German Novelists of the Weimar Republic

German Novelists of the Weimar Republic

Intersections of Literature and Politics

Edited by Karl Leydecker

New essays introducing a broad range of novelists of the Weimar period.
The Weimar Republic was a turbulent and fateful time in German history. Characterized by economic and political instability, polarization, and radicalism, the period witnessed the efforts of many German writers to play a leading political role, whether directly, in the chaotic years of 1918-1919, or indirectly, through their works. The novelists chosen range from such now-canonical authors as Alfred Döblin, Hermann Hesse, and Heinrich Mann to bestselling writers of the time such as Erich Maria Remarque, B. Traven, Vicki Baum, and Hans Fallada. They also span the political spectrum, from the right-wing Ernst Jünger to pacifists such as Remarque. The journalistic engagement of Joseph Roth, otherwise well known as a novelist, and of the recently rediscovered writer Gabriele Tergit is also represented.

Contributors: Paul Bishop, Roland Dollinger, Helen Chambers, Karin V. Gunnemann, David Midgley, Brian Murdoch, Fiona Sutton, Heather Valencia, Jenny Williams, Roger Woods.

Karl Leydecker is Reader in German at the University of Kent.

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Table of Contents

Introduction - Karl Leydecker
Heinrich Mann and the Struggle for Democracy - Karin Verena Gunnemann
Hermann Hesse and the Weimar Republic - Paul Bishop
In Defense of Reason and Justice: Lion Feuchtwanger's Historical Novels of the Weimar Republic - Roland Dollinger
The Case of Jakob Wasserman Social, Legal, and Personal Crises in the Weimar Republic - Karl Leydecker
Signs of the Times: Joseph Roth's Weimar Journalism - Helen Chambers
Ernst Jünger, the New Nationalists, and the Memory of the First World War - Roger Woods
Innocent Killing: Erich Maria Remarque and the Weimar Anti-War Novels - Brian O. Murdoch
In "A Far-Off Land": B. Traven - Karl S. Guthke
Weimar's Forgotten Cassandra: The Writings of Gabriele Tergit in the Weimar Republic - Fiona Sutton
Radical Realism and Historical Fantasy: Alfred Döblin - David Midgley
Vicki Baum: "A First-Rate Second-Rate Writer"? - Heather Valencia
Hans Fallada's Literary Breakthrough: Bauern, Bonzen und Bomben and Kleiner Mann -- was nun? - Jenny Williams


Unlike many collections by various hands, this book has a clearly enunciated and well-executed programme: to explore the political aspects of being a novelist in the Weimar Republic. . . . [It is] beautifully produced . . . . I recommend that every institution dealing with German Studies should have at least one copy in its library. MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW

The anthology and its contributions are well-conceived . . . . Together with its extensive index . . . the essay collection can serve as an informative study of the intricate intersections of literature and politics in the Weimar Republic. GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW

Taken together, the essays introduce readers not only to 12 notable Weimar novelists but also to the era's predominant styles (from expressionism to new objectivity). CHOICE

[L]ucid, highly informative and thoroughly documented.... [T]his collection will prove an invaluable resource for undergraduates, graduate students and their teachers. JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES

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