Beauty or Beast?: The Woman Warrior in the German Imagination from the Renaissance to the Present

Hardcover | July 10, 2010

byHelen Watanabe-OKelly

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A regiment of women warriors strides across the battlefield of German culture - on the stage, in the opera house, on the page, and in paintings and prints. These warriors are re-imaginings by men of figures such as the Amazons, the Valkyries, and the biblical killer Judith. They aretransgressive and therefore frightening figures who leave their proper female sphere and have to be made safe by being killed, deflowered, or both. This has produced some compelling works of Western culture - Cranach's and Klimt's paintings of Judith, Schiller's Joan of Arc, Hebbel's Judith,Wagner's Brunnhilde, Fritz Lang's Brunhild. Nowadays, representations of the woman warrior are used as a way of thinking about the woman terrorist. Women writers only engage with these imaginings at the end of the 19th century, but from the late 18th century on they begin to imagine fictionalcross-dressers going to war in a realistic setting and thus think the unthinkable.

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A regiment of women warriors strides across the battlefield of German culture - on the stage, in the opera house, on the page, and in paintings and prints. These warriors are re-imaginings by men of figures such as the Amazons, the Valkyries, and the biblical killer Judith. They aretransgressive and therefore frightening figures who le...

Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly is Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford and Professor of German Literature, Oxford. Her publications include Triumphal Shews. Tournaments at German-Speaking Courts in their European Context 1560-1730 (1992), Court Culture in Dresden from Renaissance to Baroque (2002) and The Cambridge History of German Literature (...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:264 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:July 10, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019955823X

ISBN - 13:9780199558230

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Table of Contents

Introduction and Acknowledgements1. Angels of Death - German Culture, Women Warriors, and Heroes2. Amazons - Warriors or Women?3. Many Ways to Die - Women Warriors and National Myth4. Judith - Asking the Big Questions5. Death and the Maiden - Heroic Maidens from Schiller to Brecht6. Unbecoming a Woman - the Woman Warrior as Cross-Dresser7. Women's Imaginings - Warriors in Fiction8. Women's Voices - the Amazons, Judith, Charlotte CordayBibliographyList of IllustrationsIndex