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Flight of Fantasy: New Perspectives on Inner Emigration in German Literature 1933-1945

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Flight of Fantasy

New Perspectives on Inner Emigration in German Literature 1933-1945

Edited by Neil H. Donahue and Doris Kirchner

332 pages, index

ISBN  978-1-57181-001-4 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (December 2003)

ISBN  978-1-57181-002-1 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (December 2005)

eISBN 978-1-78238-965-1 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook from these vendors Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


"This fine volume…exemplifies German scholarship at its best…It is a singular accomplishment. Although written by eighteen authors, the essays seem of a piece. They are uniformly well written, clear, insightful, and free of annoying jargon."  · German Quarterly


During the Nazi era many German writers chose, or were forced into, exile. Many others stayed and, after the end of this period, claimed to have retreated into "Inner Emigration". The nature of this kind of emigration and the underlying motives of these writers have been hotly debated to this day. Though the reception of Inner Emigration has often been confounded by disputes over the term itself, the issue is ultimately not a matter of nomenclature, but of more far-reaching issues of literary evaluation, moral discernment and the writing of history. This volume presents, for the first time, to an English-speaking readership the complexity of Inner Emigration through the analysis of problematic individual cases of writers who, under constant pressure from a watchful dictatorship to conform and to collaborate, were caught between conscience and compromise.

Neil H. Donahue is Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Hofstra University.

Doris Kirchner is Associate Professor of German at the University of Rhode Island.

Subject: General Cultural Studies WWII History
Area: Germany


Notes on Contributors

Introduction: “Coming to Terms” with the German Past
Neil H. Donahue

The Past of the Term

Chapter 1. Inner Emigration: The Term and Its Origins in Postwar Debates
Stephen Brockmann

Foundational Essays

Chapter 2. In the Thicket of Inner Emigration
Reinhold Grimm

Chapter 3. The Young Generation’s Non-National Socialist Literature during the Third Reich
Hans Dieter Schäfer

New Perspectives: Synoptic Studies

Chapter 4. Culture as Simulation: The Third Reich and Postmodernity
Hans Dieter Schäfer

Chapter 5. Targeting the Reader, Entering History: A New Epitaph for the Inner Emigration
Frank Trommler

Chapter 6. Absences of Time and History: Poetry of Inner Emigration
Leonard Olschner

Chapter 7. Depictions of the State in Works of the Inner Emigration
Colin Riordan

Chapter 8. The Limits on Literary Life in the Third Reich
Volker Dahm

New Perspectives: Case Studies

Chapter 9. Opposition or Opportunism? Günter Eich’s Status as Inner Emigrant
Glenn R. Cuomo

Chapter 10. Conservative Opposition: Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen’s Antifascist Novel Bockelson: A History of Mass Hysteria
Karl-Heinz Schoeps

Chapter 11. Luise Rinser’s Escape into Inner Emigration
Diana Orendi

Chapter 12. Survival without Compromise? Reconfiguring the Past in the Works of Hans Werner Richter and Alfred Andersch
Rhys W. Williams

Chapter 13. Exile honoris causa: The Image of Erich Kästner among Writers in Exile
Guy Stern

Chapter 14. Günther Weissenborn’s Ballad of His Life
Wulf Koepke

Chapter 15. Between Apocalypse and Arcadia: Horst Lange’s Visionary Imagination during the Third Reich
Gerald Funk

Chapter 16. “I mounted resistance, though I hid the fact”: Versions of Wolfgang Koeppen’s Early Biography
David Basker

Chapter 17. Elisabeth Langgässer and the Question of Inner Emigration
Cathy S. Gelbin

The Turn Inward Outside of Literature

History Chapter 18. The Unsettling History of German Historians in the Third Reich
Amy R. Sims

Film Chapter 19. State of the Art as Art of the Nazi State: The Limits of Cinematic Resistance
David Bathrick

Selected Bibliography

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