Anti-Nazi Modernism: The Challenges of Resistance in 1930s Fiction

Spiro, M. (2013) Anti-Nazi Modernism: The Challenges of Resistance in 1930s Fiction. Series: Cultural expressions of World War II. Northwestern University Press: Evanston, Illinois. ISBN 9780810128637

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Abstract

Mia Spiro's Anti-Nazi Modernism marks a major step forward in the critical debates over the relationship between modernist art and politics. Spiro analyzes the antifascist, and particularly anti-Nazi, narrative methods used by key British and American fiction writers in the 1930s. Focusing on works by Djuna Barnes, Christopher Isherwood, and Virginia Woolf, Spiro illustrates how these writers use an "anti-Nazi aesthetic" to target and expose Nazism’s murderous discourse of exclusion. The three writers challenge the illusion of harmony and unity promoted by the Nazi spectacle in parades, film, rallies, and propaganda. Spiro illustrates how their writings, seldom read in this way, resonate with the psychological and social theories of the period and warn against Nazism’s suppression of individuality. Her approach also demonstrates how historical and cultural contexts complicate the works, often reinforcing the oppressive discourses they aim to attack. This book explores the textual ambivalences toward the "Others" in society—most prominently the Modern Woman, the homosexual, and the Jew. By doing so, Spiro uncovers important clues to the sexual and racial politics that were widespread in Europe and the United States in the years leading up to World War II.

Item Type:Books
Status:Published
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Spiro, Dr Mia
Authors: Spiro, M.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BM Judaism
P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Publisher:Northwestern University Press
ISBN:9780810128637
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