This study of German literature in the past hundred years sets its subject clearly in the artistic and political context of developments in Western Europe during the century. It begins with the turn-of-the-century aestheticism and visions of decay led by Schnitzler, Hofmannsthal and other Austrian writers, and the quite different explosion of new artistic energy in the Expressionist and Dada movements. These movements are succeeded by the rise of Modernism, culminating in the inter-war years: the poetry of Rilke, Brecht's epic theatre, and novels by Thomas Mann, Kafka, Hesse, Musil, Doblin and Broch; the influence of Nazism on literary production is considered. The study of developments after 1945 reflects the struggle to establish a post-Holocaust literature and to deal with the questions posed by the political division of Germany. Finally, the convergence of East and West German literature after unification is addressed. Ingo R. Stoehr teaches literature at Kilgore College, Texas, and is editor of the bilingual journal of German literature in English translation, Dimension2.
Table of Contents
The First Decade of the Twentieth Century: Aestheticism Impressionism and Symbolism The 1910s: The First Phase of Avant-Garde Literature Expressionism and Dada The 1920s: High Modernism and the Second Phase of the Avante-Garde Surrealistic Elements and New Objectivity The Literary Continuum: From Anti-Modern to Modernist Voices The National Socialist Literary Canon: The Uneasy Voice of Reactionary Traditions Modernist Literature: The Many Voices of Defiance1945-1949: The Immediate Postwar Years Defining Different Traditions in East and West The 1950s: Modernism or Formalism Nonconformist Literature in the West vs. Socialist Realism in the East The 1960s: Change in Literary Awareness Politicization in the West and Emancipation of Subjectivity in the East The 1970s: Increasing Plurality New Sensitivity in the West and Continuing Emancipation in the East The 1980s: New Confusions Resurgence of Storytelling and Converging Literatures in East and West The 1990s: A New Order of Things German Issues and Global Themes in German-Language Literature Works Consulted