For six years, Friedrich Schlegel kept a diary of the magnetism therapy of his friend the Countess Franziska Lesniowska. The Countess's illness was marked by repetitive symptoms often related to memories of past events; she experienced phenomena similar to what Freud later called the uncanny return of repressed content. However, Schlegel believed she was clairvoyant and that her symptoms were incomplete expressions of a beautiful future. An examination of the diary reveals that the esoteric interests that marked Schlegel's late phase were more significant than generally acknowledged and that his interest in magnetism illuminates an aesthetic aspect of the history of psychoanalysis.
The active commitment to Austrian nationalism by the novelist Caroline Pichler contrasts strikingly with her declared view that women should avoid politics and remain in the domestic sphere. Drawing on her memoirs, this article argues that this contradiction results from her ambivalence toward two female role models: her mother and the Empress Maria Theresia, known as "Mother of Her Peoples." This ambivalence also underlies the portrayal of women engaged in a national cause in Pichler's novel The Swedes in Prague (Die Schweden in Prag, 1827).
While the Berliner Dienstboten-Zeitung (Berlin Servants' Newspaper) has been cited frequently in research on maidservice in Berlin at the turn of the century, the development of the paper between 1898 and 1900 and its role in organizing female domestics have been largely overlooked. This essay analyzes how the editor of the BDZ created a feeling of community among his readers and ultimately inspired them to organize. Unlike other publications for and about servants around 1900 that tended to preserve traditional bourgeois values and interests without reference to servants' own issues and concerns, the BDZ was unique in that it revised its representation of maidservice in response to its readers. Though the BDZ and its community of readers were never able to effect significant social or political change, the newspaper nevertheless played a crucial role in raising social and scholarly awareness of maidservants' issues.
This article analyzes the representations of Paris and St. Petersburg in Lou Andreas-Salomé's 1898 novella Fenitschka. In Paris, which is dom-inated by the male gaze, the female title character becomes ensnared in gender expectations that constrain her behavior. In St. Petersburg, on the other hand, even though gossip remains a threat to her reputation and social standing, she seems to enjoy great freedom of development. In her depictions of St. Petersburg, Andreas-Salomé employs well-known myths of that city as representing an underdeveloped urban culture. This narrative strategy allows her to create a metaphor for women's different experience of modernity.
This article examines two semi-autobiographical novels dealing with single motherhood—Franziska zu Reventlow's Ellen Olestjerne (1903) and Gabriele Reuter's Das Tränenhaus (The House of Tears, 1909)—and demonstrates how both novels refract contemporary discussions of melancholy through the lens of women's experiences as mothers and artists. In contrast to late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century medical accounts of melancholic illness, the novels attribute melancholic symptoms not primarily to biological causes, but rather to familial, financial, and societal factors that stand in the way of women's aspirations. At the same time, the novels appropriate the notion of the melancholic temperament in order to elevate women's sadness and thereby link creativity and motherhood.
This essay reintroduces the undeservedly forgotten literary oeuvre of the German-Jewish writer, feminist, social worker, and pacifist Clementine Krämer, focusing on her pacifist writings. These texts, published between 1915 and 1927, are read in the context of Krämer's dual commitment to the German women's movement and the Jewish community, probing how she negotiated in her writing and activism the multi-faceted identity of a German, Jewish, and feminist pacifist. The essay identifies two distinct periods in Krämer's pacifist writing. During the war years, Krämer published in the mainstream press stories and poems that were subtly subversive and studiously devoid of Jewish issues and characters. With the notable exception of her Bavarian-dialect pacifist novella Die Rauferei (The Fight, 1927), Krämer's postwar texts, which appeared almost exclusively in the Jewish press, were overtly and uncompromisingly pacifist, positing an inherent affinity between pacifism, Judaism, and feminism.
A comparative reading of Kafka's "Report for an Academy," Canetti's chapter "A Madhouse" from his novel Auto-da-Fé, and Cooper's and Jackson's film versions of King Kong reveals ongoing connections between the discourse on species, gender, race, and the status of human beings within the natural order. The cross-species relationships thematized in the texts suggest a critical or, in the case of Cooper, an optimistic attitude about Western civilization. The human-ape stories central to the texts provide the basic paradigm to examine social conditions and cultural conflicts, but they also serve as a commentary about the relationship of human and non-human animals, and about changing concepts of civilization and nature. The changing configurations of these human-ape relationships provide insight into the changing attitudes toward different species and environmental issues during the 20th century.
This article argues for a complex consideration of queer iconographies across Holocaust perpetrators, victims, bystanders, and resisters. Looking at the construction of same-sex sexual conduct in Holocaust memoirs, I propose sexual manifestations as an important issue in power relations between women during the Holocaust. From there, I chart the shifting construction of queer femininity and its role in Holocaust representation from early socialist cinema to contemporary film. I show how queer femininity initially assisted in drawing attention to the extreme perversity of Nazism, and how post-1980s lesbian-feminist films draw on the lesbian to rewrite women into victims and resisters.
Die leere Mitte (The Empty Center, 1998), a film directed and produced by Hito Steyerl, engages the space of Potsdamer Platz and the changes it has undergone over the past two hundred years, thereby discussing variegated borders that have existed on the site: religious, political, and economic. Yet organizing the film's content temporally undoes its structural complexity: while the film presents itself as a documentary, its formal techniques thwart conventions of the genre. Thematically, it examines both discreet eras of history and broader imperialist forces at work in Germany or areas that it colonized.
This article challenges recent scholarship on German exile directors by suggesting that the context of Weimar culture is relevant to understanding the work of these directors in Hollywood. I propose that film noir of the 1940s and 1950s conveys the crisis of male identity resulting from World War I by way of the femme fatale character. The paper begins with an examination of the traumatic conditions of post-war Weimar that constructed the woman as criminal and double and then proceeds to an analysis of filmic depictions of the femme fatale in Hollywood and Weimar.