Literary Exiles from Nazi Germany: Exemplarity and the Search for Meaning - Studies in German Literature, Linguistics, and Culture v. 151 (Hardback)Johannes F. Evelein (author)
Hardback 212 Pages / Published: 01/08/2014
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Exile is as old as humanity itself but a radically new fate for the "novice" exile, who falls into a world about which personal experience can tell him nothing. He does, however, know a great number of stories -- myths, legends, allegories, biblical or historical accounts -- about exile. The novice's search for a foothold initiates a learning process in which the exilic tradition assumes a major role. The present book captures this learning process: it is a cultural history of exile as it was experienced by thousands of German and Austrian writers and intellectuals who opposed National Socialism: among them Brecht, Canetti, Seghers, Remarque, the Manns, and Ludwig Marcuse. It shows how, slowly, exile becomes a reality through the growing awareness of -- and reference to -- the exemplary figures of a shared fate. Scores of fellow travelers, from the mythic figures Odysseus and Ahasverus ("The Eternal Jew") to writers such as Heinrich Heine and Victor Hugo, frame the experience of exile, imbuing it with meaning, giving it depth, and even elevating it to a "High Moral Office." They frequently make appearances in the narratives of the Nazi-era exiles. The Russian-American exile poet Joseph Brodsky called writers in exile "retrospective and retroactive beings." What their retrospective gazes yield as they search for meaning in banishment is at the heart of this book.. Johannes F. Evelein is Professor of Language and Culture Studies at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut.
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
Number of pages: 212
Weight: 472 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
Combining close reading with literary history, Evelein traces connections between [exiled authors in different periods] and effectively demonstrates their bonds of exilic "kinship" across historical and national-linguistic boundaries. . . . Evelein's book . . . makes an important contribution to German literary studies and understanding of the phenomenon of exile. And the breadth of the study makes it useful for those interested in other literatures. English translations are provided for all German quotations. . . . Recommended. CHOICE Johannes Evelein's study searches for the exemplary antecedents in whom the German exiles sought to understand and articulate their own condition: in extending its attention before 1933, it explores another rich and hitherto underestimated approach to Exilliteratur. . . . This is an impressive survey which asks important questions. . . . [I]t explores a signi?cant new avenue in Exilforschung and engagingly investigates the discovery and shaping of tradition in exile. MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW This study discusses many forms of literary exile and also introduces readers to lesser known works of art. It is an important contribution to the international scholarship on exile and its literary representations.Often exilic artists, as Evelein shows, enter a dialogue within the broader scope of transhistorical and transcultural exile and its main protagonists in order to reflect upon the many aspects of exile and their own existence in a global setting. Evelein successfully links the threads of such an interconnected discourse, and attests to the lasting relevance of exile literature to a present-day readership, especially as our current history of worldwide migration unfolds. GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW
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