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No Spiritual Investment in the World
Gnosticism and Postwar German Philosophy
Throughout the twentieth century, German writers, philosophers, theologians, and historians turned to Gnosticism to make sense of the modern condition. While some saw this ancient Christian heresy as a way to rethink modernity, most German intellectuals questioned Gnosticism's return in a contemporary setting. In No Spiritual Investment in the...
Persistence of Folly
On the Origins of German Dramatic Literature
Joel B. Lande’s Persistence of Folly challenges the accepted account of the origins of German theater by focusing on the misunderstood figure of the fool, whose spontaneous and impish jest captivated audiences, critics, and playwrights from the late sixteenth through the early nineteenth century. Lande radically expands the scope of literary...
The Chain of Things
Divinatory Magic and the Practice of Reading in German Literature and Thought, 1850–1940
In The Chain of Things, Eric Downing shows how the connection between divinatory magic and reading shaped the experience of reading and aesthetics among nineteenth-century realists and modernist thinkers. He explores how writers, artists, and critics such as Gottfried Keller, Theodor Fontane, and Walter Benjamin drew on the ancient practice of...
Sexual Politics and Feminist Science
Women Sexologists in Germany, 1900–1933
In Sexual Politics and Feminist Science, Kirsten Leng restores the work of female sexologists to the forefront of the history of sexology. While male researchers who led the practice of early-twentieth-century sexology viewed women and their sexuality as objects to be studied, not as collaborators in scientific investigation, Leng pinpoints...
Repentance for the Holocaust
Lessons from Jewish Thought for Confronting the German Past
In Repentance for the Holocaust, C. K. Martin Chung develops the biblical idea of "turning" (tshuvah) into a conceptual framework to analyze a particular area of contemporary German history, commonly referred to as Vergangenheitsbewältigung or "coming to terms with the...
Architectural Decay in Berlin since 1989
In Berlin, decrepit structures do not always denote urban blight. Decayed buildings are incorporated into everyday life as residences, exhibition spaces, shops, offices, and as leisure space. In this book, Daniela Sandler introduces the concept of counterpreservation as a way to understand this intentional appropriation of...
Tropes of Love in German Jewish Culture
In Mixed Feelings, Katja Garloff asks what it means for literature (and philosophy) to use love between individuals as a metaphor for group...
Hölderlin, Rilke, and the Poetics of Community
In Lyric Orientations, Hannah Vandegrift Eldridge explores the power of lyric poetry to stir the social and emotional lives of human beings in the face of the ineffable nature of our mortality. She focuses on two German-speaking masters of lyric prose and poetry: Friedrich Hölderlin (1770–1843) and Rainer Maria Rilke...
Form as Revolt
Carl Einstein and the Ground of Modern Art
The German writer and art critic Carl Einstein (1885–1940) has long been acknowledged as an important figure in the history of modern art, and yet he is often sidelined as an enigma. In Form as Revolt Sebastian Zeidler recovers Einstein's multifaceted career, offering the first comprehensive intellectual biography of Einstein in...
Speaking the Unspeakable in Postwar Germany
Toward a Public Discourse on the Holocaust
In this an interdisciplinary study of a diverse set of public speeches given by major literary and cultural figures in the 1950s and 1960s, Sonja Boos demonstrates that these speakers both facilitated and subverted the construction of a public discourse about the Holocaust in postwar West...