Heinrich Mann: Narratives of Wilhelmine Germany, 1895-1925

Heinrich Mann: Narratives of Wilhelmine Germany, 1895-1925

by Stephen A. Grollman


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This book focuses on Heinrich Mann’s representations of Wilhelmine Germany written between 1895 and 1925. A major figure in German literature and intellectual history, Heinrich Mann has stirred controversy among scholars for the divisive political and social themes in his novels and essays and for having reversed his positions on these issues – from a decidedly conservative stance in his youth to an increasingly left-liberal outlook. In contrast to previous studies that trace the development of Mann’s thought, this book divides Mann’s earlier writings into two distinct types of narrative: a contemporary commentary at the turn of the century; and a historical assessment of the Wilhelmine era after 1918. In this manner, the early period is not dismissed as a passing phase, but described as part of the discourses circulating in 1890s Germany. The later historical retrospectives, in turn, are compared against the assessments of recent historians. Heinrich Mann: Narratives of Wilhelmine Germany, 1895-1925 emphasizes the role of ideology, literary form, and historical perspective in the construction of history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780820458069
Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing Inc.
Publication date: 11/06/2002
Series: Studies on Themes and Motifs in Literature Series , #64
Pages: 162
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.06(h) x (d)

About the Author

The Author: Stephen A. Grollman received his Ph.D. in German from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He is currently Assistant Professor of German at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Heinrich Mann Between the Centuries1
Heinrich Mann and History1
A Contemporary Conservative and a Liberal Looking back3
The Question of Continuity5
Part IHeinrich Mann's Nineteenth Century: Contemporary Perspectives of Wilhelmine Germany, 1895-1900
Chapter 1.Das Zwanzigste Jahrhundert: Amalgam of Ideologies15
The Dilemma of Conservative Beginnings15
Early Ideology21
The "Jewish" Question25
The "Woman" Question31
The "Social" Question34
The Reception of Nietzsche: Racism vs. Relativism37
Maximilian Harden's Critique of Liberalism41
Chapter 2.Im Schlaraffenland: Conservative Berlin Novel47
Conservative Satire47
The Berlin Novel48
The "Jewish" Question Revisited53
The Conservative Critique of Liberalism60
Nietzsche and Nietzscheanism67
Part IIHeinrich Mann's Twentieth Century: Historical Perspectives of Wilhelmine Germany, 1914-1925
Chapter 3.Der Untertan: Satire as Provocation of History73
The Sonderweg of German Historiography73
The Wilhelmine Bildungsroman82
Zeitroman: The Novel of the Bourgeoisie86
The "Jewified Society"95
Chapter 4.Der Kopf: Kaiserreich as Tragedy103
A Political History of Imperial Germany103
History and the Characters of Imperial Germany113
The Representative Intellectuals Wedekind and Harden122
History and Ideology131
Works Cited153

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