Legal Tender: Love and Legitimacy in the East German Cultural Imagination (Signale: Modern German Letters, Cultures, and Thought) 1st Edition, Kindle Edition

ISBN-13: 978-0801476532
ISBN-10: 0801476534
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Editorial Reviews


"John Griffith Urang examines the narrative of love as it appeared in East German popular culture. Since East Germany is largely absent from popular culture in the West, this is a compelling premise on two levels. Firstly, it reminds us that East Germany had a popular culture of its own, in contrast to the gray, undefined impression that we may have of the country; and secondly, it reveals that in that culture there was space for the romantic narratives generally associated with freer expression than that granted under communist rule. Urang's range of examples is admirably broad . . . and his argument, that the romantic discourse was used to negotiate a wide range of issues from within East Germany, including the socialist attitude to labor, and the secret police, is both convincing and compelling. However, his treatment of the individual examples is perhaps the great strength of this book. Particularly fascinating are the magical realist novels of Irmtraud Morgner, whose unfinished Salman trilogy considers multiple permutations of gender and sexuality in a fantastical backdrop, and within the socialist context of the GDR."―Alan Ashton-Smith, PopMatters, 27 October 2010

"Through close readings of a diverse selection of films and novels from the former GDR, Legal Tender offers a broad and detailed account of the fraught history of romantic codes in the East German cultural context. Far from being marginalized, the discourse of romantic love turns out to be a privileged site for the negotiation and reorganization of a surprising array of issues in East German culture between 1949 and 1989. John Griffith Urang impressively combines a general level of analytical discussion of cultural, political and social developments of the forty-year period with original and often sophisticated readings of individual texts. The writing is marked by clarity and fluidity; the underlying argument persuasive throughout."―David Bathrick, Jacob Gould Schurman Emeritus Professor of Theatre, Film and Dance and German Studies, Cornell University

"Legal Tender is among the best general books on GDR literature that I have read in over a decade. John Griffith Urang's highly original and ambitious, but richly substantiated, approach to five decades of GDR literature via the cultural economy of romance enables us to recognize the way in which the production and consumption of love stories relates to the social and political economy of the GDR. The argument is nuanced and consistent, deftly forging a link between an extraordinarily wide range of theoretical and philosophical reflections and an astutely chosen body of literary texts that respond richly to this analytical framework."―Patricia Herminghouse, University of Rochester

Product details

  • File Size: 1147 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press and Cornell University Library; 1 edition (August 19, 2010)
  • Publication Date: August 19, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,209,594 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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