Abstract

Published in 1931, Hilde Maria Kraus's Nine Months (Neun Monate) defies both social and literary norms in that the novel's protagonist, Olga, chooses to continue her teaching career after the birth of her child. Kraus's novel, however, draws on a concept of "spiritual motherhood," whose conservative, essentialist elements appear to relativize the novel's emancipatory potential. In this article, I examine the protagonist's complex process of personal transformation: she experiences how the personal intersects with the political, as she begins to critique social and political inequalities based on class and gender. I show that while Olga eventually embraces the teaching profession as a means for social reform, she differs from the more traditional proponents of spiritual motherhood in that she challenges bourgeois concepts of marriage, morality, and class privilege. I argue that her version of spiritual motherhood is infused with socialism and a more radical type of feminism, thus making her decision to combine both career and motherhood truly exceptional. (EK)

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Additional Information

ISSN
2578-5192
Print ISSN
2578-5206
Pages
pp. 105-127
Launched on MUSE
2010-10-13
Open Access
No
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