- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
The Shameful Peace: How French Artists and Intellectuals Survived the Nazi Occupationby Frederic Spotts
Synopses & Reviews
Son of the famous Thomas Mann, homosexual, drug-addicted, and forced to flee from his fatherland, the gifted writer Klaus Mannandrsquo;s comparatively short life was as artistically productive as it was devastatingly dislocated. Best-known today as the author of Mephisto, the literary enfant terrible of the Weimar era produced seven novels, a dozen plays, four biographies, and three autobiographiesandmdash;among them the first works in Germany to tackle gay issuesandmdash;amidst a prodigious artistic output. He was among the first to take up his pen against the Nazis, as a reward for which he was blacklisted and denounced as a dangerous half-Jew, his books burnt in public squares around Germany, and his citizenship revoked. Having served with the U.S. military in Italy, he was nevertheless undone by anti-Communist fanatics in Cold War-era America and Germany, dying in France (though not, as all other books contend, by his own hand) at age forty-two.and#160;
Powerful, revealing, and compulsively readable, this first English-language biography of Klaus Mann charts the effects of reactionary politics on art and literature and tells the moving story of a supreme talent destroyed by personal circumstance and the seismic events of the twentieth century.
The German occupation of France from 1940 to 1945 presented wrenching challenges for the nationand#8217;s artists and intellectuals. Some were able to flee the country; those who remainedand#8212;including Gide and Cand#233;line, Picasso and Matisse, Cortot and Messiaen, and Cocteau and Gabinand#8212;responded in various ways. This fascinating book is the first to provide a full account of how Franceand#8217;s artistic leaders coped under the crushing German presence. Some became heroes, others villains; most were simply survivors.
Filled with anecdotes about the artists, composers, writers, filmmakers, and actors who lived through the years of occupation, the book illuminates the disconcerting experience of life and work within a cultural prison. Frederic Spotts uncovers Hitlerand#8217;s plan to pacify the French through an active cultural life, and examines the unexpected vibrancy of opera, ballet, painting, theater, and film in both the Occupied and Vichy Zones. In view of the longer-term goal to supplant French with German culture, Spotts offers moving insight into the predicament of French artists as they fought to preserve their countryand#8217;s cultural and national identity.
About the Author
Frederic Spotts is an independent scholar who has written widely on cultural topics and on German and Italian politics. He is the author of Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics, among other books, and is the editor of the letters of Leonard Woolf. He lives in France.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like
Arts and Entertainment » Art » General