Heinrich Mann's Novels and Essays

March 2002
7 black and white illustrations
251 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571130990
Format: Hardback
Camden House

Heinrich Mann's Novels and Essays

The Artist as Political Educator

Karin Verena Gunnemann

The first full-length study in English of Heinrich Mann's literary work and political activism.
Heinrich Mann, once counted among the most important literary figures in Germany, is known to most English-speaking readers only as the brother of Thomas Mann, or in connection with Marlene Dietrich and the film "The Blue Angel," which was based on one of his novels. Only a few of his novels and stories and virtually none of his hundreds of provocative essays are available in English. But he deserves special attention for the window his work provides onto the intellectual, social, and political history of Germany, especially Germany's struggle with the question of democracy in the early twentieth century. In his essays and novels, Mann exposed Germany's resistance to democracy well before the First World War, and especially during the Revolution of 1918/19 and the Weimar Republic he made the education of the German people to democratic values and a democratic form of government the center of his life and work. Professor Gunnemann's book is the first work in English that explores Heinrich Mann's work in detail. Special attention is given to the history of the reception of Mann's works in Germany, which is also a history of that nation's self-understanding.

Karin Verena Gunnemann is professor of German at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta.

Table of Contents

Democracy: Toward a Definition
Imperial Germany in Need of Reform
Lessons for a New Republic
Education through Literary Experiments
Last Warnings -- Model and Consolation: Henri IV
Works Cited


Gunnemann demonstrates that Mann understood the concept [that art could influence society] well and applied it in every way he possibly could. CHOICE

Few studies succeed as does this one in introducing Mann to a broad academic audience interested in but still perhaps largely unfamiliar with his stature as a writer.GERMAN QUARTERLY

Gunnemann's book traces Heinrich Mann's development as a writer and political activist throughout his career, providing one of the few English-language analyses of his collected writings.... A real strength of Gunnemann's study is its survey and analysis of Mann's essays, in addition to his fiction. GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW

The author succeeds convincingly in focusing attention squarely on the modernity of the political writer Heinrich Mann. MONATSHEFTE

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