Tag Archives: Literature

Walking in Berlin in 2017

In The Guardian, the journalist Vanessa Thorpe follows in the footsteps of Franz Hessel, author of the 1929 book Walking in Berlin. Quite remarkably, she contends that “the city that comes to life on Hessel’s pages could be straight out of Cabaret, based on Christopher Isherwood’s novel Goodbye to Berlin” – a book published 10 years later. If anything, Isherwood took inspiration from Hessel rather than the other way round.



The Eintänzer: a Social Type of the Weimar Republic

gigoloThe ‘New Woman’ is well known as a female (role) model and character in Weimar culture. But what about embodiments of Weimar masculinity? The traditional German image of manliness had taken a serious hit by the nation’s defeat in the war, so it is obvious that masculinity was as contentious a field as womanhood. However, there is not much research out there yet about this issue. Continue reading

Journal Review: German Studies Review 1/2015

gsrcoversmallIn the current edition of German Studies Review, published in February, Maria Makela argues that the contemporary popularization of scientific knowledge about gonads and their hormonal secretions was an inspiration for much visual and literary culture produced in Germany in the 1920s: Continue reading

Weimar’s investigative journalism: Maria Leitner

leitnerMaria Leitner was a female investigative journalist working for some of the biggest newspapers and magazines of the Weimar Republic. Her reportages mostly describe the life of women in the new German democracy, from sales assistants to show dancers. In Mädchen mit drei Namen, her work is published as a book for the first time, including a novel about a village girl moving to the big city.

Klaus Mann diaries online

klaus-mann-liechtensteinThe Monacensia archive in Munich has digitalized the original pages of Klaus Mann’s diaries (1931-1949). An amazing source for literary scholars and historians alike.

Journal review: German Life & Letters, 1/2013

coverIn the current issue of German Life and Letters, Kristen M. Hylenski analyses Valeska Gert’s four autobiographical texts, Mein Weg (1931), Die Bettlerbar von New York (1950), Ich bin eine Hexe (1968), and Katze von Kampen (1973), revealing ‘the ways in which Gert revisits and revises her life story. While each text recycles material from the previous ones, Gert continually reframes her narrative according to the changing audiences and historical contexts. Continue reading

New Perspectives on Weimar

The new book Beyond Glitter and Doom. The Contingency of the Weimar Republic, edited by Jochen Hung, Godela Weiss-Sussex and Geoff Wilkes and based on the proceedings of a conference of the same name, gathers the latest research on Weimar history and culture:

‘The Weimar Republic has received more attention in academic research and popular culture than almost any other period in German history. Nevertheless, its prevailing historical image remains surprisingly simplistic: it is often seen as an era of accelerated cultural progress on the one hand and extreme political unrest, social upheaval and economic crisis on the other, a view epitomized in the ubiquitous image of the ‘dance on the volcano’.

Continue reading