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Protest and Reform in German Literature and Visual Culture, 1871-1918

, progressive responses to the bourgeois conservatism of the nineteenth century coexist with anti-modern capitalism and industrialization. Both give rise to protests against the status quo and generate a plethora of demands for cultural and social reform, in which elements of ’radicalism’ and ’traditionalism’ are often hard to separate. Exploring the concepts of modernity championed in the modernist avant-garde as well as in less formally experimental guises, the essays collected here provide insights into the artistic expressions of protest discourses of the era and into the imaginative constructions of alternative social worlds. The chapters cover a wide range of topics, from the programmatic visions of artists’ colonies to Expressionist poetry, and from women’s fiction to Dada. However, all the analyses collected here focus on the relationship between socio-political concerns and the aesthetic strategies employed in the literature of protest. As a collection, they allow a better understanding of the plurality of possibilities of artistic engagement in the late Kaiserreich.

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