German Studies Review: Volume 33, Number 1 (February 2010)
    Staging Violence and Transcendence: Reading Christa Wolf through German Romanticism

    John Pizer
    Louisiana State University

    Much analysis of Christa Wolf’s relationship to Romanticism has focused on her novel Kein Ort. Nirgends, which constitutes Wolf’s most sustained intervention into the period. Previous readings of this work have attempted to ascertain Wolf’s perspectives on Romanticism. Reading Wolf conversely through Romanticism’s intertwined discourses of enthusiasm, violence, and androgyny reveals the filiations between violence and utopian gender transcendence in Kein Ort. Nirgends, and allows a new look at its ideological origins. The conclusion shows how the subterranean voice of Bettina Brentano-von Arnim centers this holism—a demonstration enhanced by comparing Wolf’s novel with Günter Grass’ treatment of Bettina in Der Butt.
    Reading Triangles in Fassbinder’s Fontane Effi Briest

    John Blair
    University of West Georgia

    In Fontane Effi Briest, specifically filmic and visual detail—mise en scène, character constellations, and the film's unusual dumb show—illuminate Effi’s and her mother’s positions in a variety of relationships that suggest Girard’s and Sedgwick’s figural triangles. Traditionally gendered positions on these triangles become more fluid, however, since women who have been successfully integrated into late nineteenth-century patriarchy take on male privileges and roles. The female characters in the film illustrate the psychic implications of such complicity for motherhood and female solidarity, but they also represent for Fassbinder the personal dilemma of conformity and dissent.
    Sex, Race, and Empire:
    White Male Sexuality and the “Other” in Germany’s Colonies, 1894–1914

    Daniel J. Walther
    Wartburg College

    While much has been written about gender in German colonialism, especially about women, little scholarship exists that explores sexuality as a distinct, yet integrated category. Male sexuality, along with gender, race, and class, played a salient role in influencing and shaping the German colonial experience in Germany’s overseas possessions. In constructing white male sexuality in the colonies, the “Other” played an essential role, justifying not only the initial establishment of white male heterosexual rule there, but also ultimately greater control over the bodies of indigenous populations.
    „Wie so eine kleine Flaschenpost:“ die Flaschenpost-Metapher bei Bas Böttcher

    Billy Badger
    University of Tasmania

    The Flaschenpost trope often centers on the image of a shipwrecked sailor who, in a moment of desperate hope, seals his message in a bottle and commits it to the ocean. Through this trope the author calls the effectiveness of lyrical communication into question, since he cannot exclude the possibility that the bottle will remain lost at sea, never able to reveal its message. Yet if it reaches its destination, can it convey an undistorted message to its anonymous recipient? Such doubts are foreign to Bas Böttcher. His Flaschenpost-communication avoids misinterpretation, because it permits many layers of interpretation and presupposes the creative input of both audience and performance space.
    Grassroots Propaganda in the Third Reich:
    The Reich Ring for National Socialist Propaganda and Public Enlightenment

    Randall L. Bytwerk
    Calvin College

    With the Reichsring für nationalsozialistische Propaganda und Volksaufklärung the Nazi Party sought to consolidate all local forces forging public opinion. Under Walter Tießler’s leadership it grew gradually from 1935 to 1941, when it exploded in size and activity, only to start a rapid decline after January 1944 due to the pressures of the war and internal party disagreements. Although it did not have time to become a central part of the Nazi system, it provides an example of the effort to permeate all aspects of society with propaganda and of the direction party propaganda was headed.
    “Bizarre Epik des Augenblicks”:
    Gottfried Benn’s “Answer to the Literary Emigrants” in the Context of His Early Prose

    Olga Solovieva
    New Haven

    Gottfried Benn’s open letter to the literary emigrants, broadcast and published in May 1933, is a notorious proclamation of the poet’s acceptance of Hitler’s regime. A closer look at this crucial document shows Benn entering the politics of 1933 by paradoxically combining the epically distant and closely engaged narrative points of view, a technique from his earlier literary prose, which forsakes its potential for estrangement in order to advance the purposes of propaganda.
    The Politics of Collaboration:
    Composing for the Films and Its Publication History

    Sally Bick
    University of Windsor

    Composing for the Films has emerged as a central text on Hollywood film music. Although the book was co-authored by Theodor Adorno and Hanns Eisler, various versions of the book have appeared without naming Adorno as co-author, leaving erroneous assumptions about authorship. While scholars have speculated on who might have written what parts of the book, that question can never really be untangled completely. A thorough scrutiny of their letters, however, reveals details on Adorno’s and Eisler’s collaboration that shed new light on the publication history.
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