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A Boyhood among the Nazis
Jurgen Herbst’s account of growing up in Nazi Germany from 1928 to 1948 is a boy’s experience of anti-Semitism and militarism from the inside. Herbst was a middle-class boy in a Lutheran family that saw value in Prussian military ideals and a mythic German past. His memoir is a compelling, understated tale of moral awakening.
Intimate Chronicles in Turbulent Times
Scholem, Arendt, Klemperer
Intimate Chronicles in Turbulent Times
Steven E. Aschheim
The way three prominent German-Jewish intellectuals confronted Nazism, as revealed by their intimate writings.
Through an examination of the remarkable diaries and letters of three extraordinary and distinctive German-Jewish thinkers -- Gershom Scholem, Hannah Arendt, and Victor Klemperer -- Steven E. Aschheim illuminates what these intimate writings reveal about their evolving identities and world views as they wrestled with the meaning of being both German and Jewish in Hitler's Third Reich. In recounting how their personal and private selves responded to the public experiences these writers faced, their letters and diaries provide a striking composite portrait. Scholem, a scholar of Jewish mysticism and the spiritual traditions of Judaism; Arendt, a political and social philosopher; and Klemperer, a professor of literature and philology, were all highly articulate German-Jewish intellectuals, shrewd observers, and acute analysts of the pathologies and special contours of their times. From their intimate writings Aschheim constructs a revealing "history from within" that sheds new light on the complexity and drama of the 20th-century European and Jewish experience.
Steven E. Aschheim holds the Vigevani Chair of European Studies and teaches in the Department of History at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He is author of Brothers and Strangers: The East European Jew in German and German-Jewish Consciousness, 1800--1923; The Nietzsche Legacy in Germany, 1890--1990; and Culture and Catastrophe: German and Jewish Confrontations with National Socialism and Other Crises.
Published in association with Hebrew Union College--Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati
120 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2, index
cloth 0-253-33891-3 $19.95 s /
Johann Lorenz Schmidt and Censorship in Eighteenth-Century Germany
Under the patronage of two south German nobles, Johann Lorenz Schmidt published an annotated translation of the Bible's opening books in 1735. The story of the controversy the work aroused and of its eventual suppression sheds light on many aspects of the eighteenth century, as well as the nature of censorship in our time.
Vol. 42 (2006) through current issue
The objective of Seminar is to propagate the scholarly and critical knowledge und understanding of Germanic Studies, meaning the study primarily of literature and culture of the German-speaking countries, and secondarily of literature and culture in other Germanic languages excluding English.
Coexistence and Violence in the German, Habsburg, Russian, and Ottoman Borderlands
Shatterzone of Empires is a comprehensive analysis of interethnic relations, coexistence, and violence in Europe's eastern borderlands over the past two centuries. In this vast territory, extending from the Baltic to the Black Sea, four major empires with ethnically and religiously diverse populations encountered each other along often changing and contested borders. Examining this geographically widespread, multicultural region at several levels--local, national, transnational, and empire--and through multiple approaches--social, cultural, political, and economic--this volume offers informed and dispassionate analyses of how the many populations of these borderlands managed to coexist in a previous era and how and why the areas eventually descended into violence. An understanding of this specific region will help readers grasp the preconditions of interethnic coexistence and the causes of ethnic violence and war in many of the world's other borderlands both past and present.
Nietzsche and the Art of Virtue
In The Smile of Tragedy, Daniel Ahern examines Nietzsche’s attitude toward what he called “the tragic age of the Greeks,” and shows it to be the foundation not only for his attack upon the birth of philosophy during the Socratic era, but also for his overall critique of Western culture. Through an interpretation of “Dionysian pessimism” (the need to risk suffering and death), Ahern clarifies the ways in which Nietzsche sees ethics and aesthetics as inseparable and how their theoretical separation is at the root of Western nihilism. Ahern explains why Nietzsche, in creating this precursor to a new aesthetics, rejects Aristotle’s medicinal interpretation of tragic art and concentrates on Apollinian cruelty as a form of intoxication without which there can be no art. Ahern shows that Nietzsche saw the human body as the vessel through which virtue and art are possible, as the path to an interpretation of “selflessness,” as the means to determining an order of rank among human beings, and as the site where ethics and aesthetics are inseparable.
Sonnets to Orpheus is Rainer Maria Rilke's first and only sonnet sequence. It is an undisputed masterpiece by one of the greatest modern poets, translated here by a master of translation, David Young.
Rilke revived and transformed the traditional sonnet sequence in the Sonnets. Instead of centering on love for a particular person, as has many other sonneteers, he wrote an extended love poem to the world, celebrating such diverse things as mirrors, dogs, fruit, breathing, and childhood. Many of the sonnets are addressed to two recurrent figures: the god Orpheus (prototype of the poet) and a young dancer, whose death is treated elegiacally.
These ecstatic and meditative lyric poems are a kind of manual on how to approach the world - how to understand and love it. David Young's is the first most sensitive of the translations of this work, superior to other translations in sound and sense. He captures Rilke's simple, concrete, and colloquial language, writing with a precision close to the original.
Vacation, Magic, and the Attraction of Goethe
Wearied by his life as an administrator at the Duke’s court in Weimar, in 1786 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe departed unannounced in the middle of the night for what had been the destination of his imagination since childhood: Italy. His extended stay there dramatically affected his views of art, architecture, prose, poetry, and science. When he returned to Germany and Weimar, Goethe’s experiences translated into his life and work in ways that influenced countless others as they developed Germany’s own brand of high culture. The Spell of Italy: Vacation, Magic, and the Attraction of Goethe tracks the peculiar space Italy occupies in the cultural consciousness of German writers by reconsidering the Italian journeys of Goethe and Winckelmann and the legacy of those journeys in the works of Heine, Nietzsche, Freud, Mann, Carossa, and Bachmann. Author Richard Block contests previous assumptions about Italy as a place to encounter classical culture and creative rebirth. His study examines the degree to which Germany’s literary and cultural traditions appropriated a phantasmic Italy, showing how Winckelmann’s art history and Goethe’s Italian journey predisposed later writers to search for an aesthetic ideal in Italy that did not exist, and how their search for this absent ideal eventually resulted in disillusionment and deception. Building on previous work on Goethe, literary theory, and cultural history, The Spell of Italy offers compelling new ways of understanding Germany’s fascination with Italy from the eighteenth century to its troubled political history of the twentieth century.
Liberalism and the Antisemitism Dispute in Bismarck's Germany