of poli- tics Germany needed. In his second address to the Political Council of Intellectual Workers in December one of the few that has been translated into English , he stressed that the revolution was an attempt to introduce Germany to the moral laws of the liberated Western world.
Ger- manys defeat served as an opportunity to move toward absolute honesty and away from its former position, where might took precedence over right. He emphasized that intellectual boldness in the name of justice was at this point in German history more important than material wellbeing or the socialization of the means of production.
As an example, he pointed to Woodrow Wilson, who in had formulated the famous Fourteen Points that he thought would make the world safe for democracy. Ignor- ing, or at least putting aside, the bitter reality of postwar economic and political chaos, Mann declared that a spiritual revolution had to precede economic transformation. The fate of a nation was more determined by its way of feeling and thinking than by economic principles. He called on his fellow intellectual workers to help shape the German people into responsible republicans who, through their insistence on justice, would reconcile Germany with the rest of the world.
The volume con- tains the sum of his political essays from onward with the addition of one long, new piece called Kaiserreich und Revolution Empire and Revolution. This essay is not only a political complement to his novel Der Untertan, but is also the first essay in which Mann clearly called for a social democracy for Germany and spelled out concrete suggestions for its imple- mentation.
He was deeply concerned about the murderous hatred with which the Communists were trying to get a foothold in Germany, thereby radicalizing the attacks from the extreme right. Mann envisaged a new German state in which the social classes moved toward equality guided by reason, individual responsibility, and a shared interest in work and owner- ship. For the sake of justice and humanity, he wrote, we must socialize. One, the proletarians would be raised and gentrified to the point where they ceased to exist as a separate class.
Two, the new bourgeoisie would be forced to question its self-hatred and at the same time would be freed from its addiction to being part of a master race. Mann believed that only by abolishing class differences could Germans finally reach an ethic of individual responsibility in politics. By December , all of Germany was in brutal turmoil as assassinations by the right spurred reprisals from the left. Since Bavaria was the most fertile breeding ground for vari- ous counterrevolutionary groups, Munich experienced the pendulum of political events with greater violence than any other city in Germany.
Manns vision of a social republic was based more on his idealistic admir- ation of the French Revolution and the tradition of than on a realistic assessment of the social and political struggle of postwar Germany. He lacked insight into the importance of class identification and, in spite of his very justified attacks on the current political situation, he was not suffi- ciently aware of the entrenched power structures that were not about to give up their grip on the government.
He was unaware of the fear of the middle class of descending the social ladder and of the genuine pride others had in belonging to the working class. He underestimated the heightened susceptibility of the middle class to antidemocratic challenges precipitated by economic and sociopsychological factors arising from the war and its aftermath. In spite of increasing counterevidence over the next years, Mann preserved his idealistic view of the final victory of reason in human history. He emphasized that the darker the times, the more import- ant it was to keep the moral assets of humanity alive, a task ascribed to the artist-intellectual above all.
True, the content of the Weimar Constitution adopted in August gave Mann concrete reasons for hope that Germany would finally follow the other European nations in becoming a functioning democratic state. Universal, equal, direct, and secret suffrage, and the right to free assembly and association were established but, within a few months, the Kapp Putsch March , an attempted coup dtat, made it clear that the military represented a continuing threat to the new government.
The destructive presence of nationalism in politics was fed by the widely held conviction that Germany had never fully been defeated in the First World War, and also by the Versailles Treaty, with its demand for exorbitant puni- tive reparations. Though the Constitution had provided for comprehensive codes of labor, none of the socialization laws promised during the Revolu- tion were ever passed. To many, it was obvious that French and German business mag- nates were secretly negotiating the formation of an iron and coal cartel.
In a letter to his French friend Flix Bertaux in April, , Mann reported that he was working on a long article for Die neue Rundschau15 in which he was going to expose the disastrous predominance of the economy, above all of industry. In Germany, a helpless socialist party was standing by while industry was destroying all human freedom. It was most urgent that German and French intellectuals fight together against these industrialists who wanted to prevent Europe from uniting BW, The extent to which Mann was con- sidered a spokesperson for the Weimar Republic is shown by the fact that he was asked to contribute a formal address at this occasion in the Dresden Opera House.
The Dresdner Rede, as his speech was called, is one of the short masterpieces of Manns political writings. Its impact went well beyond Germany. In January, , France, with one Belgian division, had occupied the Ruhr region in order not only to guarantee the flow of reparations but also to achieve the pre- dominance of French industries in Europe. Fearless of the hatred he would cause in some circles, he asked his audience, with high rhetorical skill, whether this day was truly a time for celebration, or not rather a day for alarm.
Had the spirit of the Constitution not been to work for peace and social equality? But what was the spirit reigning now other than hatred? Had the form of government not become a republican plutocracy, a dictatorship of the greediest? He conceded that the general reactionary tendencies in Germany were partly the consequence of the continuing oppression by foreign masters and the general spiritual exhaustion that followed war, but he pointed to the blood-gorging profiteers who used the universal exhaustion for their own profit.
The Weimar Constitution had been con- ceived in Weimar, a symbolic place for the renunciation of absolutism and for the desire to live by humane ideas. But now the German people found themselves thrown from a prewar military absolutism into the unlimited power of capitalism, even though it was clear that only as a democracy could the country survive.
Nothing was to be expected from the bankrupt Reichstag. In its inertia it resembled a house of ghosts playing a grotesque ghost sonata. The chancellor himself fed the people with empty promises. Mann ended his speech expressing his hope that spiritual leaders, intellec- tuals like him, could save the Republic by keeping alive those moral values on which the Constitution had been founded.
All working people had to unite and follow those leaders who regarded them as moral human beings to whom they felt responsible. Mann assured the laborers that they could count on intellectuals as their best friends. Reparation payments had been well in arrears, and the Allies demanded that they be paid in gold. The resulting adverse balance of payments and flight of capital meant that by October, not millions or billions, but trillions of marks were needed to buy a loaf of bread or mail a letter.
There were food riots, and widespread star- vation was reported. Early in August of , the Social Democrats had declared the need for a new national coalition to deal with the crisis, and Gustav Stresemann was called upon to form a new cabinet. Though a Ver- nunftrepublikaner republican of the mind rather than a fervent supporter of democracy, Stresemann aligned himself firmly with the defenders of the Weimar system.
His brief tenure testifies to the chaotic state of the Repub- lic. He was chancellor for only three months, during which his cabinet fell twice. He foiled an attempt by the army in collaboration with leaders of big business to force him to resign, and he also helped to crush Hitlers first attempted putsch. Mann wrote his letter on 11 October, five days after Stresemann was again forced to reshuffle his cabinet in order to escape a reactionary takeover. The address to Stresemann is worth reading today for its masterful craftsman- ship and powerful historical message.
The piece exemplifies Manns keen sense of dramatic wording and effect. In short, decisive, and provocative statements, through repetitions, and forceful summonses, and imperatives, he asked Stresemann to do three things: first, to avoid a dictatorship of power, second, to establish a dictatorship of justice, and third, to adopt a dictatorship of reason. He blamed the timidity of Social Democratic pol- icies for the formation of a poisoning plutocracy of industry that acted as hangman of the state.
In terms that in their urgency prefigure warnings he later voiced about the rise of National Socialism, Mann asked the chancel- lor to get rid of those shabby rogues who were seducing the vulnerable German people with empty promises. He assured Stresemann that it was not too late to work on those issues of justice on which the Constitution had been based: human rights, socialization of industries, redistribution of land, state-controlled capitalism.
And he emphasized again that Germany required a social democracy in order to limit the abuse of power by big industry. Manns last demand of Stresemann, the adoption of a dictatorship of reason, sounds bizarre and, as he admitted at the time, surprised even him- self. Obviously, Mann could not have had in mind a transfer of political leadership to an intellectual power elite.
Rather, the demand for a dictator- ship of reason has to be understood as a moral imperative to counter the radicalization of German politics, from the threat of a dictatorship of the proletariat on the left to the growing power of the National Socialist move- ment on the right. Mann was well aware of the dubious nature of his appeal to the head of the German government, but, as he confirmed to Stresemann, he considered the call to reason and humanity his only right to exist.
Intellectual politics was duty to ones country and to oneself regardless of success. Mann used the peak of the economic debacle in not only for intensified direct political engagement but also to write three dramatic, innovative novellas. Kobes is the finest and most horrendous of these three so-called inflation stories. In its combination of avant-garde tech- nique and stark realism Kobes stands out as a striking example of mod- ern story-telling.
Mann believed that in a country in danger of becoming the slave of high capitalism only the most drastic and shocking depiction of this situation could move the modern reader to con- template the implications.