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Exile and Otherness

New Approaches to the Experience of the Nazi Refugees


Alexander Stephan

In recent years Culture Studies, Anthropology, German Studies, History, Political Psychology, and other fields have used the concept of ‘exile’ in close connection with terms like migration, border crossing, identity, and transnationality. Views of a homogeneous culture and of centricity collide with ideas like multiculturalism, pluralism, creolization, and the globalization of differences. A transit-culture, inhabited by the flaneur and the nomad, is supposed to have replaced citizenship in a nation. At the same time, there can be no doubt that the experience of those writers, artists and intellectuals who were driven out of Germany and Europe by the Nazis was in many ways unique.
This book investigates the exile experience in a theoretical and comparative way by exploring the possibilities and limitations of concepts like diaspora, de-localization, and transit-culture for understanding the lives and works of German and Austrian refugees from Nazi persecution. It revisits the interaction of the exiles with the culture of their host countries in light of recent debates about migration and identity studies and it analyzes texts, paintings and other methods of artistic expression which connect the experience of the refugees of 1933 with postmodern notions of de-localization, hybridity, and marginalization.
Contents: Alexander Stephan: Introduction – Paul Reitter: Comparative Literature in Exile: Said and Auerbach – Kader Konuk: Jewish-German Philologists in Turkish Exile: Leo Spitzer and Erich Auerbach – Thomas Pekar: Experiences of Delocalization and Katabasis in the Literature of Exile and the Early Postwar Period in Germany – Susanne Wiedemann: «Bobby Soxers», Chewing Gum, and Spencer Tracy in Exile: German Jewish Refugees Encounter American Culture in Shanghai – Edwige Brender: «Neither as a cowboy nor as a goldhunter, but simply as a refugee»: Franz Werfel’s Debate with his American Publishers, Translators, and Adapters – Sture Packalén: From the «Third Reich» to the «Third Space»: Paul Celan, Erich Fried, and Peter Weiss – Barbara McCloskey: Cartographies of Exile – Beatrice von Bormann: Traces of Exile in Art: Max Beckmann and Herbert Fiedler in the Netherlands, 1939-1945 – Benjamin Robinson: Klaus Mann’s Hotel Reservations – Andrea Hammel: The Kaleidoscope of Elsewhereness in Women’s Exile Writing: Martina Wied’s Das Krähennest and Anna Gmeyner’s Café du Dôme – Sven Kramer: Belated Exile in H. G. Adler’s Novel Die unsichtbare Wand – Liesbeth Haagdorens: Displacements of Exile in Albert Drach’s Novel Unsentimentale Reise – David Kettler: The Symbolic Uses of Exile: Erich Kahler at The Ohio State University.