Anna Seghers: The Challenge of History features essays by leading scholars devoted to this most important German writer whose novels and stories have been read by millions worldwide. The volume is intended for teachers and students of literature and for general readers. The contributions address facets of Seghers’s large body of work which is characterized by reflections on political events shaping world history and written in a highly imaginative array of narrative styles. The first section focuses on the author’s famous novel The Seventh Cross. Articles in the next two sections analyze her reactions to crises that marked the twentieth century and her connections to other relevant thinkers of her time. The last section features new translations of Seghers’s works.
Helen Fehervary, Professor Emerita/Academy Professor of German Studies, Ohio State University, has published widely on German literature, theatre, and intellectual history, is author of Anna Seghers: The Mythic Dimension, and editor of the text-critical Anna Seghers Werkausgabe published by Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin.
Christiane Zehl Romero, Professor Emerita of German, International Literary/Cultural Studies, Goldthwaite Professor of Rhetoric, Tufts University, has authored articles on German and comparative literature, a two-volume biography of Seghers, and coedited two volumes of her letters in the Anna Seghers Werkausgabe.
Amy Kepple Strawser, Lecturer, Ohio State University, has published on German poetry and women writers. She translated Ursula Krechel’s Voices from the Bitter Core (2010) and with Helen Fehervary tales by Seghers including “The Excursion of the Dead Girls” (2017).
Contents Note on Translations Note on Orthography Chronology of Seghers’s Life and Works Notes on Contributors Introduction
Part 1: The Seventh Cross: Origins, Relevance, Adaptations
1 Topographies of Escape, Flight, and Migration in Seghers’s Prose Helen Fehervary 2 Heroes: The Seventh Cross and Seghers’s “Heldenbuch” Christiane Zehl Romero 3 Allusions to the Hebrew Bible and the Jewish-Christian Gospel and Apostolic Narratives in The Seventh Cross Helen Fehervary 4 The Seventh Cross: Dignité humaine and Human Rights Birgit Maier-Katkin 5 The Seventh Crossand Fred Zinnemann’s Cinematic Adaptation Peter Beicken 6 Expressionism in Pictures: Exploring William Sharp’s Comic Adaptation of The Seventh Cross Kristy Boney
Part 2: From the Historical Avant-Garde to Socialism and Antifascism
7 Netty Reiling’s Student Years at the University of Heidelberg Christiane Zehl Romero 8 Die Gefährten: Poised Aesthetically between Modernism and Lukácsian Socialist Realism and Politically between Rosa Luxemburg and Lenin Katerina Clark 9 Narrative Approaches to the Holocaust: A Pivotal Decade in Seghers’s Oeuvre Helen Fehervary 10 The French Connection: Seghers’s Friendships and Work Relationships in and with France Christiane Zehl Romero 11 Seghers’s Efforts to Write about Postwar Germany Ute Brandes 12 Anna Seghers, Walter Janka, Wolfgang Harich, and the Events of Stephen Brockmann
Part 3: Seghers and her Contemporaries
13 Visual Encounters: Seghers, Kafka, and Benjamin Peter Beicken 14 Notes on Seghers and Adorno: Marxism, Post-Fascism, and the Question of Culture Hunter Bivens 15 “Die herrliche Anna Seghers”: Her Role for Christa Wolf and Brigitte Reimann Christiane Zehl Romero 16 “… diese unerträgliche Sehnsucht”: Life Journeys and Longing in Reimann, Seghers, and Wolf Jennifer Marston William 17 Heiner Müller’s Three Confessions: Late Letters to His Father, His Grandfather, and His Literary Mother Anna Seghers Janine Ludwig
Part 4: Seghers in Translation
18 Introduction to The Wayfarers: Chapter One Hunter Bivens 19 Introduction to “Shelter” Helen Fehervary 20 Introduction to “The Reed” Amy Kepple Strawser Index
General readers and scholars of German literature and intellectual/political history, German-Jewish studies, exile studies, GDR studies; academic libraries.