The Golden Twenties: Art and Literature in the Weimar Republic

Barbel Schrader, Author, Jurgen Schebera, Author, Katherine Vanovitch, Translator Yale University Press $70 (220p) ISBN 978-0-300-04144-6
Weimar's golden epoch gave us Thomas Mann and Bertolt Brecht, but it also spawned countless trashy novels and military memoirs. The era that produced Fritz Lang's Metropolis also saw the Berlin film industry founder in financial woes, shamelessly copying Hollywood and turning out kitsch. In this revealing study, two East German theater historians present the downside of glittering Weimar. Mocking Germany's importation of American jazz, the authors point out that ""grotesque misunderstandings'' bedeviled German music into the mid-1920s. They bring to light experimental radio, Dada pranks, political theater and progressive educational projects, all of which seem like islands of cultural innovation sinking in a sea of schlock. Among the 222 illustrations are posters, woodcuts, film stills, theater sets and pictures of the era's symbols like the Graf Zeppelin airship and the Bauhaus. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
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