Hermynia Zur Muhlen: The Guises of Socialist Fiction

Hardcover | November 15, 2009

byAilsa Wallace

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This book undertakes a critique of Hermynia Zur Muhlen's prose fiction. It uses her biography and contemporary literature as a context for analysing the content and form of her work, and traces continuities and changes in her treatment of political, social, religious, and gender issues. Todate, critics have mostly treated Zur Muhlen in terms of her sensational biography or as an author of socialist fairy tales or exile literature. A full investigation of her work in different genres has been hindered by traditional prejudices about the canon, high art and popular culture andpolitics. The study begins with Zur Muhlen's writing in the Weimar Republic. The first section examines her Marchen, Krimis, Madchenliteratur and autobiography in the context of left-wing literary debates and contemporary inter-war literature. It shows how Zur Muhlen viewed literature primarily as apolitical tool and sought to appropriate popular forms of literature to convey socialist ideas to a wide and varied audience in an entertaining fashion. The second section is devoted to Zur Muhlen's writing in exile. It discusses Zur Muhlen's early exile fiction written on arrival in Austria, andargues that Zur Muhlen's attitudes were defined by anti-fascism and her disillusionment with Communism. By tracing continuities and changes in her treatment of social, religious, and gender issues from earlier works, we can assess how exile impacted on her writing and obliged her to experiment withnew forms and genres and to recycle old material. It goes on to investigate Zur Muhlen's 'Austrian Forsyte Saga' and how her conception of it changed in the light of the collapse of central Europe at the end of the 1930s and further exile.

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This book undertakes a critique of Hermynia Zur Muhlen's prose fiction. It uses her biography and contemporary literature as a context for analysing the content and form of her work, and traces continuities and changes in her treatment of political, social, religious, and gender issues. Todate, critics have mostly treated Zur Muhlen in...

Ailsa Wallace was awarded her D.Phil for her doctorate on Hermynia Zur Muhlen from Jesus College Oxford in 2006. Prior to this she completed her Masters dissertation on the exile works of German-speaking women writers Irmgard Keun, Alice Ruhle-Gerstel and Adrienne Thomas. She has published on Madchenliteratur and her further research ...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.98 inPublished:November 15, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199572119

ISBN - 13:9780199572113

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Table of Contents

AbbreviationsPart I1. Introduction2. 'Die Pflicht eines Schriftstellers, es ihnen zu sagen!'3. Happily ever after . . . ?4. Murder in the Weimar Republic5. Socialist Literature for Girls6. Ende und Anfang (1929)Part II7. Early Exile Novels8. Later Exile Novels9. ConclusionBibliography