'European Literature' in the Nazi New Order: The Cultural Politics of the European Writers' Union, 1941-3
2013 (English)In: Journal of contemporary history, ISSN 0022-0094, E-ISSN 1461-7250, Vol. 48, no 3, 486-508 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This article examines the European Writers' Union, founded by Nazi Germany with representatives of 15 nations in October 1941, in the context of the history of the idea of European literature. It argues that this institution was a serious effort to re-order the international literary field into a European form, designed to help legitimate Nazi Germany's New Order Europe and to establish the cultural hegemony which German elites believed they alone deserved. Aware that what Pierre Bourdieu calls the literary field' had its own rules, the Nazis sought at Weimar to legitimate their bid to reorder European literary life by highlighting Germany's literary capital and by playing on the tensions within the interwar understanding of the concept of European literature. In this way, the European Writers' Union marked a historically significant intervention into the contested and high-stakes issue of what European literature' was. Drawing on work by scholars of comparative literature and cultural sociology, this article sets the Writers' Union in the transnational history of the literary field in twentieth-century Europe in order to interpret the rhetorical, ideological and practical strategies of what could be called the soft power' of Nazi Empire.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 48, no 3, 486-508 p.
cultural politics, European literature, idea of Europe, Nazi New Order, Second World War, writers and intellectuals
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-217689DOI: 10.1177/0022009413481829ISI: 000329521400004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-217689DiVA: diva2:693361