Marieluise Fleisser's Mehlreisende Frieda Geier : translation and critical introduction / by Stacy Jeffries.
The Bavarian author and dramatist Marieluise Fleisser (1901–1974) produced some of the most remarkable and controversial literature of Germany's Weimar Republic. Long recognized as a masterful playwright—especially for her first two plays, Die Fußaschung/Fegefeuer in Ingolstadt (1924) and Pioniere in Ingolstadt (1926)—Fleisser the novelist remains little known. This project provides the first English translation of her only novel, Mehlreisende Frieda Geier: Roman vom Rauchen, Sporteln, Lieben und Verkaufen (1931), prefaced by a critical introduction. Also included is a thorough text-to-text comparison of the two published versions of the novel—the aforementioned 1931 original (the source text for the English translation) and the 1972 revision, titled Eine Zierde für den Verein.In addition to being a prime example of literary New Objectivity, Mehlreisende Frieda Geier is also a revealing testament to the cultural and socio-economic climate in Germany leading up to the Nazi Party takeover, although the work never addresses politics directly (or even mentions the National Socialists). Fleisser's portrait of provincial Bavaria during the Weimar Republic concentrates on the interpersonal manifestations of Fascism and the regressive social structures that allowed the movement to flourish.Set in the author's native Ingolstadt, Mehlreisende Frieda Geier tells the story of Frieda and Gustl: the former a single, independent young woman eking out a living as a traveling flour saleswoman, the latter a local sports hero and tobacconist—and the object of Frieda's (primarily physical) desire. The female protagonist of Fleisser's novel directs a discerning gaze at the unique literary landscape of provincial Bavaria—in contrast to that of metropolitan Berlin, the setting for most of the Weimar Republic's well-known novels. While there is a wealth of scholarship detailing the ways in which women have supposedly been divested of the power of the gaze and rendered its object, this project reveals the extent to which women, as authors and creative subjects of the Weimar era, were actively—and critically—doing the looking.
Record last modified: 2018-05-18 16:20:00
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