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Weimar on the Pacific: German Exile Culture in Los Angeles and the Crisis of Modernism

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Weimar on the Pacific: German Exile Culture in Los Angeles and the Crisis of Modernism Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the 1930s and 40s, Los Angeles became an unlikely cultural sanctuary for a distinguished group of German artists and intellectuals—including Thomas Mann, Theodore W. Adorno, Bertolt Brecht, Fritz Lang, and Arnold Schoenberg—who had fled Nazi Germany. During their years in exile, they would produce a substantial body of major works to address the crisis of modernism that resulted from the rise of National Socialism. Weimar Germany and its culture, with its meld of eighteenth-century German classicism and twentieth-century modernism, served as a touchstone for this group of diverse talents and opinions.

Weimar on the Pacific is the first book to examine these artists and intellectuals as a group. Ehrhard Bahr studies selected works of Adorno, Horkheimer, Brecht, Lang, Neutra, Schindler, Döblin, Mann, and Schoenberg, weighing Los Angeless influence on them and their impact on German modernism. Touching on such examples as film noir and Thomas Manns Doctor Faustus, Bahr shows how this community of exiles reconstituted modernism in the face of the traumatic political and historical changes they were living through.

Synopsis:

"Ehrhard Bahr's sophisticated introduction to the Los Angeles of the émigrés from Nazi Germany is a quintessential 'Hollywood' book: brilliant in casting, sunny in disposition, with hidden film noir touches. Bahr's reading of the central books of this world, by Bert Brecht, Thomas Mann, Alfred Döblin, his insights into Fritz Lang's films and Arnold Schoenberg's operas, make this a major contribution to American, German and world culture."—Sander L. Gilman, author of Bertolt Brecht's Berlin

“At long last, émigré Los Angeles has been interpreted from the inside by an accomplished scholar of modern German culture. Weimar on the Pacific is a study of relevance to California, the nation, and contemporary Europe.”—Kevin Starr, Professor of History, University of Southern California

About the Author

Ehrhard Bahr is distinguished professor emeritus of German at UCLA.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

List of Abbreviations

Preface

Introduction

1. The Dialectic of Modernism

2. Art and Its Resistance to Society: Theodor W. Adornno's Aethetic Theory

3. Bertolt Brecht's California Poetry: Mimesis or Modernism?

4. The Dialectic of Modern Science: Brecht's Galileo

5. Epic Theater versus Film Noir: Bertolt Bretcht and Fritz Lang's Anti-Nazi Film Hangmen Also Die

6. California Modern as Immigrant Modernism: Architects Richard Neutra and Rudolph M. Schnidler

7. Between Modernism and Antimodernism: Franz Werfel

8. Renegade Modernism: Alfred Döblin's Novel Karl and Rosa

9. The Political Battleground of Exile Modernism: The Council for a Democratic Germany

10. Evil Germany versus Good Germany: Thomas Mann's Doctor Faustuc

11. A "True Modernist.": Arnold Schoenberg

Conclusion: The Weimar Legacy of Los Angeles

Chronology

Appendices

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520257955
Author:
Bahr, Ehrhard
Publisher:
University of California Press
Subject:
United States - State & Local - General
Subject:
Europe - General
Subject:
United States - State & Local - West
Subject:
Film & Video - History & Criticism
Subject:
History & Criticism - General
Subject:
World History-General
Edition Description:
Cloth
Series:
Weimar and Now: German Cultural Criticism
Series Volume:
41
Publication Date:
20080831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
28 b/w photographs
Pages:
382
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.88 in 22 oz

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Music » History and Criticism
History and Social Science » World History » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General

Weimar on the Pacific: German Exile Culture in Los Angeles and the Crisis of Modernism New Trade Paper
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Product details 382 pages University of California Press - English 9780520257955 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
"Ehrhard Bahr's sophisticated introduction to the Los Angeles of the émigrés from Nazi Germany is a quintessential 'Hollywood' book: brilliant in casting, sunny in disposition, with hidden film noir touches. Bahr's reading of the central books of this world, by Bert Brecht, Thomas Mann, Alfred Döblin, his insights into Fritz Lang's films and Arnold Schoenberg's operas, make this a major contribution to American, German and world culture."—Sander L. Gilman, author of Bertolt Brecht's Berlin

“At long last, émigré Los Angeles has been interpreted from the inside by an accomplished scholar of modern German culture. Weimar on the Pacific is a study of relevance to California, the nation, and contemporary Europe.”—Kevin Starr, Professor of History, University of Southern California

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