Weimar on the Pacific: German Exile Culture in Los Angeles and the Crisis of Modernism (Weimar and Now: German Cultural Criticism)

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9780520251281: Weimar on the Pacific: German Exile Culture in Los Angeles and the Crisis of Modernism (Weimar and Now: German Cultural Criticism)
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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 Angeles’s influence on them and their impact on German modernism. Touching on such examples as film noir and Thomas Mann’s 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.

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From the Inside Flap:

"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.

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9780520257955: Weimar on the Pacific: German Exile Culture in Los Angeles and the Crisis of Modernism (Weimar and Now: German Cultural Criticism)

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ISBN 10:  0520257952 ISBN 13:  9780520257955
Publisher: University of California Press, 2008
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