By Todd Herzog
The Weimar Republic (1918-1933) used to be a very important second not just in German heritage but additionally within the historical past of either crime fiction and felony technology. This examine ways the interval from a special standpoint - investigating the main infamous criminals of the time and the public's response to their crimes. the writer argues that the improvement of a brand new form of crime fiction in this interval - which grew to become literary culture on its head via concentrating on the legal and leaving behind religion within the powers of the rational detective - is intricately concerning new methods of realizing criminal activity between execs within the fields of legislation, criminology, and police technology. contemplating Weimar Germany not just as a tradition in obstacle (the common view in either renowned and scholarly studies), but additionally as a tradition of drawback, the writer explores the ways that crime and hindrance grew to become the basis of the Republic's self-definition. An interdisciplinary cultural experiences undertaking, this publication insightfully combines background, sociology, literary stories, and movie reports to enquire an issue that cuts throughout all of those disciplines.
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Extra resources for Crime Stories: Criminalistic Fantasy and the Culture of Crisis in Weimar Germany (Monographs in German History)
3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. Tatlow, Renate Voris, and Carl Weber, The Brecht Yearbook / Das Brecht-Jahrbuch 18 (1993): 24–40. I discuss the plans for the ﬁrst novel below. Among the numerous essays both Benjamin and Brecht wrote on the subject of crime ﬁction, see, for example, Walter Benjamin, “Kriminalromane, auf Reisen,” in Gesammelte Schriften, ed. : Suhrkamp, 1972), IV: 88–89 and Bertolt Brecht, “Über die Popularität des Kriminalromans,” in Der Kriminalroman: Poetik, Theorie, Geschichte, ed.
Though it existed for only a little over one year, the fourteen volumes of the Outsiders series occupy a crucial role both in their authors’ individual developments and in documenting some of the innovative ways in which criminality was understood in Weimar Germany. 5 Aside from the presence of an all-star cast of writers, the signiﬁcance of the Outsiders series lies in its rethinking and reworking of the aims and possibilities of the genre of the criminal case study. This series, I argue, sought to intervene in the tradition of crime narratives in order to question the nature and eﬀects of the genre.
Brecht follows Benjamin closely in his ﬁrst answer to this question, arguing that among the chief pleasures of the detective novel is its depiction of people as actors, whose actions have deﬁnite and identiﬁable consequences (34). People in modernity pass through life without leaving traces of their existence and their movements. The subjects of detective novels, on the other hand, leave behind concrete traces. “In real life,” Brecht notes, “people seldom ﬁnd that they leave traces. … Here the detective novel oﬀers a deﬁnite surrogate” (34–5).