Chapter

Introduction

Ehrhard Bahr

in Weimar on the Pacific

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780520251281
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933804 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520251281.003.0001
Introduction

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The city of Los Angeles afforded the refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe a haven from persecution, and a place to live and work until the end of World War II. The presence of these German-speaking exiles conferred upon the city the moniker “Weimar on the Pacific.” Los Angeles became the battlefield for the wars of German exile modernism in the 1940s, with Bertolt Brecht, Lion Feuchtwanger, and Heinrich Mann on the left; Alfred Döblin and Franz Werfel on the right; and Thomas Mann and Arnold Schoenberg in the middle. This book is about this distinguished group of German artists and intellectuals and some of their works. It explores topics ranging from Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer's Dialectic of Enlightenment, to Brecht's lyric poetry and his drama Galileo, immigrant modernism versus exile modernism, the political factions among the exiles with respect to the rise of fascism in Germany, the role of dialectics as a structural element in Mann's novel Doctor Faustus, and the controversy between Mann and Schoenberg regarding the employment of twelve-tone composition in Doctor Faustus.

Keywords: Los Angeles; refugees; exiles; exile modernism; Dialectic of Enlightenment; Bertolt Brecht; fascism; Germany; Doctor Faustus; Thomas Mann

Chapter.  11974 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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