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Nationalism, Cosmopolitanism, and the "Bildungsroman"
The Bildungsroman, or "novel of formation," has long led a paradoxical life within literary studies, having been construed both as a peculiarly German genre, a marker of that country's cultural difference from Western Europe, and as a universal expression of modernity. In Formative Fictions, Tobias Boes argues that the dual status of the Bildungsroman renders this novelistic form an elegant way to negotiate the diverging critical discourses surrounding national and world literature.
Since the late eighteenth century, authors have employed the story of a protagonist's journey into maturity as a powerful tool with which to facilitate the creation of national communities among their readers. Such attempts always stumble over what Boes calls "cosmopolitan remainders," identity claims that resist nationalism's aim for closure in the normative regime of the nation-state. These cosmopolitan remainders are responsible for the curiously hesitant endings of so many novels of formation.
In Formative Fictions, Boes presents readings of a number of novels-Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, Karl Leberecht Immermann's The Epigones, Gustav Freytag's Debit and Credit, Alfred Döblin's Berlin Alexanderplatz, and Thomas Mann's Doctor Faustus among them-that have always been felt to be particularly "German" and compares them with novels by such authors as George Eliot and James Joyce to show that what seem to be markers of national particularity can productively be read as topics of world literature.
The Formation of Sipo and SD
The abbreviation "Nazi," the acronym "Gestapo," and the initials "SS" have become resonant elements of our vocabulary. Less known is "SD," and hardly anyone recognizes the combination "Sipo and SD." Although Sipo and SD formed the heart of the National Socialist police state, the phrase carries none of the ominous impact that it should. Although no single organization carries full responsibility for the evils of the Third Reich, the SS-police system was the executor of terrorism and "population policy" in the same way the military carried out the Reich's imperialistic aggression. Within the police state, even the concentration camps could not rival the impact of Sipo and SD. It was the source not only of the "desk murderers" who administered terror and genocide by assigning victims to the camps, but also of the police executives for identification and arrest, and of the command and staff for a major instrument of execution, the Einsatzgruppen. Foundations of the Nazi Police State offers the narrative and analysis of the external struggle that created Sipo and SD. This book is the author's preface to his discussion of the internal evolution of these organizations in Hitler's Enforcers: The Gestapo and the SS Security Service in the Nazi Revolution.
The Matter of Obscenity in Nineteenth-Century Germany
Fragile Minds and Vulnerable Souls investigates the creation of "obscene writings and images" as a category of print in nineteenth-century Germany. Sarah L. Leonard charts the process through which texts of many kinds—from popular medical works to stereoscope cards—were deemed dangerous to the intellectual and emotional lives of vulnerable consumers. She shows that these definitions often hinged as much on the content of texts as on their perceived capacity to distort the intellect and inflame the imagination.
Leonard tracks the legal and mercantile channels through which sexually explicit material traveled as Prussian expansion opened new routes for the movement of culture and ideas. Official conceptions of obscenity were forged through a heterogeneous body of laws, police ordinances, and expert commentary. Many texts acquired the stigma of immorality because they served nonelite readers and passed through suspect spaces; books and pamphlets sold by peddlers or borrowed from fly-by-night lending libraries were deemed particularly dangerous. Early on, teachers and theologians warned against the effects of these materials on the mind and soul; in the latter half of the century, as the study of inner life was increasingly medicalized, physicians became the leading experts on the detrimental side effects of the obscene. In Fragile Minds and Vulnerable Souls, Leonard shows how distinctly German legal and medical traditions of theorizing obscenity gave rise to a new understanding about the mind and soul that endured into the next century.
Walter McDougall offers an original analysis of Versailles diplomacy from the standpoint of the power that had the most direct interest and took the first initiatives in the search for a solution to the German problem.
The author's new view of the struggle for execution or revision of the Versailles treaty holds sober implications for assessment of the political origins of international anarchy during the 1930s and European integration in the 1950s. He shows that the Treaty of Versailles was unenforceable, and that the French postwar government, far from enjoying predominance in Europe, suffered from financial crisis and economic and political inferiority to Germany. Versailles was thus the "Boche" peace, and the only path to a stable Europe seemed to lie through permanent restriction of German economic and political unity.
Originally published in 1978.
The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Narration, Rhetoric, and Reading
Franz Kafka: Narration, Rhetoric, and Reading presents essays by noted Kafka critics and by leading narratologists who explore Kafka’s original and innovative uses of narrative throughout his career. Collectively, these essays by Stanley Corngold, Anniken Greve, Gerhard Kurz, Jakob Lothe, J. Hillis Miller, Gerhard Neumann, James Phelan, Beatrice Sandberg, Ronald Speirs, and Benno Wagner examine a number of provocative questions that arise in narration and narratives in Kafka’s fiction. The arguments of the essays relate both to the peculiarities of Kafka’s story-telling and to general issues in narrative theory. They reflect, for example, the complexity of the issues surrounding the “somebody” doing the telling, the attitude of the narrator to what is told, the perceived purpose(s) of the telling, the implied or actual reader, the progression of events, and the progression of the telling. As the essays also demonstrate, Kafka’s narratives still present a considerable challenge to, as well as a great resource for, narrative theory and analysis.
The Required Work Service Law, or Service du Travail Obligatoire, was passed in 1943 by the Vichy government of France under German occupation. Passage of the law confirmed the French government’s willing collaboration in providing the Nazi regime with French manpower to replace German workers sent to fight in the war. The result was the deportation of 600,000 young Frenchmen to Germany, where they worked under the harshest conditions. Elie Poulard was one of the Frenchmen forced into labor by the Vichy government. Translated by his brother Jean V. Poulard, Elie’s memoir vividly captures the lives of a largely unrecognized group of people who suffered under the Nazis. He describes in great detail his ordeal at different work sites in the Ruhr region, the horrors that he witnessed, and the few Germans who were good to him. Through this account of one eyewitness on the ground, we gain a vivid picture of Allied bombing in the western part of Germany and its contribution to the gradual collapse and capitulation of Germany at the end of the war. Throughout his ordeal, Elie's Catholic faith, good humor, and perseverance sustained him. Little has been published in French or English about the use of foreign workers by the Nazi regime and their fate. The Poulards’ book makes an important contribution to the historiography of World War II, with its firsthand account of what foreign workers endured when they were sent to Nazi Germany. The memoir concludes with an explanation of the ongoing controversy in France over the opposition to the title Déporté du Travail, which those who experienced this forced deportation, like Elie, gave themselves after the war.
The Changing Image of the German Peasant 1770--1840
Until late in the eighteenth century, the peasantry of the German states had been dismissed contemptuously by the aristocracy and middle classes as brutish and virtually subhuman. With the advent of organized movements for peasant emancipation and agrarian reform, however, many German writers and publicists began also to reassess the role of the peasant in society. Within less than a century, the public image of the German peasant had been completely changed. Where formerly he had been scorned as untermenschlich, by 1840 he was firmly established in the public mind as an embodiment of the highest national virtues -- a patriotic citizen with special qualities of singular importance to the fatherland. Mr. Gagliardo's study is a suggestive inquiry into the origins and development of a modern rural ideology and its relationship to German doctrines of nationality.
The German Soldier in World War II
" Alois Dwenger, writing from the front in May of 1942, complained that people forgot “the actions of simple soldiers….I believe that true heroism lies in bearing this dreadful everyday life.” In exploring the reality of the Landser, the average German soldier in World War II, through letters, diaries, memoirs, and oral histories, Stephen G. Fritz provides the definitive account of the everyday war of the German front soldier. The personal documents of these soldiers, most from the Russian front, where the majority of German infantrymen saw service, paint a richly textured portrait of the Landser that illustrates the complexity and paradox of his daily life. Although clinging to a self-image as a decent fellow, the German soldier nonetheless committed terrible crimes in the name of National Socialism. When the war was finally over, and his country lay in ruins, the Landser faced a bitter truth: all his exertions and sacrifices had been in the name of a deplorable regime that had committed unprecedented crimes. With chapters on training, images of combat, living conditions, combat stress, the personal sensations of war, the bonds of comradeship, and ideology and motivation, Fritz offers a sense of immediacy and intimacy, revealing war through the eyes of these self-styled “little men.” A fascinating look at the day-to-day life of German soldiers, this is a book not about war but about men. It will be vitally important for anyone interested in World War II, German history, or the experiences of common soldiers throughout the world.
In late 1946, Stig Dagerman was assigned by the Swedish newspaper Expressen to report on life in Germany immediately after the fall of the Third Reich. First published in Sweden in 1947, German Autumn, a collection of the articles written for that assignment, was unlike any other reporting at the time. While most Allied and foreign journalists spun their writing on the widely held belief that the German people deserved their fate, Dagerman disagreed and reported on the humanness of the men and women ruined by the war—their guilt and suffering. Dagerman was already a prominent writer in Sweden, but the publication and broad reception of German Autumn throughout Europe established him as a compassionate journalist and led to the long-standing international influence of the book.
Presented here in its first American edition with a compelling new foreword by Mark Kurlansky, Dagerman’s essays on the tragic aftermath of war, suffering, and guilt are as hauntingly relevant today amid current global conflict as they were sixty years ago.