Grete Meisel-Hess
Title Details

292 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

9 illus.

Series: Women and Gender in German Studies

Series Vol. Number: 9

Imprint: Camden House

Grete Meisel-Hess

The New Woman and the Sexual Crisis

by Helga Thorson

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
This first book in English on Meisel-Hess, an early feminist voice in modernist discourse, illustrates the dynamic interplay between gender, sexuality, and race/ethnicity in Austrian and German modernism.
Grete Meisel-Hess (1879-1922), a contemporary of Freud, Schnitzler, and Klimt, was a feminist voice in early-twentieth-century modernist discourse. Born in Prague to Jewish parents and raised in Vienna, she became a literary presence with her 1902 novel Fanny Roth. Influenced by many of her contemporaries, she also criticized their notions of gender and sexuality. Relocating to Berlin, she continued to write fiction and began publishing on sexology and the women's movement.
Helga Thorson's book combines a literary-cultural exploration of modernism in Vienna and Berlin with a biography of Meisel-Hess and a critical analysis of her works. Focusing on Meisel-Hess's negotiations of feminism, modernism, and Jewishness, it illustrates the dynamic interplay between gender, sexuality, and race/ethnicity in Austrian and German modernism. Analyzing Meisel-Hess's fiction as well as her sexological studies, Thorson argues that Meisel-Hess posited herself as both a "New Woman" and the writer of the "New Woman."
The book draws on extensive archival research that uncovered a large number of new sources, including an unpublished drama and a variety of documents and letters scattered in collections across Europe. Until now there have been only limited secondary sources about Meisel-Hess, most containing errors and omissions regarding her biography. This is the first book on Meisel-Hess in English.
Acknowledgments
List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: Breaking with the Past, Forging the Future
1: The New Woman of the Early Twentieth Century
2: Feminism and Jewishness in Viennese Literary Modernism
3: Theorizing the Sexual Crisis through Journalism and Sexology
4: Effecting Change through Literature: Die Intellektuellen (1911)
5: Sexual Sociology during the First World War
Conclusion: Living the Sexual Crisis
Bibliography
Index

HELGA THORSON is Associate Professor in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies at the University of Victoria, Canada.

Hardcover

9781640141032

August 2022

$120.00 / £99.00

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Title Details

292 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

9 illus.

Series: Women and Gender in German Studies

Series Vol. Number: 9

Imprint: Camden House