Law in West German Democracy relates the history of the Federal Republic of Germany as seen through a series of significant trials conducted between 1947 and 2017, explaining how these trials came to take place, the legal issues which they raised, and their importance to the development of democracy in a country slowly emerging from a murderous and criminal régime. It thus illustrates the central issues of the new republic. If, as a Minister for Justice once remarked, crime can be seen as ‘the reverse image of any political system, the shadow cast by the social and economic structures of the day’, it is natural to use court cases to illuminate the eventful history of the Federal Republic’s first seventy years.
Ernst Bloch’s Speculative Materialism: Ontology, Epistemology, Politics, Cat Moir offers a new interpretation of the philosophy of Ernst Bloch. The reception of Bloch’s work has seen him variously painted as a naïve realist, a romantic nature philosopher, a totalitarian thinker, and an irrationalist whose obscure literary style stands in for a lack of systematic rigour. Moir challenges these conceptions of Bloch by reconstructing the ontological, epistemological, and political dimensions of his speculative materialism. Through a close, historically contextualised reading of Bloch’s major work of ontology,
Das Materialismusproblem, seine Geschichte und Substanz (The Materialism Problem, its History and Substance), Moir presents Bloch as one of the twentieth century’s most significant critical thinkers.
Once deemed ‘the pope of Marxism’, Karl Kautsky (1854–1938) was the leading theoretician of the German Social Democratic Party and one of the most prominent public intellectuals of his time. However, during the twentieth century a constellation of historical factors ensured that his ideas were gradually consigned to near oblivion. Not only has his political thought been dismissed in non-Marxist historical and political discourse, but his ideas are equally discredited in Marxist circles.
This book aims to rekindle interest in Kautsky’s ideas by exploring his democratic-republican understanding of state and society. It demonstrates how Kautsky’s republican thought was positively influenced by Marx and Engels – especially in relation to the lessons they drew from the experience of the Paris Commune.
This volume investigates the impact of the Radical Enlightenment on German culture during the eighteenth century, taking recent work by Jonathan Israel as its point of departure. The collection documents the cultural dimension of the debate on the Radical Enlightenment. In a series of readings of known and lesser-known fictional and essayistic texts, individual contributors show that these can be read not only as articulating a conflict between Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment, but also as documents of a debate about the precise nature of Enlightenment. At stake is the question whether the Enlightenment should aim to be an atheist, materialist, and political movement that wants to change society, or, in spite of its belief in rationality, should respect monarchy, aristocracy, and established religion.
Contributors are: Mary Helen Dupree, Sean Franzel, Peter Höyng, John A. McCarthy, Monika Nenon, Carl Niekerk, Daniel Purdy, William Rasch, Ann Schmiesing, Paul S. Spalding, Gabriela Stoicea, Birgit Tautz, Andrew Weeks, Chunjie Zhang
Winner of the 2019 Choice Outstanding Academic Title
Stereotypical characters that promoted the Nazi worldview were repurposed by antifascist authors in Weimar Germany, argues Dagmar C.G. Lorenz. This is the first book to trace Nazi characters through the German and Austrian literature. Until the defeat of the Third Reich, pro-Nazi literature was widely distributed. However, after the war, Nazi publications were suppressed or even banned, and new writers began to dominate the market alongside exile and resistance authors. The fact that Nazi figures remained consistent suggests that, rather than representing real people, they functioned as ideological signifiers. Recent literature and films set in the Nazi era show that “the Nazis”, ambiguous characters with a sinister appeal, live on as an established trope in the cultural imagination.
Since the tumultuous events of 1989/1990, writers, cultural practitioners and academics have responded to, reconstructed and reflected upon the process and enduring impact of German reunification. This bilingual volume provides a nuanced understanding of the literature and culture of the GDR and its legacy today. It explores a broad range of genres, combines perspectives on both lesser-known and more established writers, and juxtaposes academic articles with the personal reflections of those who directly experienced and engaged with the GDR from within or beyond its borders. Whether creative practitioners or academics, contributors consider the broader literary and intellectual contexts and traditions shaping GDR literature and culture in a way that enriches our understanding of reunification and its legacy.
Contributors are: Deirdre Byrnes, Anna Chiarloni, Jean E. Conacher, Sabine Egger, Robert Gillett, Frank Thomas Grub, Jochen Hennig, Nick Hodgin, Frank Hörnigk, Therese Hörnigk, Gisela Holfter, Jeannine Jud, Astrid Köhler, Marieke Krajenbrink, Hannes Krauss, Reinhard Kuhnert, Katja Lange-Müller, Corina Löwe, Hugh Ridley, Kathrin Schmidt.
This volume collects twenty of Lawrence Kramer’s seminal writings on art song (especially Lieder), opera, and word-music relationships. All examine the formative role of culture in musical meaning and performance, and all seek to demonstrate the complexity and nuance that arise when words and music interact. The diverse topics include words and music, music and poetry, subjectivity, the sublime, mourning, sexuality, decadence, orientalism, the body, war, Romanticism, modernity, and cultural change. Several of the earlier essays have been revised for this volume, which also contains a preface by the author and a foreword by Richard Leppert. The volume should be essential reading for scholars, students, performing musicians, and other music-lovers interested in musicology, word-music relationships, cultural studies, aesthetics, and intermediality.
Norse Revival offers a thorough investigation of Germanic Neopaganism (Asatru) through an international and comprehensive historical perspective. It traces Germanic Neopaganism’s genesis in German ultra-nationalist and occultist movements around 1900. Based on ethnographic research of contemporary groups in Germany, Scandinavia and North America, the book examines this alternative Neopagan religion’s transformations towards respectability and mainstream thought after the 1970s. It asks which regressive and progressive elements of a National Romantic discourse on Norse myth have shaped Germanic Neopaganism. It demonstrates how these ambiguous ideas about Nordic myth permeate general discourses on race, religion, gender, sexuality, and aesthetics. Ultimately, Norse Revival raises the question whether Norse mythology can be freed from its reactionary ideological baggage.
Up until now, ‘migration literature’ has primarily been defined as ‘texts written by migrant authors’, a definition that has been discussed, criticised, and even rejected by critics and authors alike. Very rarely has ‘migration literature’ been understood as ‘literature on the topic of migration’, which is an approach this book adopts by presenting a comparative analysis of contemporary texts on experiences of migration. By focusing on specific themes and motifs in selected texts, this study suggests that migration literature is a sub-genre that exists in both various bodies of literature as well as various languages. This book analyses English and German texts by authors such as Monica Ali, Dimitré Dinev, Anna Kim, Timothy Mo, Preethi Nair, Caryl Phillips, Hamid Sadr, and Vladimir Vertlib, among others.
German Text Crimes offers new perspectives on scandals and legal actions implicating writers of German literature since the 1950s. Topics range from literary echoes of the “Heidegger Affair” to recent incitements to murder businessmen (agents of American neo-liberal power) in works by Rolf Hochhuth and others. GDR songwriters’ cat-and-mouse games with the Stasi; feminist debates on pornography, around works by Charlotte Roche and Elfriede Jelinek; controversies over anti-Semitism, around Bernhard Schlink’s
Der Vorleser / The Reader and Martin Walser’s lampooning of the Jewish critic Marcel Reich-Ranicki; Peter Handke’s pro-Serbian travelogue; the disputed editing of Ingeborg Bachmann’s
Nachlaß; vexed relations between dramatists and directors; (ab)uses of privacy law to ‘censor’ contemporary fiction: these are among the cases of ‘text crimes’ discussed. Not all involve codified law, but all test relations between state power, civil society, media industries and artistic license.