Kitsch & Kunst

Presentations of a Lost War

by Maggie Sargeant (Author)
©2005 Monographs 276 Pages


This book examines the presentation of, and attitudes to, the Second World War in post-war West German prose fiction. The fierce public reactions which some of these works provoked at the time of their publication are taken into account in this study since their reception provides a picture of the psychological relationship West Germany had with its wartime past in the immediate post-war period and beyond. Writers of Unterhaltungsliteratur and Trivialliteratur are often studied within their own genre, but, this book sets such writers alongside their canonical colleagues. This approach opens up the possibility of considering whether the strategies adopted to influence contemporary society, to reflect that society and to come to terms with the Second World War are determined by the classification of these works as Kitsch or Kunst. The authors included are Alfred Andersch, Heinrich Böll, Hans Hellmut Kirst, Heinz G. Konsalik, Theodor Plievier and Erich Maria Remarque. The selected works deal specifically with the German soldier and officer, the fighting fronts, the home front and the connections between the German army and the National Socialist regime.


ISBN (Softcover)
Deutsch Weltkrieg (1939-1945, Motiv) Geschichte 1950-1970 Aufsatzsammlung Second World War German identity Canonical literature Trivialliteratur Kriegsprosa German prose fiction Heinrich Böll Heinz G. Konsalik
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2005. 276 pp.

Biographical notes

Maggie Sargeant (Author)

The Author: Maggie Sargeant studied German and received her Ph.D. from the University of Stirling. She is a lecturer in German at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, where she teaches translation, interpreting and inter-cultural studies. Her principal areas of research are the First and Second World Wars and notions of German identity in the light of the Second World War.


Title: Kitsch & Kunst