Our Nazis: Representations of Fascism in Contemporary Literature and Film

Our Nazis: Representations of Fascism in Contemporary Literature and Film

Our Nazis: Representations of Fascism in Contemporary Literature and Film

Our Nazis: Representations of Fascism in Contemporary Literature and Film

Synopsis

An analysis of the resurgent cultural fascination with Nazism since 1989. Why has a fascination with fascism re-emerged after the Cold War? What is its cultural function now, in an era of commemoration? Focusing particularly on the British context, this study offers the first analysis of contemporary popular and literary fiction, film, TV and art exhibitions about Nazis and Nazism. Petra Rau brings this material into dialogue with earlier responses to fascism and demonstrates how, paradoxically, Nazism has been both mediated and mythologised to the extent that it now often replaces a critical engagement with actual, violent history. In 5 thematic chapters on Nazi Noir, Men in Uniform, Vile Bodies, The Good German and Meta-Cinematic Farce, Rau provides close analysis of contemporary novels such as Jason Lutes' graphic novel series Berlin, historical crime fiction by Philip Kerr and others, Robert Harris' Fatherland, Ian McEwan's Black Dogs and Justin Cartwright's The Song Before It Is Sung; films such as Bryan Singer's Valkyrie and Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Bastards; art installations including Mirroring Evil: Nazi Imagery/Recent Art, and Fucking Hell by Jake and Dinos Chapman; and Piotr Uklanski's photo frieze, Untitled (The Nazis).

Excerpt

This series of monographs is designed to showcase innovative new scholarship in the literary and filmic representation of war. The series embraces Anglophone literature and film of all genres, with studies adopting a range of critical approaches including transhistorical and inter-cultural analysis. ‘War’ in this context is understood to mean armed conflict of the industrialised age (that is, from the late eighteenth century onwards), including not only conventional war between sovereign states but also revolution, insurrection, civil war, guerrilla warfare, cold war and genocide (including the Holocaust). The series is concerned with the multiple, often conflicting, significations that surround the act and event of armed combat, and volumes will also consider the causes, consequences and aftermath of wars; pro- and anti-war literature and film; memorialisation, trauma and testimony. The premise of the series is that new critical perspectives need to be developed in order better to understand war representation. Rather than simply analysing war texts, or even situating those texts in their contemporary cultural contexts, Edinburgh Critical Studies in War and Culture will identify the conceptual categories and forms by which war has been mediated in literature and film, and illuminate the cultural influences that produce them. Wars shape bodies, minds and literary forms; they mediate the possibilities of expression and create discourses of repression; they construct ambivalent subjectivities such as the enemy and the veteran; they invade and distort popular genres from crime fiction to fantasy; they leave tangible scars on the landscape and generate the production of memorials both concrete and imagined. This series explores the role of literature and film in mediating such events, and in articulating the contradictions of ‘war’ and ‘culture’.

Kate McLoughlin and Gill Plain . . .

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