Introduction: An Archimedean Podium

Sonja Boos

in Speaking the Unspeakable in Postwar Germany

Published by Cornell University Press

Published in print December 2014 | ISBN: 9780801453601
Published online August 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780801471957
Introduction: An Archimedean Podium

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This book explores how major literary and cultural figures of the 1950s and 1960s helped shape the public discourse on the Holocaust in postwar Germany. Focusing on public speeches given by Hannah Arendt, Ingeborg Bachmann, Martin Buber, Paul Celan, Uwe Johnson, Peter Szondi, and Peter Weiss, the book examines the aesthetic and communicative processes inscribed in the particular practice of public speaking. It also considers the issue of the fractured cultural and national identities of a number of German Jews, who must untangle the iniquitous legacy of the anti-Semitic legislation of the Third Reich. Finally, it discusses the ways that their politically minded yet antideliberative, epideictic yet noncongratulatory speeches enabled these intellectual figures to enter and subvert postwar Germany's public sphere.

Keywords: public speech; Holocaust; Germany; Hannah Arendt; Ingeborg Bachmann; Martin Buber; Paul Celan; public speaking; German Jews; public sphere

Chapter.  10392 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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