German Quarterly

Quarterly journal specializing in topics on German history, literature, culture, and film.

Articles from January 2000

Acknowledging the beautiful
Things German, as we all know, have long been plagued by problems of identity. Writing about the changing Berlin cityscape in a recent issue of The New Yorker, Jane Kramer, as others before her, has added the new capital to the list, citing as one of...
A Companion to the Nibelungenlied
McConnell, Winder, ed. A Companion to the Nibelungenlied. Columbia, SC: Camden House, 1998. xiv + 293 pp. $65.00. This collection includes essays on twelve topics that have conventionally been conceived as central to Nibelungen.lied studies, among...
A Greener Vision of Home. Cultural Politics and Environmental Reform in the German Heimatschutz Movement, 1904-1918
Rollins, William H. A Greener Vision of Home. Cultural Politics and Environmental Reform in the German Heimatschutz Movement, 1904-1918. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P 1997. 332 pp. $54.50. William Rollins's A Greener Vision of Home is an audacious study...
A modest proposal
The rapidly approaching end of the old millennium and the beginning of a new one invite reflection on "the status and the prospects of German cultural and literary studies in the years to come," as Dagmar Lorenz, editor of The German Quarterly, puts...
A User's Guide to German Cultural Studies
Denham, Scott, Irene Kacandes, and Jonathan Petropoulos. A User's Guide to German Cultural Studies. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P 1997. 559 pp. $24.95 paperback. A User's Guide takes on the taunting and indeed almost thankless task of summarizing the...
Centering the discipline
As we approach a new century and millennium, we are naturally concerned with the future and what it holds for our discipline. It behooves us, of course, to keep things in perspective. Germanics in North America is a very young discipline, numbering scarcely...
Daimler-Benz in the Third Reich
Gregor, Neil. Daimler-Benz in the Third Reich. New Haven: Yale UP 1998. 276 pp. $30.00 hardcover. This is a timely book. It coincides with class action suits being brought by former slave laborers against Daimler, as well as against other German companies;...
Die Wirklichkeit der Kunst und Das Abenteuer der Interpretation. Festschrift fur Horst-Jurgen Gerigk
Manger, Klaus, ed. Die Wirklichkeit der Kunst and das Abenteuer der Interpretation. Festschrift fur Horst-Jurgen Gerigk. Beitrage zur neueren Literaturgeschichte 164. Heidelberg. Winter,1999. 388 pp. DM 128.00 hardcover. Die Wirklichkeit der Kunst...
Feminine Frequencies: Gender, German Radio, and the Public Sphere, 1923-1945
Lacey, Kate. Feminine Frequencies: Gender, German Radio, and the Public Sphere, 1923-1945. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P 1996. 299 pp. $24.95. Kate Lacey' s recent book, Feminine Frequencies, adds to the growing list of important studies examining the...
Framed Visions. Popular Culture, Americanization, and the Contemporary German and Austrian Imagination
Gemunden, Gerd. Framed Visions. Popular Culture, Americanization, and the Contemporary German and Austrian Imagination. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P 1998. 240 pp. $19.95. Gerd Gemunden analyzes the work of seven German and Austrian creative artists with...
Fremdes wahrnehmen, fremdes Wahrnehmen
Harms, Wolfgang, and C. Stephen Jaeger, eds. Fremdes wahrnehmen, fremdes Wahrnehmen. Stuttgart: Hirzel, 1997. 280 pp. DM 84.00 paperback. The goal of this book is stated at the beginning of the editors' two-page foreword: "Das Thema `Fremdes wahrnehmen-fremdes...
From World War to Waldheim: Culture and Politics in Austria and the United States
Good, David F., and Ruth Wodak, eds. From World War to Waldheim: Culture and Politics in Austria and the United States. Austrian History, Culture, and Society 2. New York: Berghahn, 1999.248 pp $49.95. The volume offers expanded versions of papers...
German Kultur, the Bildungsburgertum, and its susceptibility to national socialism
In 1949, upon his return to Germany from exile in the United States, the literary critic Richard Alewyn was alarmed to find a carefree Goethe cult, "allerorten schon wieder anschickt, Goethe zu feiern, als ob dies fur einen Deutschen die naturlichste...
German stories
Teachers of German cannot discuss our profession "from outside." But we keep trying. There are, of course, recognizable outside perspectives: the official neutrality of funding agencies, or indeed the discipline of cultural studies itself, with its self...
German studies and minority communities
I would like to put forth my views on the future of German Studies in low-income and minority communities, and its expected impact on those communities. Ask some randomly chosen AfricanAmerican students whether they study German, and you will almost...
German studies and the crisis of humanistic work
I As I write, the "longest peace-time economic expansion in United States history" still continues, benefitting those who benefit from such expansions, and yet the college- and university-level humanitiesparticularly foreign language and literature...
German studies strikes again
One of the texts I read with my undergraduate students in our Western Civilization course is Tacitus's The Germanic. About a thousand years old (give or take a bit), it provides me with a chance to talk with them about how the Romans needed to idealize...
German studies: Who cares?
"German Cultural Studies: What Is at Stake?" is the title Irene Kacandes gives her persuasive essay introducing the volume A User's Guide to German Cultural Studies. I want to focus this short exploration of the role German Studies can play in a larger...
Germany's Transcient Pasts: Preservation and National Memory in the Twentieth Century
Koshar, Rudy. Germany's Transient Pasts: Preservation and National Memory in the Twentieth Century. Chapel Hill: The U of North Carolina P 1998. 422 pp. $24.95 paperback. In this study, Koshar constructs a compelling narrative that begins in the late...
Ghetto Writing: Traditional and Eastern Jewry in German-Jewish Literature from Heine to Hilsenrath
Fuchs, Anne, and Florian Krobb, eds. Ghetto Writing: Traditional and Eastern Jewry in German-Jewish Literature from Heine to Hilsenrath. Columbia, SC: Camden House, 1999. 232 pp. $55.00. An Irish-British-German collaboration of fifteen contributors...
Globalizing German studies: A new border action
Why should anyone study German or Germany in the future? And if they are indeed interested, how should it be taught? These questions, for students in the first case, and for teachers in the second, seem the most pressing (and interesting) as a century...
Goethe's Way of Science: A Phenomenology of Nature
Seamon, David, and Arthur Zajonc, eds. Goethe's Way of Science: A Phenomenology of Nature. Albany: State U of New York P, 1998. xii + 324 pp. $24.95 paperback. Seamon and Zajonc aim at presenting an "in-depth picture of the conceptual and applied state...
Gregor Samsa the scarab: An additional note
In German Quarterly 72.2 (1999), Michael P Ryan makes a compelling case for the importance of East and South Asian philosophy in the interpretation of Kafka's "Metamorphosis," and the connection between Samsa and Samsara. He also acknowledges that, by...
Gunter Grass Revisited
O'Neill, Patrick. Gunter Grass Revisited. Twayne's World Authors Series. New York: Twayne, 1999. 184 pp. $32.00. In the original volume on Gunter Grass in the Twayne World Authors series, Gordon Cunliffe introduced students to a writer who seemed for...
Heritage on Stage: The Invention of Ethnic Place in Ameica's Little Switzerland
Hoelscher, Steven D. Heritage on Stage: The Invention of Ethnic Place in America's Little Switzerland. Madison: The U of Wisconsin P 1998. 327 pp. $57.95 hardcover; $24.95 paperback. In this account of an ethnic community in the process of development...
Lebenskunst im Alltag. Analyse der Werke von Peter Handke, Thomas Bernhard und Brigitte Kronauer
Barth, Markus. Lebenskunst im Alltag. Analyse der Werke von Peter Handke, Thomas Bernhard and Brigitte Kronauer Wiesbaden: Deutscher Universitats-Verlag, 1998. xv + 376 pp. DM 84.00. One emerges from this excellent analysis of the oeuvres of Peter Handke,...
Legendary Figures: Ancient History in Modern Novels
Koelb, Clayton. Legendary Figures: Ancient History in Modern Novels. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P 1998. viii + 186 pp. $40.00. Clayton Koelb's new book consists of a series of stimulating, albeit loosely related essays on Gustave Flaubert's Salammbo, Walter...
Metzler Autorinnen Lexikon
Hechtfischer, Ute, Renate Hof, Inge Stephen, and Flora Veit-Wild, eds. Metzler Autorinnen Lexikon. Stuttgart: Metzler, 1998. 617 pp. 315 illustrations. DM 68.00 The Metzler Autorinnen Lexikon is a very ambitious project as well as an extremely welcome,...
Millennial possibilities: Entering the profession at the Jahrtausendwende
As an undergraduate German major in the late '80s and early '90s, I was told that employment prospects in post-secondary education would be exceptionally good for my generation of students. When I began a PhD program in 1993, however, it was already...
Narrative and Fantasy in the Post-War German Novel. A Study of Novels by Johnson
Paver, Chloe M. Narrative and Fantasy in the Post-War German Novel. A Study of Novels by Johnson, Frisch, Wolf, Becker, and Grass. Oxford: Clarendon, 1999. xii +227 pp. $70.00 Those who graduate with a D. Phil. in Modern Languages and Literatures from...
Note from the editor
Happy New Year! After the year-long excitement over the turn of the century and the advent of the new millennium, a break with established procedures seems in order. The brighter color of the first Y2K issue of GQ suggests ever so modestly the beginning...
our predicament, our prospects
Our Predicament For several decades, Germanists in the United States have been worrying about the state of the field. Our discussions have responded to two distinct phenomena: the statistical decline in German enrollments from their high point in the...
Poetiken der Interkulturalitat: Haiti bei Kleist, Seghers, Muller, Buch und Fichte
Uerlings, Herbert. Poetiken der Interkulturalitat.: Haiti bei Kleist, Seghers, Miiller, Buch and Fichte. Tubingen: Niemeyer, 1997. 363 pp. DM 96.00 paperback. The history of Haiti, which is characterized by an extraordinarily bloody record of crosscultural...
Prospects for German
The task of commenting on the state of Germanics in the United States and our prospects for the future is a daunting one. I cannot help but recall a bet I witnessed early in 1990. Two Germanists made a bet. The one, well informed about the political...
Shakespeare on the German Stage: The Twentieth Century
Hortmann, Wilhelm. Shakespeare on the German Stage: The Twentieth Century (with a section on Shakespeare in the GDR by Maik Hamburger). Cambridge: Cambridge UP 1998. 497 pp. $69.95. This book is designed to take up where Simon William's volume, Shakespeare...
Sinnsuche und Trauerarbeit. Funktionen von Schreiben in Irmtraud Morgners Werk
Eidecker, Martina Elisabeth. Sinnsuche and Trauerarbeit. Funktionen von Schreiben in Irmtraud Morgners Werk. Germanistische Texte and Studien. Hildesheim: Olms, 1998. 256 pp. DM 49.80 This study of Irmtraud Morgner's ( 19331990) oeuvre recapitulates...
The Face of Extile: Autobiographical Journeys
Melton, Judith M. The Face of Exile: Autobiographical Journeys. Iowa City, Iowa: U of Iowa P, 1998. 225 pp. $29.95. Early in her incisive and invaluable study of autobiographical texts written in and about exile, Judith M. Melton reports finding "an...
The Tyranny of Elegance: Consumer Cosmopolitanism in the Era of Goethe
Purdy, Daniel. The Tyranny of Elegance: Consumer Cosmopolitanism in the Era of Goethe. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1998. 301 pp. $48.00 hardcover. Daniel Purdy's admirable study of the "tyranny of elegance" at the turn of the nineteenth century examines...
The Way of Oblivion
Schur, David. The Way of Oblivion. Cambridge. Harvard UP 1998. 273 pp. $15.00 paperback. David Schur's elegant, incisive study of the figure of "the way"-a figure of philosophical method-leads from Heraclitus and Parmenides over Plato and Heidegger's...
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