Stefan Heym: The Perpetual Dissident

Overview

Stefan Heym's uncompromising stance made him unpopular with a succession of political regimes. The National Socialists, the CIA, and the East German secret police all held files on him. He was Hitler's youngest literary exile; McCarthyism was to drive him from the USA; and even in what appeared his natural home - the first socialist state on German soil - he was to become the country's leading dissident. By continuing to compose in both English and German, however, he maintained an international reputation. This ...
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Overview

Stefan Heym's uncompromising stance made him unpopular with a succession of political regimes. The National Socialists, the CIA, and the East German secret police all held files on him. He was Hitler's youngest literary exile; McCarthyism was to drive him from the USA; and even in what appeared his natural home - the first socialist state on German soil - he was to become the country's leading dissident. By continuing to compose in both English and German, however, he maintained an international reputation. This study traces Heym's exciting career principally by reference to his novels, journalism, and political essays. It considers all stages of his writing, and thus gives more attention than has been common to his earliest, and practically unknown pieces of poetry, prose, and drama. All his novels are analysed, the major ones in depth, and there is particular focus on Heym's battles against Stalinism and censorship: the way in which his courageous defiance of a repressive regime inspired others and paved a way for the 'new' eastern literature of the eighties. Without Heym, literary opposition in the GDR could well have crumbled. No study of East German literature, or even East German history, can be complete without frequent reference to his achievements.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This monograph on Stefan Heym's life and work is an important addition to Heym scholarship..." Monatshefte

"Hutchinson's representation of Heym is thorough and well argued. The insights into Heym's fictional works receive substantial support from Heym's own biographical details....Peter Hutchinson is to be commended for his thorough research. In addition to the detailed interpretation of Heym's novels and political activities, Hutchinson provides extensive supplemental materials in his notes and a 21-page bibliography....I would recommend this book to any scholar interested in Stefan Heym or writers living under different German regimes, spanning the period from the Weimar Republic to united Germany." Carol Anne Costabile-Heming

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521025645
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2006
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in German Series
  • Pages: 284
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 1
2 The early years: revolt and exile 7
3 First novels: the Nazi enemy 32
4 Writing for causes: unpopular political statements 57
5 Return to Germany: the struggles of the fifties 76
6 The uses of history: methods of the sixties 103
7 The uses of literature: Defoe, and the Bible 137
8 Centre of controversy again: Honecker's first period 163
9 An easier struggle: the eighties 188
10 The achievement 226
Notes 229
Bibliography 245
Index 267
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