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Flight of Fantasy

Flight of Fantasy

Neil H. Donahue | Doris Kirchner


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During the Nazi era many German writers chose, or were forced into, exile. Many others stayed and, after the end of this period, claimed to have retreated into "Inner Emigration". The nature of this kind of emigration and the underlying motives of these writers have been hotly debated to this day. Though the reception of Inner Emigration has often been confounded by disputes over the term itself, the issue is ultimately not a matter of nomenclature, but of more far-reaching issues of literary evaluation, moral discernment and the writing of history. This volume presents, for the first time, to an English-speaking readership the complexity of Inner Emigration through the analysis of problematic individual cases of writers who, under constant pressure from a watchful dictatorship to conform and to collaborate, were caught between conscience and compromise.

Doris Kirchner is Associate Professor of German at the University of Rhode Island.

"This fine volume…exemplifies German scholarship at its best…It is a singular accomplishment. Although written by eighteen authors, the essays seem of a piece. They are uniformly well written, clear, insightful, and free of annoying jargon."  · German Quarterly

Neil H. Donahue is Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Hofstra University.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Title Page iii
Table of Contents v
Acknowledgments vii
Contributors ix
Introduction. \"Coming to Terms\" with the German Past 1
Chapter 1. Inner Emigration 11
Chapter 2. In the Thicket of Inner Emigration 27
Chapter 3. The Young Generation's Non-National Socialist Literature During the Third Reich 46
Chapter 4. Culture as Simulation 82
Chapter 5. Targeting the Reader, Entering History 113
Chapter 6. Absences of Time and History 131
Chapter 7. Depictions of the State in Works of the Inner Emigration 152
Chapter 8. The Limits on Literary Life in the Third Reich 168
Chapter 9. Opposition or Opportunism? 176
Chapter 10. Conservative Opposition 188
Chapter 11. Luise Rinser's Escape into Inner Emigration 199
Chapter 12. Survival without Compromise? 211
Chapter 13. Exile Honoris Causa 223
Chapter 14. Gunther Weisenborn's Ballad of His Life 235
Chapter 15. Between Apocalypse and Arcadia 248
Chapter 16. \"I Mounted Resistance, Though I Hid the Fact 258
Chapter 17. Elisabeth Langgasser and the Question of Inner Emigration 269
Chapter 18. The Unsettling History of German Historians in the Third Reich 277
Chapter 19. State of the Art as Art of the Nazi State 292
Selected Bibliography 305
Index 309