|About the Book|
This collection of essays is borne out of the 17th Annual Interdisciplinary German Studies Conference at the University of California, Berkeley. The essays gathered here cover a broad range of topics moving from intersections between the occult andMoreThis collection of essays is borne out of the 17th Annual Interdisciplinary German Studies Conference at the University of California, Berkeley. The essays gathered here cover a broad range of topics moving from intersections between the occult and the political, to the entanglement of conceptions of the magical, modernity, media, and aesthetics. The first two essays primarily rely on historical analysis and present a wealth of original research. One chronicles the construction of the witch in Early Modern print media, while the other unfolds the complex relationship of an infighting Third Reich with a multifaceted occult deemed at once fascinating and menacing. The third essay in the collection combines critical, literary, and feminist theories in order to address the magical as an aspect of the fairy tale - a theme in the works of Jelinek and Adorno - and as a challenge to Enlightenment reason. The next two essays, influenced heavily by narratology and semiotics, present close readings of 19th century novellas that question the nexus of mediality and perception, magic and narrative structure. The first of these two essays deals with the liminality of the marionette as it is caught between its mechanical and marvelous qualities in E. T. A. Hoffmans Rat Krespel (Councilor Krespel), while the latter addresses the collapse of reality mirrored by the magical collapse of metaphor in Theodor Storms Pole Poppenspaler (Paul the Puppeteer). The last essay rounds out the compilation with a focus on new media. With close analyses of the films in Langs Mabuse trilogy, this essay charts their relation to the enchantment and disenchantment of the medium of film.