This collection of essays, written by leading scholars in the fields of East German art, film, literature, music, and museum studies, seeks to renegotiate the artistic legacy of the German Democratic Republic. Combining a range of theoretical and practical perspectives, the volume challenges the narrow frameworks of totalitarianism and
Ostalgie that have dominated discussions of art produced in the GDR. It explores the diversity of art produced in the state and contests the long-held perception that socialist realism and artistic innovation were mutually exclusive. Crucially, the collection puts art itself to the fore; GDR art is considered not simply as a political by-product, as is so often the case, but as an entity of innovation and aesthetic value in its own right.
This volume illuminates the vexed treatment of violence in the German cultural tradition between two crucial, and radically different, violent outbreaks: the French Revolution, and the Holocaust and Second World War. The contributions undermine the notion of violence as an intermittent or random visitor in the imagination and critical theory of modern German culture. Instead, they make a case for violence in its many manifestations as constitutive for modern theories of art, politics, identity, and agency. While the contributions elucidate trends in theories of violence leading up to the Holocaust, they also provide a genealogy of the stakes involved in ongoing discussions of the legitimate uses of violence, and of state, individual, and collective agency in its perpetration. The chapters engage the theorization of violence through analysis of cultural products, including literature, museum planning, film, and critical theory. This collection will be of interest to scholars in the fields of Literary and Cultural Studies, Critical Theory, Philosophy, Gender Studies, History, Museum Studies, and beyond.
This book reads messianic expectation as the defining characteristic of German culture in the first decades of the twentieth century. It has long been accepted that the Expressionist movement in Germany was infused with a thoroughly messianic strain. Here, with unprecedented detail and focus, that strain is traced through the work of four important Expressionist playwrights: Ernst Barlach, Georg Kaiser, Ernst Toller and Franz Werfel. Moreover, these dramatists are brought into new and sustained dialogues with the theorists and philosophers of messianism who were their contemporaries: Walter Benjamin, Ernst Bloch, Martin Buber, Hermann Cohen, Gershom Scholem. In arguing, for example, that concepts like Bloch’s utopian self-encounter (
Selbstbegegnung) and Benjamin’s messianic now-time (
Jetztzeit) reappear as the framework for Expressionism’s staging of collective redemption in a new age, Anderson forges a previously underappreciated link in the study of Central European thought in the early twentieth century.
This is the first volume in English to examine in detail one of the most remarkable collaborations between a writer and filmmaker in European cinema. Focusing on the four films Wim Wenders and Peter Handke made between 1969 and 1987 (
3 American LPs,
The Goalkeeper’s Fear of the Penalty,
Wrong Move, and
Wings of Desire), it explores the productive tension between adaptation and collaboration and demonstrates the different ways in which text- and image-makers can recompose film’s constituent media (literature, still and moving images, music, drama). The study reveals that this partnership had significant aesthetic and conceptual repercussions for both artists, resulting in a series of single-authored works which manifest the same kinds of intertextuality and disjunctive intermediality that are the hallmark of the collaborations themselves. These include Wenders’s
Alice in the Cities, Handke’s films
The Chronicle of On-Going Events and
The Left-Handed Woman , and his novels
Short Letter, Long Farewell and
A Moment of True Feeling. While the Wenders-Handke partnership is unique, it contributes to a broader understanding of cinematic adaptation and different models of intermedial collaboration. This volume will be of interest to those working in the fields of Adaptation, Film, and German Studies.