The Challenges of Resistance in 1930s Fiction
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Northwestern University Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
In the Talmud there is a wise Jewish saying: “Provide yourself with a teacher and get yourself a friend; and judge every person towards merit.” I have been so fortunate in receiving unsurpassed guidance, mentorship, and encouragement from teachers and friends as I embarked on this scholarly journey. I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to ...
List of Abbreviations
In Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf suggests that writers need to “find out new ways of approaching ‘the public’; single it into separate people instead of massing it into one monster, gross in body, feeble in mind” (117). The burden for many politically engaged writers in the 1930s was how to warn the “public” to resist the harmful and alienating effects of ...
Chapter 1. Spectacular Nazism and Subversive Performances
In Eric Rentschler’s 1996 collection of essays on German cinema, filmmaker Wim Wenders comments, “Never before and in no other country have images and language been abused so unscrupulously as here, never before and nowhere else have they been debased so deeply as vehicles to transmit lies” (Ministry of Illusion, 128).1 In the past two ...
Chapter 2. Vamps, Tramps, and Nazis: Representations of Spectacular Female Characters
In Between the Acts, two paintings hang opposite a window: one is an image of a woman, “bought by Oliver because he liked the picture”; the other, a painting of a man, “an ancestor” (BTA, 33). The man “had a name.” The woman did not. The uncanny silence and emptiness surrounding the image with no history and no story points to the stark reality ...
Chapter 3. Seeing Jewish or Seeing “the Jew”? The Spectral Jewish Other
A joke circulated in the 1930s about a Jewish man who meets his friend Isaac sitting on a park bench reading Der Stürmer (a rabidly antisemitic Nazi newspaper).1 “Have you gone crazy?” the man asks his friend. “Why are you reading that antisemitic trash?” “Well,” Isaac answers, “when I read our newspapers I hear about Jews getting harassed and ...
Chapter 4. Eventually We’re All Queer: Fascism, Nazism, and Homosexuality
“Eventually we’re all queer,” drawls Christopher’s friend Fritz as he and the narrator sit in a bar watching a drag show toward the end of Goodbye to Berlin (238). In this way, the text positions characters and readers alike as “queer” outsiders, observing the Nazi spectacle through the inverted lens of the camera obscura that is the text. The idea that “we’re all ...
Conclusion: Can Fiction Make a Difference? Writing and Reading Resistance
In A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf concedes, “How unpleasant it is to be locked out; [but] it is worse perhaps to be locked in” (24). Upon fi nishing a draft of Between the Acts, Woolf, ill with depression and no doubt affected by the war’s general devastation and the destruction of her London home during the Blitz, committed suicide by drowning herself ...
Page Count: 320
Publication Year: 2012
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Anti-Nazi Modernism