Romantic Orientalism and the Absence of Empire Fascist Orientalism and Its Discontents Behrens,'" exclaims Castorp; "'Oh, yes, yes, hurts like hell. Germany as the land of "inwardness," "unworldliness," "homeland,". Third Reich. In criticizing "that Philistine system of utility. Hirsch Ehrenthal's son Bernhard stands out as merely pathetic. Even if he's maybe done wrong. Other proponents of the "out of Asia" the-. In fact,. Tekinay, Materialien, Tax, "Gahmuret zwischen Aneas und Parzival. Behler, "Das Indienbild der deutschen Romantik. Hausen, "Family and Role-Division. Hardenberg's Christianity is hardly orthodox "Europa," Notes to Pages Wieland, "Uber Teutschen Patriotismus" , Werke, Mann, "Pariser Rechenschaft," in Reden und Aufsatze, Hage, "Schreiben ist eine Seance," Tatlock, "In the Heart of the Heart of the Country.
Kramsch, "The Privilege of the Nonnative Speaker," Lohenstein, Daniel Casper von. Muller, Adam. Vorlesungen uber die deutsche Wissenschaft und Literatur Works Cited 28 1. Asmuth, Bernhard. Daniel Casper von Lohenstein. Stuttgart: Metzler, Brooks, David. Hage, Volker. Janota, Johannes. Kunitzsch, Paul. Works Cited Meves, Uwe. Schroeder and Werner Siebert, II. Neuwied: Luchterhand, Tatlock, Lynne. Vorgeschichte von Wolframs 'Parzival. Read Free For 30 Days.
German Orientalisms by Todd Kontje. Uploaded by samer Original Title: Flag for inappropriate content. Related titles.
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Barbara J. Fields - Ideology and Race in American History. Jump to Page. Search inside document. German literature-History and criticism. A2K66 Picking up where his father left off, President George W. Bush launched what some might view as the latest Western "crusade" against the East, continuing a venerable tradition that extends back into the Middle Ages. This time it was dif- ferent, however: President Bush's repeated references to a "Coalition of the Willing" allied to defeat Saddam Hussein could not hide the fact that the United States and Britain entered the war without the support of the United Nations and against the express will of some of its closest allies, including France, Russia, and Germany.
This recent diplomatic rift reminds us that "the West" does not exist today as a single, monolithic block, and, indeed, it has rarely done so in the past. By the same token, the Orientalism that Edward Said famously defined as a form of Western knowledge and power over the East must also be understood in a more nuanced way that allows for historical and national differences.
This book is about the pecu- liarities of one such national tradition. I look at various manifestations of Orientalism in German literature from the Middle Ages to the present, or, more precisely, I consider multiple German Orientalisms in their distinction from one another and in their contribution to the construction of the identity of a nation poised between western Europe and the East. Rather than continuing the important work of those who focus on the "margins" of contemporary German culture, how- ever, German Orientalisms takes seriously the need to revisit the "core" of the national literature-not as a nostalgic reaction to contemporary trends but because of recent developments in literary production, cul- tural theory, and contemporary politics.
The book explores the ideo- logical function of German literature in the shaping of a national identity and vindicates the power of the literary imagination. I would like to thank the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foun- dation and the National Endowment of the Humanities for their sup- port during the academic year. Daniel Wilson for their work in arranging these visits. Dieter Borchmeyer, Wiirzburg: Konigshausen und Neumann, I am grateful for permission to reprint portions of this article here. Special thanks are due to Lisa Lowe, John A.
McCarthy, and Jeffrey Sammons for their unflagging support; without their help I would never have gotten the grants that enabled me to complete the project. Preface vii I am grateful to Christopher J. Collins for his willingness to pursue the project for the University of Michigan Press, as well as to Sara Friedrichsmeyer and David Luft, who both read the entire manuscript and offered invaluable suggestions for improvement.
I also very much appreciate the warm support of an anonymous reader who recom- mended publication of my work and regret only that I cannot express my thanks more directly. Sadly, Susanne Zantop did not live to see the completion of the project she both helped to inspire and so graciously supported with letters and advice.
I dedicate the book to her memory and to my family, who helped me in many ways to write the book but who continually remind me that other things are more important. I focus on the canon, that is, on authors and texts that have been considered typically, representatively, quintessentially "German. Much has been said about the role of history in narratives of national identity, about the need on the part of "imagined commu- nities" to "invent traditions" that forge bonds between present and past.
Geographic locations also have symbolic connotations, however. It is one thing to say that Germany lies in central Europe and another when Thomas Mann says that Germany is "das Land der Mitte" the land of the center that must find a balance between Western ratio- nalism and Eastern mysticism.
Geography, at least as it is convention- ally understood, dwells in the realm of facts; symbolic geography, in contrast, is the province of the literary imagination. As such, my work contributes to the study of European Orientalism, but with a concentration on the peculiarities of one national tradition. Edward Said defines Oriental- ism in its most specific sense as an academic discipline devoted to cul- tures from the Middle East to India. Hence Said describes Orientalism "as a Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having author- ity over the Orient" 3 , that is, as a form of knowledge that is directly linked to the exercise of power.
Not surprisingly, therefore, Said concentrates primarily on British and French Orientalists, as those two nations also had direct colonial interests in the East. Moreover, the German Orient was almost exclusively a scholarly, or at least a classical, Orient: it was made the subject of lyrics, fantasies, and even novels, but it was never actual, the way Egypt and Syria were actual for Chateaubriand, Lane, Lamartine, Burton, Disraeli, or Nerval. If by national interest Said means a direct material stake in foreign colonies in the East, he is certainly correct: Germany not only had no official colonial policy until , but "Germany" itself did not exist as a unified nation-state until In fact, the very lack of a unified nation-state and the absence of empire contributed to the development of a peculiarly German Orientalism.
In the first case, Germans were motivated by an urgent desire to overcome their proverbial belatedness and to join ranks with other European nations as they set out to conquer the world. Scarcely a decade after Bismarck had united Germany through three quick wars, the new nation embarked on an aggressive policy of colonial expansion that culminated in the Griff nach der Weltmacht grasp for world power in the First World War, and the quest for more Lebensraum in the Second.
Germans had participated in the first Crusade against Muslim "infidels" that began in 1o95; in the later Middle Ages the Teutonic Knights turned their attention toward the heathen "Saracens" of eastern Europe; and German soldiers and writers from Luther to Lohenstein waged a series of campaigns against the Ottoman Turks. Not all German encounters with the world beyond western Europe took place on the battlefield. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, for instance, the Germans could not compete with the imperial ambitions of other European nations, but they did participate individually in the exploration of the world, and collec- tively in the resulting expanded intellectual horizons.
Travelogues from Adam Olearius's Moskowitische und Persische Reise [Journey to Moscow and Persia] to Georg Forster's Reise um die Welt [Journey around the world] piqued the curiosity of Ger- man readers and catered to their taste for exotic adventures of the sort depicted in Robinson Crusoe , Gulliver's Travels , Die Insel Felsenburg , and Candide Eighteenth-century schol- ars set out to organize the profusion of plants and animals in the newly discovered lands into scientific categories, cartographers pro- duced increasingly precise maps, and ethnographers described the appearance and customs of the various peoples they encountered.
As European scholars became increasingly aware of human diver- sity, they also became preoccupied with questions of racial differ- ence. In Gottingen, for instance, Johann Friedrich Blu- menbach wrote a treatise entitled De generis humani varietate nativa [On the natural differences in the human race] that distin- guishes on the basis of skin color and skull shape between five differ- ent racial types; his colleague Christoph Meiners divided people into only two broad categories, Caucasian and Mongolian. Immanuel Kant, for his part, opted for four different races: white European, black African, yellow Asian, and copper-red American Indian.
Christoph Meiners, to take a particu- larly crass example, declared that only whites could be considered beautiful. In his view, dark-skinned peoples are not only ugly, but also stupid and vicious. Increasingly, writers broke with biblical authority in their effort to locate the beginnings of human civilization, looking beyond the ancient Holy Lands and far- ther to the East: to the Caucasus and even India.
If all human beings are descended from Adam and Eve, philosophers wondered, how can one account for current differences between peoples? Were there in fact multiple ancestors of different races from which modern peoples descended, a polygenetic theory to which Voltaire subscribed, or did certain branches of the originally white human race degenerate into inferior blacks and Mongols, as Blumen- bach contended?
Hence ethnography soon combined with universal history, and Germans joined other Europeans in the effort to trace the cultural development that had made them not only different from the rest of the world, but also-as most believed-better. On one level there is an obvious difference between plunging one's sword into the sand of an island one claims for Britain or Spain or into the body of an unfortunate "native" who gets in the way , and dipping one's quill into an inkpot in Gottingen or Weimar to begin writing an anthropological treatise or a work of universal history.
On another level, however, the two are not completely unrelated: as Mary Louise Pratt has argued, the seemingly neutral effort of Europeans to organize their understanding of the world was also part of an effort to control and exploit natural resources and for- eign peoples. Hence she distinguishes between violent conquest and what she terms anticonquest: "the strategies of representation whereby European bourgeois subjects seek to secure their innocence in the same moment as they assert European hegemony.
The German intellectuals succeeded so well, in fact, that postcolonial theorists routinely employ German thinkers such as Hegel as spokesmen for a monolithic European imperialism. In considering the early modern period, Hegel notes that the Germans did not participate in the beginnings of European imperialism: "while the rest of the world set out for the East Indies, America--set out to win riches, to establish world dom- inance over lands that circle the earth,"22 the Germans, led by Luther, liberated themselves from the authority of the Catholic Church by basing faith on the individual's relationship to God.
Luther thereby granted the individual unprecedented autonomy in a way that was particularly suited to the German national character: "The pure inwardness [reine Innigkeit] of the German nation was the proper ground for the liberation of the spirit" The German capacity for spiritual freedom more than compensates for Germany's failure to join the rest of Europe seeking world domination. In a logic we will encounter frequently among German writers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the absence of empire becomes a source of moral strength and national pride. British and French civilization developed in the court societies of centralized nation-states, whereas the German concept of Kultur arose among politically disenfranchised middle-class intellectuals scat- tered throughout the German-speaking provinces.
In France, upwardly mobile individuals could penetrate the circles of the ruling elite, whereas in Germany, class distinctions remained rigid. Isolated bourgeois intellectuals focused instead on their inner personal devel- opment or Bildung. Most important, civilization was made for export, while Kultur was an indigenous product for local consumption only.
The process of civilization sends a democratizing message to the rest of the world: anyone can become a member of civilized society if he or she is willing to accept certain universal values. At the same time, of course, such serene self-confidence in one's own higher civiliza- tion could be used to legitimate French and British imperialism.
Once "nations consider the process of civilization as completed within their own societies," as Elias puts it, "they see themselves as bearers of an existing or finished civilization to others, as standard-bearers of expanding civilization" 4i. While civilization thus "expresses the self-assurance of peoples whose national boundaries and national identity have for centuries been so fully established that they have ceased to be the subject of any particular discussion," Elias continues, "the German concept of Kultur places special stress on national dif- ference and the particular identity of groups.
German notions of national identity became based on exclusionary concepts of ethnicity and historical ties to the homeland rather than abstract ideas potentially open to anyone, any- where. One can bring the benefits of civilization to non-European peoples-or impose civilization on them by force- but one cannot turn "natives" into Germans. Or can one? Beginning in the late eighteenth century, German ethnographers, historians, and linguists began to view themselves as the direct descendants of an "Aryan" culture originating in the Caucasus or in the mountains of northern India, as distinguished from the Semitic culture of the Middle East.
The politically fragmented Germans could thus adopt a high moral ground in condemning the violent conquests of other colonizing nations, while quietly absorb- ing selected portions of the Middle East and Central Asia into a pan- German Kultur. German Orientalism thus oscillates between a compensatory Euro- centrism and an anti-Western, anti-Semitic Indo-Germanicism. Seen from this perspective, the Germans are doubly damned: in the first instance they turn belatedness into an excuse for self-righteousness even as they participate in the intellectual project of European Ori- entalism and look forward to the day when they, too, can claim their place in the sun; the second lays the groundwork for a theory of Ger- manic racial superiority that led to Hitler and the Holocaust.
In other words, German Orientalism was directed both outward and inward, motivated by a desire to conquer as much of Europe and the rest of the world as possible and to eliminate racial "inferiors" within the homeland. Such arguments gain force because they lack nuance. Daniel Gold- hagen won international notoriety in the s with a similarly sweeping argument that claimed that all, or almost all, "ordinary Ger- mans" hated Jews to the point that they were willing and even eager to contribute to their complete elimination.
Yet blanket denunciations of an entire people inadvertently exoner- ate the individuals who perpetrated particular crimes, while ignoring those, however few, who resisted. Without ever losing sight of the suffering and injustice perpe- trated by European imperialists on the rest of the world, Russell Berman has argued that the German intellectual tradition also con- tains moments of genuine openness to foreign cultures and significant cross-cultural exchange.
One of the most interesting aspects of her work, in fact, is the way in which it vindicates canonical works of German literature even as it condemns racism, sexism, and xenophobia in popular fiction and also in nonfictional texts. Many of the authors I examine in this book display similar resis- tance to ideological straitjacketing. The works of Wolfram von Eschenbach reveal a sense of humor and tolerance toward the foreign that contrasts markedly with both the majority of his more dogmatic contemporaries and such nineteenth-century admirers as Richard Wagner.
Lohenstein's dramas demonize the sultans of the Ottoman Empire, but his historical novel Arminius offers a multifaceted image of the Orient that indirectly illuminates the complexities of local dynastic politics and nascent nationalism in seventeenth-century Europe.
While often implicated in Eurocentric thought, Herder appreciates cultural difference to a far greater degree than his openly racist contemporaries. Goethe sternly resists political liberalism and bandies about Orientalist cliches but also criticizes the excesses of German nationalism and envisions a future Weltliteratur. Thomas Mann, recently converted from antidemocratic conservatism to sup- port of the Weimar Republic, attempts in his works of the s to recapture elements of Romanticism that have been hijacked by the protofascist right.
Although accused at various times and with vary- ing degrees ofjustification of pornography, misogyny, and Eurocen- trism, Giinter Grass has consistently opposed German revanchist sen- timents toward Poland and sought to rethink the place of Germany and Europe in an era of globalization, mass migrations, and ecologi- cal change.
Michael Roes, finally, writes a postmodern travelogue that combines the autobiographical and ethnographical reflections of two sympathetic narrators who display a degree of openness toward the foreign and critical distance toward their own German back- grounds that distinguishes them from their more bigoted traveling companions and fellow anthropologists. While acknowledging the centrality of the "long" nineteenth cen- tury to the study of European imperialism and German Orientalism, my work begins earlier and extends to include several contemporary writers.
A sense of belonging to a common Christian culture began to emerge among Europeans already during the Middle Ages, in part through contacts with the East during the Crusades, while particular national identities within Europe began to coalesce during the early modern period in opposition to the Ottoman Empire as well as to each other.
Hence I begin my study not with Herder's historicism, but, rather, with a look at cross-cultural contacts in Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival and images of the East in the Baroque novels of Grimmelshausen and Lohenstein. Subsequent chapters are arranged in roughly chronological order, although I have at times interrupted historical continuity for the sake of thematic coherence.
Thus chap- ter 3 views Thomas Mann's work in the context of a tradition of German conservative thought that extends from the Heidelberg Romantics of the early nineteenth century to the neoconservativism of Botho Straul3. I conclude with a brief look at novels by Emine Sevgi Ozdamar and Michael Roes that engage with but also modify a long tradition of German Orientalism. These contemporary German authors write at a time when national identities have begun to unravel in the post-Cold War era of "Empire.
As Europe has grown increasingly united within, new tensions have arisen on its borders. The immense discrepancy in wealth between Europe and its neighbors to the south and east has attracted millions of political and economic refugees, while declining birth rates and an aging population within Europe have created a pressing demand for foreign labor. To many observers it seems inevitable that Europe will have to absorb unprecedented numbers of immigrants, resulting in a new multicultural society.
In response to this perceived threat, conservative politicians across Europe have won new support for anti-immigration policies designed to stem the tide of undesirable aliens, breathing new life into old Orientalist stereotypes. From a still larger perspective, however, "Fortress Europe" finds itself besieged by global pressures from both East and West. An American-led process of globalization threatens to swamp European culture under a sea of fast food and Hollywood movies; national economies have become deeply enmeshed in a web of transnational capitalism; and the members of the European Union have come under pressure to provide tactical and military support for the foreign policy initiatives of the United States.
While occasionally chafing in their role as unequal partners of a Western alliance, Euro- pean nations have found themselves the target of a new "Occidental- ism," that is, a hatred of modern Western society that has spawned a new Islamic fundamentalism and a campaign of global terror. In an often noted irony of history, the open- ing of the Berlin Wall on the evening of November 9, , not only spelled the end of a repressive regime in the East, but also recalled Hitler's abortive beer-hall putsch of November 9, , and the Reichspogromnacht or Kristallnacht of November 9, Hence what might have been unmitigated joy at Reunification in was tempered by memories of the past, memories that have repeatedly thwarted attempts in recent decades to declare that Germany should finally be considered a "normal" nation.
The implication of German Orientalism in the Aryanism of the Third Reich also casts its shadow over contemporary debates about immigration and the status of for- eigners in Germany. Are today's Turks yesterday's Jews? Because Orientalism has more to do with Western ideology than Eastern geography, the actual location of "the Orient" matters less than the consistency of a certain Orientalizing discourse.
Hence this book is not another study of Germany's relations with one particular country or region. As the Orient functions differently across time and within the works of individual authors, I prefer to speak of German Orientalisms rather than a single German Orientalism. It would be tedious to place "the Orient" in quotations throughout the book, so I do not, but it should be under- stood that the phrase refers more to an ideological construct than to an actual place. In the texts I examine, relations between Germany, Europe, and the East are often depicted in terms of gender or sexuality.
The frequently retold tale of "Inkle and Yarico" centers on a shipwrecked British sailor who falls in love with an Indian maiden on a desert island in the Caribbean. At the same time, however, this story and many others like it contains a subliminal message about the white man's irresistible appeal that implicitly legitimates the European con- quest.
The homophobic counterpart to these heterosexual romances por- trays Oriental despots as debauched hermaphrodites-Lohenstein's lurid dramas-and eastern armies as effeminate hordes that threaten family values and inspire German men to rise up and stand firm against the foreign floods. Such appeals to manly German virtue recur from Ulrich von Hutten's anti-Turkish polemics of the s to the protofascist ideology of Hans Bliiher and the members of the German Freikorps in the aftermath of the First World War.
Adam Miiller, for instance, praises Germany's feminine receptivity to Eastern influence in contrast to the manly aggression of its European counterparts; Thomas Mann's protagonist Hans Castorp will proudly proclaim that he is not the sort of man who would engage in duels over women, and perhaps not a man at all-at least not in any traditional sense; the homosexual protagonist of Michael Roes's Leeres Viertel, finally, gradually distances himself from his het- erosexual companions and his European origins as he explores alter- native performances of masculinity on the edge of the Arabian desert.
I focus on fictional texts that make use of the Orient in their effort to define what is German. Although I discuss a broad historical range of texts and many different authors, I make no attempt to offer a comprehensive survey of all references to the Orient in German lit- erature, which would in any case be impossible. But how and when were certain authors and texts selected to represent their national cul- ture? In addition to discussing the symbolic geography of the literary works themselves, I will also consider the place of literature in the nineteenth-century institution of criticism known as Germanistik and conclude with some reflections on the location of literature in con- temporary German Studies.
I am interested, in other words, in the state of the discipline today, the history of the discipline in the past, and the place of literature in both, or, as they say in the real estate business, location, location, location. Between the years and , as Robert Bartlett has argued, members of local communities scattered throughout Europe began to think of themselves as belonging to a common Christian European culture.
Examining such developments as popu- lation growth, changes in military and agricultural technology, com- mercial expansion, new international religious orders, and new uni- versities, Bartlett shows how European society gained greater internal cohesiveness while expanding outward toward more sharply drawn boundaries between itself and the rest of the world. Christian Euro- peans rallied to Crusades against infidels abroad and pogroms against the Jews at home. Bartlett views the expansion of medieval Christian culture as an early form of colonialism and finds in the later Middle Ages the seeds of modern racism.
Hence he concludes that the "European Christians who sailed to the coasts of the Americas, Asia, and Africa in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries came from a soci- ety that was already a colonizing society. Europe, the initiator of one of the world's major processes of conquest, colonization, and cultural transformation, was also the product of one. I I The story is thus Christian to the core, but one that places the development of its Christian hero into world-historical context, both geographically, as Wolfram explores the relation of Christian Europe to its non-Christian neighbors to the south and east, and chronologically, situating Parzival's Christianity between a heathen past and an envisioned universal Christianity of the future.
By the time Wolfram began writing around , Europeans had been in contact with the Middle East for hundreds of years. In Charlemagne received an Arabian emissary in Paderborn, and during his reign he maintained cordial relations with Harun ar-Rashid, who ruled over much of the Middle East and northern Africa. Within four years European knights had recaptured Jerusalem, marking the beginning of a two-hundred-year period of intense interaction between Latin Christendom and the Islamic world.
Crusaders enlisted in what they believed was a just war against infidels, waged in the service of the true religion. Crusaders, Infidels, and the Birth of a Nation 17 Forgiveness of sins was promised to all who joined the Christian army, and those who died in battle could expect their crown in heaven.
Crusaders who settled in the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem began to "go native," adopting local customs and learning the Arabic language. Contacts with the Islamic world extended beyond the Crusader states as well, most notably into Sicily and Spain. Many of the advances in science, medicine, mathematics, and philosophy associated with the "Twelfth-Century Renaissance" came to the West from the East.
Although we should be cautious to speak of religious tolerance in any modern sense, the period around does seem open to at least some under- standing and cultural exchange between East and West in a way that contrasts with both earlier ignorance and the growing racism of the later Middle Ages. As in later centuries, the East appealed to the European imagination as a fabu- lous realm of untold riches and erotic adventures.
The hero of Pfaffe Lamprecht's Alexanderlied ca. The eponymous hero of Herzog Ernst ca. I 18o finds the immaculate marble streets of a Mediterranean city at least as miraculous as the people he meets with the heads of birds; he seems particularly impressed with the hot and cold running water in the bathrooms. Good plumbing was no substi- tute for the true religion, however, and authors of the period adopted various strategies to address the relations between Christian Europe and the non-Christian world, including propaganda, romance, and theology.
The Song of Roland is the best-known example of a militant Chris- tianity at war with heathendom. The historical event became the stuff of legend over the next several hundred years, until it was written down in French early in the twelfth century, shortly after the First Crusade. While the anonymous French author plunges into the story in medias res, Konrad stresses the reli- gious significance of the battle throughout his tale.
His heroes receive absolution for their sins before battle and will become martyrs if they die. If they win, their God wins too, and the defeated heathens have only two choices: accept baptism or die. Peaceful coexistence between the two religious cul- tures is not an option. Confrontation between East and West takes place primarily on the personal level in the so-called Spielmannsepen, which often center on a Christian hero in search of a heathen bride. An angel tells him that he should journey abroad to marry the heathen queen Pamige of Aron.
After many adventures Oswald does manage to abduct his bride and bring her back to En- gland, converting Pamige's father and thousands of defeated infidels along the way. As it turns out, the heathen Pamige already believes in Christ and is eager to be baptized. In a second surprising turn of events, God forbids the couple to consummate their marriage once they are back in England, recommending that when they feel the urge they should plunge themselves into buckets of ice water kept conveniently close to the bed.
Oswald, after all, becomes a saint, although in preserving his chastity the author seems to forget that he set out originally to sire an heir. Crusaders, Infidels, and the Birth of a Nation 19 Orendel ca. Many miraculous adventures follow, heathens are baptized or slain by the thousands, and in the end Orendel gets his bride. He, too, is forbidden by an angel to sleep with his wife, but all turns out for the best-from the perspective of the faithful, at least as they soon die and go to heaven.
Filter Sort. Sorted By: Top Matches. Filtered By:. Grid List. Order By: Top Matches. Replay by Ken Grimwood. In stock online Available in stores. Jeff Winston, forty-three, didn't know he was a replayer until he died and woke up twenty-five years younger in his college dorm room; he lived another life.
And died again. And lived again and died again -- in a continuous twenty-five-year cycle -- each time…. Mass Market Paperback French. Out of stock online Not available in stores. Pour Replay, il a obtenu le World Fantasy Award en Volver a empezar by Ken Grimwood. Forward, nonetheless! The viewing of images on screens is ubiquitous. The different manifestations of the theatrical film — the documentary, the feature in all its genres, the experimental film — activated different perceptual aspects. Even if a. The reality of the film also comes into play.
We adhere to the screening of films in their original format. The screening of celluloid, taken for granted until recently, is becoming increasingly difficult today. We perceive the materiality of celluloid: not only do we see the reality depicted, but also, perhaps unknowingly, the special qualities of film itself. In the light projection, for instance, that the digital medium lacks. Experimental films have often addressed the material qualities of film.
The condition of women is of concern to us not only in and of itself, but with relation to the situation of other people and the state of our world. Remake is based on the rich output of knowledge and theory that we have today. Therefore, the programme will no longer be driven by the discovery of films but by the reflection on their contextualisation and the constellation of their presentation.
The challenge with cinema is to help awareness break through oft-perceived, always limited knowledge. Remake The Right to a Voice. These historic moments have been recorded, more or less, in history books.
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But films re-communicate them, in a different way than documents do. They make it possible for us to perceive the reality of the processes of that time, against the grain of the history that has been written on paper and in our heads. They allow us to think about the discrepancies between our current situation and earlier relationships, and about recurring themes in the struggle for emancipation.
And finally, the. They communicate. A feeling of solidarity, which we often miss in our current circumstances, can set in. The situation has changed fundamentally versus and Films that open our eyes to the reality and struggles of women in formerly colonialised countries are opposed to globalisation, which subjects the world to capitalism. But then our view is forced back to western democracy itself. Or feminist film work began in a sweeping spirit of change.
The hope was that a truly democratic, or revolutionary communist, society would rise and break away from reproducing bygone structures and mentalities. Remake wants to make history come alive, so that the emotions of those times might in some way have a renewed effect. But the erstwhile context, of an emerging democracy and the start of societal change, is missing now. To the contrary, the situation of women, and their demand for rights, present themselves to us today amid the threatened loss of democratic structures, whose symptom is migration politics.
Human rights are the foundation of democracy. The programme of the festival that the Kinothek Asta Nielsen organised last year, Transito. Elvira Notari — Kino der Passage, focussed on the history of migration. In its communication of reality, film is not tied to the abstractions of the word — and this is what distinguishes it. It can convey body language. It can thus venture into areas where the call for emancipation and freedom, the push for societal change, the desire to be accepted, is still not expressed in words. This is the foundation for all political and legal claims.
If we account for them, in films about abortion rights, marriage rights, the struggle against the male justice system, we simultaneously provide the female voice with a filmic space. The topic itself, equality before the law, ushers in its own transgression. But the authors were intruding on the male public sphere. The collection is divided into chapters. The latter, a reflection on film from the perspective of a woman subjected to racism; it forms a bridge between the situation of African-Americans and that of Central European Jews.
Remake plans to pay tribute to an early feminist film festival in each future edition. A second document is dedicated to Frankfurt filmmaker Recha Jungmann. Her films screen this year within the framework of a Remake initiative that supports individual restoration projects and thus promotes the rescue of work by women filmmakers of the past 50 years.
Translated from German by Brenda Benthien. It is a known fact that women and children form the greater part of every moving picture audience, and it is but natural that a woman manager should be better qualified than a man to judge the kind of pictures the majority of her patrons like, when most of them are of her own sex. After all, the meat in the cocoanut of successful management, so to speak, is in obtaining the right kind of pictures — pictures that appeal to the greatest number.
The Balboa Amusement Producing Co. Someone condemns or defends a performance, weighs one against the other, speaks of the artistry, or lack thereof, in the cinema. If such a competition exists, it remains insubstantial: we can refer to the cost of a ticket, to the length and variety of the programs, to the heated spaces, to the low and high cost of entertainment which corresponds to the level of the audience , to milieu, to a hundred other superficial things. When we speak of art in the context of theater, we refer to the author, the drama, the language, the problem, the depth of the idea, its connection to life.
If we speak about art in the cinema, we can speak of the technical achievement that may be exemplary — whether it be the photography, the director, the actors, or the subject matter — but always in relation to reproduction. In the worst case, we are interested. In the cinema? That is it precisely: What do we do in the cinema? I know people who sit every day from noon until night in coffeehouses.
Nowadays all these excuses do not apply to the people I mean. Before the war, they sat in the coffeehouse the difference being that they sat there longer because they were open longer , and they sit there after the war, too. Many coffeehouse patrons are excellent artists who give form to ideas and notions through their respective media on a daily basis.
Now yes! I know people who can go to the movies every day. Rather it is because it is a comfort to the soul to sit in the movies. Everything we see appears to be life. And still, such a powerful and such a comfortable difference. Here, a villain appears, rolls his eyes, clenches his fists. Everyone knows with certainty that this man will be captured in the end and that nothing bad will befall the innocent girl who is ardently in love with a poor young man. The poor young man is true to her and does well for himself. Here there are bad women in negligees who smoke, reclining on an ottoman, and good women who mend clothes, read books, play piano, or hug curlyhaired children.
We need not fear committing an injustice against them and can rest assured that they will be punished before we leave the cinema, and that the punishment will be just. While the others, who simply want to possess a woman, approach her from behind and grab her shoulders in a devilish way. But in every case they smoke a cigarette out of the corner of their mouths, which looks very cynical. They have pajamas and black hair. We recognize them immediately and disdain them with utter loathing. Really, how nice the world would be if it were so.
How comfortable it would be if a person were either guaranteed good or evil, if the women were bad or noble, true or untrue, seducible or chaste, goodhearted or rotten! How lovely, how compassionate the world is in the movies, where simple dimensions appear in pure form that we never see, never comprehend, never fathom in life. In our world, people are simultaneously good and bad, true and untrue, reviled and proud. Everything is a thousand times different from what we know. We cannot flee at the last minute out of the window of a high tower on a hundred-meter rope that we spun from our own shirt.
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We cannot, happily in the instances when. No villains immure our rightful inheritance in underground chambers and await our legacy, and the prostitutes whom we encounter are not demonic women nor are they women with tragic fates who stir our hearts with their confused lives. We puzzle over the meaning of our existence. And look, at the movies the puzzle is solved, and done so with all the falseness of our fantasies about life. How pleasant!
How charming! How comfortable! Cinema is different than entertainment. Cinema is something that we cowards happily give ourselves in order to better endure life; it is something easier to bear, because in the face of our deformed lives, we are powerless. Reprint courtesy of Anton Kaes. In , she joined the anti-fascist Czech resistance. Dorothy Richardson The Cinema in the Slums [ But both these claims ignore what is inherent in pictures, ignore that which exerts its influence apart from the intention of what is portrayed.
There is in the picture that which emerges and captures him before details are registered and remains long after they are forgotten. Imagination fails in attempting to realise all that is implied for cramped lives in the mere coming into communication with the general life, all that results from the extension of cramped consciousness.
But it is not merely that those who are condemned with no prospect of change to a living death, are lifted for a while into a sort of life as are said to be on the great festivals the souls in hell. It is that insensibly they are living new lives. Gathered spontaneously and unsuspecting before even the poorest pictures, even those that play deliberately upon the passions of the jungle, the onlookers are unawares in an effectual environment. While they follow events they are being played upon in a thousand ways.
And all pictures are not bad or base or foolish. But even the irreducible minimum of whatever kind of goodness there is in any kind of picture not deliberately vicious, is civilisation working unawares. Courtesy of Antonia Lant and Verso. Between and , she wrote for Close Up, a psychoanalytically-oriented film magazine that was published by Bryher, Hilda Doolittle and Kenneth Macpherson.
Her semi-autobiographical novel Pilgrimage was published in 13 volumes between and A kind of enlightening literature is also on the rise, which, unlike the prevailing works of fiction and misleading films, attempts to make salaried women and men aware of their true situation.
I want to call it a kind of film huckstery, a shop with old worn-out copies that he buys up cheap or gets on commission at laughably favourable conditions. The little cinema halls in the border towns, the travelling theatres in remote East Prussian villages that still sell out on Sundays with mutilated copies of comedies — these are our customers. Summer is the best time for business. They gladly take into the bargain his complicated little expense bills with their boldly rounded-up shipping costs, his own personal consumption tax rates, and everything else that goes along with them.
This is how Lichte generates a sizeable net profit. This office is conveniently located near the train station. The improved business situation, bolstered by an unusually hot and early summer, has brought a noticeable upswing. They scour the distribution district for the cheapest films. Even the owners of leading. Danzig film theatres drive up in automobiles and condescend to look through our stuff.
Lichte reels them all in with unparalleled finesse. He plays every role that the moment requires, the cavalier and the bastard; he speaks through his nose with the grand gentlemen and drinks to brotherhood with the workers. He pretends to be a first lieutenant when he thinks it will make an impression and tells war anecdotes that provoke guffaws of laughter. He offers the best cigars, liqueurs, sandwiches. Comfortable armchairs are bought, new curtains hung. You have to marvel at the way he operates, with his paltry couple of films. He knows how to tell the stories of these insipid dramas so that everyone listens breathlessly, he fantasises and extemporises poetry, he boasts but still acts modest, he puts himself forward but quickly retreats if he sees people find it unpleasant.
Lichte improves my salary by fifteen marks and I have no help, buzzing between the telephone and the typewriter, receiving customers and holding on to them, since Lichte goes to the pubs often. He collects customers there. Max gets another mark per week and can now call himself a dispatch clerk. He sits all day writing shipping documents, packing crates, and getting them to the train. He manages the customs business for shipments to Danzig and Memel by himself. He knows the regulations, and he knows how to get a film out, should its certificate happen to go missing.
All the advertising is in his hands. She also keeps the new boy, Walter, on course, since he likes to unduly prolong his errands. If I have too much to do, she also writes invoices. She stands bent over for several hours a day, filing away the post. Her only wish is to get ahead. I am amazed at times at how much these two accomplish. They only went to primary school and have never been employed before.
Every one of us works under the utmost strain. I cannot spend five. Lichte loves to hurry us around when there are customers. He sends us three times for one thing. And now get me that! And where are the Gumbinnen index cards? How many did we ship today? I used to let him fluster me. My heart pains me.
On top of that, there was the murderous heat this summer. We already know disaster is coming when he kicks the door open without pressing down the latch, so it bangs out of the lock.
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All the screws are already loose. Then his torments are unending. I refuse to tolerate such sluttishness. I can do without your apology. See that you get out of here. We sometimes think about fire. This stove, which sprays a rain of sparks as soon as one throws in briquettes from above, is an absolute temptation of fate. Everyone knows how flammable film strips are.
Nearly a hundred reels are lying in the room where we work; open crates full of films stand around, single acts are piled on windowsills, chairs and tables. Not a soul pays attention to the ban on smoking. Lichte smokes, the customers smoke, of course the two boys also smoke. I caught Max with a lit cigarette, packing films. One single spark in one of the reels that are lying around, and none of us would be spared a gruesome death. A draught might have blown it against the grating. A glowing white flame shoots up, hissing. A piece of wallpaper already flares up. Martha, who coincidentally has a wet rag at hand, beats at the fire.
This coincidence keeps us alive. We stand against the wall, white as chalk. Max is speechless with shock. He slowly collects himself. Lichte sits somewhere eating breakfast. One day I hear him jump up in his room, trampling and flailing around, and I rush in to see his wastepaper basket smouldering in a corner. I demand that he install a film storage room, as the law prescribes, under threat of severe penalties for non-compliance.
But the erection of a storage room costs money. His motto, as he freely admits, is: the more you can save in the office, the more you have for your private use. The incident is forgotten, the installation of the storage room postponed. I remind him every day.
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He has a thousand excuses. A shed with corrugated iron is set up in the attic. Now, every couple days I can monitor whether the boys are smoking up there. I threaten to let Walter go for hiding a lit cigarette in his pocket when I show up. I turn Max in to Lichte twice. And how is this possible? It costs six marks per month to rent. She wrote four novels, all describing the situation of female employees at the end of the Weimar Republic.
I have often reflected on the term independence as it can be applied to any single sector of cinematic activity. Is independence something that is more closely allied with the art or the industry of Cinema? In terms of the industry: the producer, a businessperson above all, is a slave to finance and, to satisfy this demand, must submit to the exhibitors and distributors responsible for exporting film products abroad. The exhibitors: what do they seek? Good box office returns. Their only concerns are the tastes and pleasures of the public, under whose yoke they suffer without complaint.
The public follows its own instincts and sense of pleasure, and who can blame it. But old habits, a flawed visual education, an invincible idleness of spirit, and imperfect evolution — in a word, routine — keep it interminably bound to the same shores. The press: all businesses must promote their products in order to publicize and sell them. How can the film industry disseminate its products without having at its disposal a media outlet providing it the means of publicity?
And accordingly, dependent on this publicity for survival, are most journalists able to find a way to say what they think in all sincerity? They want to, try to, and sometimes succeed. But this effort is difficult to sustain and the risks are great.
That which proclaims itself to be free, is it not often a prisoner of its own prejudices, hatreds, and affections? Nothing is more dangerous and injust than the notion of a School. And so we see the cinematic art, victim of these pressures and held subordinate to these disparate aspirations and colliding interests,. Capitalist-based, its spirit is tainted by money and it is fair to say, without fear of contradiction, that the Cinematic art is straining against the Cinematic industry.
To end this, all that this tragic, undesirable, and damaging struggle requires is fairness and understanding. The press should be a mediator. To do that, it must be frank and forthright with: producers; distributors; film exchanges; exhibitors; composers of film; script-writers; and itself. With respect to the public, the press must be a great educator, who without taking sides, reports, defends, and attacks.
The Cinema has its artistic truth. It also has its economic truth. Only the public, which a skillful press must protect from missteps, has the power to unite these two poles that should never be opposed. Independent: never dependent on; nor subordinate to for persons ; free from all political dependence; not wishing to depend on; nor be subordinate to for things. One might add: not subservient to in this case, in the film world, considered in both its artistic and commercial aspects. We can only achieve fairness through a total independence of self and other, and the interests and ideas over which we must exercise self-control.
We must look objectively at how this effort is carried out, discuss the difficulties faced, contingencies endured, the ideal pursued, and the promise it holds. Cinematic perfection is not the domain of a single School of filmmaking, but of all Schools. It is a difficult, but worthy endeavor. Avant-gardist, engaged feminist; lesbian life and work contexts.
Her contribution to the development of film and film theory is invaluable. Irmgard Keun [To the Film World] It seems almost as though film had reached the height of its popularity. Entertainment and relaxation are particularly necessary and desirable. What could better and more easily satisfy these needs than film?
Nothing is easier to get to than a cinema, since one can be found in even the remotest neighbourhood nowadays. But what still draws people to the cinema? The film has an infinite range of possibilities between epics and drama. A book or a play requires considerable concentration. It calls for autonomous imagination — and for the person to think along.
Nothing allows someone to forget his own reality faster than a film, with its mixture of book and spectacle. Popularity is not a criterion in a positive or negative sense. But what do the people expect from entertainment? Entertainment is an elastic term; entertainment can be sense or nonsense, art or kitsch. At most, it raises. Rightly so. Film producers create a template out of the meagrest of insights: the audience wants to see beautiful clothes, sweet girls and handsome men: the audience wants to see unhappiness turn to happiness? The producers are mistaken.
The audience initially wants nothing at all; it is just waiting to see what happens. But too many concessions make them suspicious. Sooner or later, templates intrinsically degenerate into boredom. Film as entertainment? But why is there still so seldom good entertainment? Why are ridiculous non-problems so often played up as problems? What kind of entertainment do we want then?
Charming comedies without problems — grace instead of reality. And what else? The reality of our real days and lives, treated honestly. Things that interest us are also entertaining. Film has the right to be appraised as an art. It can waive that right or make use of it. Art is always a risk. But in the long run, a still greater threat to success has been the fear and avoidance of risk. Courtesy of Wallstein Verlag. Lived in exile in the Netherlands from to , then illegally in Cologne.
Resumed writing under difficult circumstances in West Germany. Realizing that I had seen on numerous occasions these characters burlesqued in this sketch or that, I decided to sit down and reread the book before spouting off at the mouth about Uncle Tom selling us Negroes out. In the book, he is a living saint. The story is one of the most eloquent pleas for the abolition of slavery which probably has ever been written.
While the book is informative and positive propaganda against the vicious practice of slavery which is still a blot on our country, I most definitely am against any picturization of it by MGM or any other studio. When you realize that the country is still full of potential slave holders could you think of Congressman Rankin from Mississippi as anything else? Does not the South still keep the Negro from voting; from getting an equal education; refuse war contracts because whites refuse to train or work with Negroes; make.
Can anyone forget the Louisiana town where Negro soldiers were shot down like dogs in the public square? Why has it been necessary for the President to issue an executive order on fair employment practices for such states as New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania? Why do you suppose Negroes right in Westchester County have had crosses burned on the lawns of homes they have purchased? And why the Detroit riots? White America has not accepted the emancipation of the Negro.
And for white America to see parade across the silver screen Negroes as they would like to see them — in their so-called places — would tend to bring to the surface many of those inhibitions which have been laying dormant in their breasts. There would be a field day for the South. I daresay the South would give MGM a medal for such a picture. The plea for the Jew against his oppressors has, I believe, certainly not helped him with the American people and there are an alarming number scattered throughout this country who are against him. I remember when I first started going to Hollywood, various people with whom I came into contact, whispered in unpleasant terms about the Jew owning the town and then I noticed that after Hitler got away with his viciousness against these people, the voices grew continuously louder and more abusive.
And so it goes. Anything the picture industry does in regards to the Negro today must be of a militant nature. America has got to realize that Black America is dying on the battlefields, buying war bonds, paying taxes, helping to hold down the homefront and turning out implements of war, not to be tolerated or handled with kid gloves, but by God, for freedom from want, from discrimination — to be treated like men and women in a free democracy — for an opportunity for education, etc.
Why must the moviemakers always dig back into the files and drag out something which they feel will please the bigots? Why cannot there. That stories based on some of our accomplishments be made. John Rankin, a decorated World War I veteran and Mississippi congressman from , was a renowned racist, anti-Communist and anti-Semite.
The Sojourner Truth project was built specifically to house black workers, many of whom had moved to Detroit as a consequence of wartime labor demands. Played the daughter in John M. Eva Rieger The female voice In the research environment of the waning s, we were not historically trained enough to recognise and address theoretical and historiographical problems.
In feminist discussions, women were initially seen as victims of a patriarchally structured society. But it became apparent that this was too sweeping a generalization. Women knew then, and know now, how to defend themselves, and many women singers certainly knew how to use their power. It could seduce and unleash magical powers. The Sirens and the song of Circe are early examples of this.
The female voice was considered a source of sexual and cultural power, and as a result, was subject to restrictions. It could not be heard in church, except within the congregation. A long line of negative attributions, fuelled by fear of female superiority, ran from the ancient Greeks to the present. What men were permitted, women were blamed for. The singer Giulia di Caro, who lived around , was resented for her numerous love affairs, and because she loved to ride in an open coach through Naples surrounded by admirers.
You could hear her loud laugh from far away. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the high voice was even given preference over the low.
One went so far as to. Thus, a castrato could play a woman, and a woman a man — so long as they both had high voices. Women played virtuous suffers, powerful sorceresses, coquettes, and sleepwalkers, and they radiated power and passion in these roles. The voice can also be understood as a metaphor for power, for the woman singer is appreciated for her song, which no man can replicate. Behaviour patterns that were considered unrefined in bourgeois society were required of the female singer: strength, endurance, awareness of power, activity, egoism, and absolute professionalism.
Thus, women singers were quickly blamed for losing their femininity and appropriating male privileges; they were considered jealous, egoistic, capricious, lesbian, corrupt, vulgar, erotically demanding, lacking in maternal instincts, and mercenary. Gertrud Elisabeth Mara, one of the first German prima donnas, tells in her memoirs how, in , she took revenge on the composer and conductor Johann Friedrich Reichardt, who had annoyed her. She was singing a stuffy aria in one of the operas he had composed, and he was conducting.
At the end, she held out a trill so long that Reichardt lowered his hands. She made me a laughing-stock in front of the entire audience. I advise every Capellmeister not to spoil things for the prima donna. Eva Rieger was born in Great Britain and moved to Germany at age Has lived in Liechtenstein since She is the author of numerous books and refers to herself as a feminist.
Adorno [Sirenes] In myth each moment of the cycle discharges the previous one, and thereby helps to install the context of guilt as law. Odysseus opposes this situation. The self represents rational universality against the inevitability of fate. He must escape the legal conditions which enclose and threaten him, and which are, so to speak, laid down in every mythic figure. He satisfies the sentence of the law so that it loses power over him, by conceding it this very power. Defiance and infatuation are one and the same thing, and whoever defies them is thereby lost to the myth against which he sets himself.
Odysseus does not try to take another route that would enable him to escape sailing past the Sirens. But he has found an escape clause in the contract, which enables him to fulfill it while eluding it. Bonds belong to a stage when the prisoner is not put to death on the spot. He listens to the song of pleasure and thwarts it as he seeks to thwart death. The bound listener wants to hear the Sirens as any other man would, but he has hit upon the arrangement by which he as subject need not be subjected to them.
Despite all the power of his desire, which reflects the power of the demi-goddesses themselves, he cannot pass over to them, for his rowers with wax-stopped ears are deaf not only to the demi-goddesses but to the desperate cries of their commander. The epic says nothing of what happened to the Sirens once the ship had disappeared. In tragedy, however, it would have been their last hour, as it was for the Sphinx when Oedipus solved the riddle, fulfilling its command and thus disenchanting it.
If they are satisfied, then the myths right down to their most distant relation will suffer for it. Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment. Philosophical Fragments , Stanford University Press, Courtesy of Stanford University Press. Germaine Dulac The Music of Silence There was a time, not so long ago, when the art of cinema sought not to define itself, as it does today, hopelessly through the mistakes of commercial interpretation.
It found satisfaction through form of an almost traditional kind, one that allowed for its technical evolution toward a considerable degree of perfection while remaining unconcerned with its higher aesthetic. By its aesthetic we mean the inspiration that deploys technique for spiritual expression.
The combination of sensitive film stock and an appropriate mechanism meant we could now photograph life and record its diverse manifestations and movements. To photograph, one aimed the lens in the direction of tangible forms in motion within or toward a goal. Apart from these same forms, the idea of photographing the imperceptible would have been considered folly. I say imperceptible and not invisible. The invisible, the materially existent that lies beyond our visual perception has long been caught by the cinema.
One discovery affects proportionality and delves into space, thereby impressing our vision. Other improvements in lighting enable the projection of vibrations with a more powerful effect on our vision. For example, a horse clears a gate; our eye gauges his effort synthetically. The same holds true for our gauging of the growth of a germinating grain of wheat.
The cinema, in decomposing movement, makes us see the beauty of a leap analytically, through the succession of rhythms that compose a rhythmic whole. And when we focus on germination we get not only the synthesis of growth in movement but the psychology of that movement. Visually, through its rhythms and line — straight and curvilinear — movement gives us a relation to a life of complexity.