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Writing Between the Lines

René Schickele, ‘Citoyen français, deutscher Dichter’, 1883-1940

Eric Robertson

This book is the first major study in English of René Schickele's work. Hailed by his contemporaries as one of the foremost German-language novelists of the inter-war period, and celebrated for his Expressionist poetry and his controversial First World War drama Hans im Schnakenloch, Schickele also produced socio-critical essays and pioneering editorial work for the pacifist journal Die Weißen Blätter. From his literary débuts in fin-de-siècle Strasbourg to the French and German prose fiction of his anti-Nazi exile, Schickele's work reflects his bilingual, bicultural upbringing: his vision of Alsace as a symbolic broker of Franco-German peace finds its clearest expression in the trilogy of novels Das Erbe am Rhein. Schickele remains a paradoxical figure, in his own words, a 'citoyen français und deutscher Dichter' (French citizen and German poet).
Through readings of all the major texts, Eric Robertson's study situates Schickele's work within its socio-political and historical context. Particular attention is paid to the personal and political implications of his adoption of German as literary idiom and his reversion to the French mother tongue during the 1930s; Schickele's copious diaries and his correspondence with fellow writers including Thomas Mann, Heinrich Mann and Stefan Zweig are shown to be especially revealing. Schickele's œuvre holds a unique and hitherto underrated place in the European writing of his era.
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Yvan Goll – Claire Goll

Texts and Contexts

Edited by Eric Robertson and Robert Vilain

This volume brings together for the first time essays on both Claire and Yvan Goll. The Golls made distinctive contributions to the literary cultures of France and Germany in the first half of the twentieth century. Their writings shed much light upon their respective positions within the exile communities created by the First and Second World Wars, and in the inter-war avant-gardes of Paris and Berlin, whose cosmopolitanism and eclecticism they came to embody. The Golls' literary output was shaped by, and in turn helped to enrich, the experimental trends that often challenged or transcended conventional notions according to which genre and choice of literary language are stable phenomena. The essays in this volume focus on texts by Yvan and Claire Goll in French and German, and in various literary forms: these are examined in relation to contem-porary literary, artistic and musical developments, and place particular emphasis on collaborative and interdisciplinary works. The analyses explore a wide range of theoretical perspectives, including inter-textuality, Trivialliteratur, psychoanalysis, feminism, cultural marginality and négritude. This collection represents a distinctive and wide-ranging contribution to the study of Yvan and Claire Goll at a time of renewed critical interest in their lives and work.
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Dada and Beyond, Volume 1

Dada Discourses

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Edited by Elza Adamowicz and Eric Robertson

This collection of critical essays celebrates the subversive and challenging creativity of the Dada movement, born in pacifist Zurich in 1916 in violent reaction to the First World War. It examines the collective and individual activities that took place under the name of Dada in Zurich, Cologne, Berlin, Paris, New York and Barcelona, and explores the various creative forms employed, including text, collage, photomontage, objects, dance, performance and film. The authors suggest new ways of understanding the work of the most famous Dadaists, while also casting light on the contribution of hitherto neglected figures.
“Dada was a bomb”, declared Max Ernst in an interview in 1958. “Can you imagine anyone, almost half a century after the explosion of a bomb, trying to collect its fragments and stick them together in order to display them?” The aim of this volume is not to reconstitute the bomb, but to analyse some of its explosive effects and after-effects that continue to resonate nearly a century later. Far from attempting to reduce Dada to a homogeneous movement, or to define a unifying principle beneath and beyond the multiple directions taken by Dadaists, this collection aims to respect the diversity and heterogeneity of the movement’s collective activities as well as the specificity of its individual actors.
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Dada and Beyond, Volume 2

Dada and its Legacies

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Edited by Elza Adamowicz and Eric Robertson

International, iconoclastic, inventive, born out of the institutionalised madness of the First World War, Dada erupted in cities throughout Europe and the USA, creating shock waves that offended polite society and destabilised the cultural and political status quo. In spite of its sporadic and ephemeral character, its rich and diverse legacy is still powerfully felt nearly a century later. Following on from Dada and Beyond Volume 1: Dada Discourses, the sixteen essays in this collection provide critical examinations of Dada, placing particular emphasis on the ongoing impact of its creative output. The chapters examine its pivotal figures as well as its more peripheral protagonists, their different geographic locations, and the extraordinary diversity of their practices that included poetry, painting, printmaking, dance, performance, theatre, textiles, readymades, photomontage and cinema.
As the book’s authors reveal, Dada not only anticipates Surrealism but also foreshadows an extraordinary array of more recent tendencies including action painting, conceptual art, outsider art, performance art, environmental and land art. In its privileging of chance and automatism, its rejection of formal artistic institutions, its subversive exploitation of mass media and its constant self-reconstitution and self-redefinition, Dada deserves to be seen as a cultural phenomenon that is still powerfully relevant in the twenty-first century.