Magischer Realismus in der nicht-faschistischen Literatur im Dritten Reich / Doris Kirchner-Loser
- Variant Title
- Magic realism in non-fascist literature during the Third Reich
Includes bibliographical references (p. 280-313)
Departing from Franz Roh's definition of Magic Realism for the visual arts in 1925, this study traces the concept's manifestations in non-fascist German literature during the Third Reich. For the purpose of this study, the concept is placed within the socio-political context of the early twentieth century, especially of the Weimar Republic. Textual analysis of non-fascist prose of the thirties and forties is based on a discussion of the concept's genesis for German literature from the twenties to the eighties. The study focuses on four representative writers and their major works during the thirties and forties: Marie Luise Kaschnitz, Elissa; Horst Lange, Schwarze Weide; Friedo Lampe, Septembergwitter, Am Rande der Nacht, "Laterna Magica"; Eugen Gottlob Winkler, "Die Insel", "Im Gewachshaus", "Gedenken an Trinakria". The writers' obvious and widespread fascination with aspects of Magic Realism during the twenties, thirties and forties flourished independently of political allegiances--especially independently of the polarization between left and right--and of larger literary movements. It is precisely this neutrality which renders the concept a powerful tool in the analysis of the controversial and multi-facetted time period of the early twentieth century. The concept's inherent melancholia and introspection link it with similar trends in German literature around the turn-of-the-century as well as with international currents during the thirties and forties. While the concept's international side cannot be the main focus of this study, its acknowledgement is vital for its understanding within the German context. Evidence of Magic Realism's existence internationally defeats the assumption that its focus on melancholia and the individual's alienation was a direct result of socio-political and cultural developments within Germany. The failure of the Weimar Republic with all its implications for the intellectuals and writers as well as some of the early manifestations of national-socialist rule are reflected in Magic Realism. However, the concept transcends these direct political borders and includes the "sense of ending" prevalent in other parts of the western world at the time.
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