Sartre's conflicted relationship with his theatrical audience is explained by showing how Sartre's initial theatrical venture, Bariona, created in a POW camp in December 1940, sparked an idealized conception of the audience. The particular context in which the play was produced brought its performers and audience together into an almost mystical fusion. But these virtues, derived from pre-textual “oral“ culture, lost much of their luster with Sartre's second play, The Flies. Like its predecessor, The Flies used myth to counter German censorship, but in occupied Paris in front of a much more heterogeneous audience. The resulting comparative failure complicated Sartre's relationship to the mass audiences he sought in the post-war years. Theater audiences became emblematic of a wider public Sartre never fully trusted to accept or understand his ideas. Furthermore, Sartre's decision to stage almost all his plays between 1946 and 1959 at the “bourgeois“ Théâtre Antoine only made him even more mistrustful of audiences he often found himself writing “against.“
A Political Symbol in Comparative and Historical Perspective
The headscarf has become a cultural flashpoint, a freighted symbol of many of the central social, cultural, political, and religious tensions of this first decade of the twenty-first century. When I first began to research the French controversy surrounding the Muslim headscarf in 2001, it was little known in the United States. Since then, the issue has attained global prominence. In late 2003, the Stasi Commission, which Prime Minister Jacques Chirac had appointed several months earlier, recommended a ban on wearing the Muslim headscarf in public primary and secondary schools.1 The legislature promptly passed such a ban, which became law on 15 March 2004.2 Since then, Germany, Turkey, and Britain, among other countries, have wrestled with their own headscarf controversies. The debate reached international proportions when the European Court of Human Rights upheld Turkey’s ban on the headscarf in universities, in the 2005 case of Sahin v. Turkey.
Goebbels' Wunderwaffe as Counterfactual History
The most expensive film produced in the Third Reich, Veit Harlan's Kolberg (1945) represents a culmination of Nazi cinema's interwoven ideological and artistic ambitions, aiming simultaneously to entertain, impress, and instruct spectators. Joseph Goebbels, who served as the film's unofficial executive producer, conceived it as a psychological miracle weapon capable of preserving national unity in increasingly hopeless circumstances and turning the tide of the war. In theory this was to be achieved by drawing a parallel between the civilian militia's successful defense of Kolberg during the Napoleonic Wars and Germany's situation in early 1945. However, close study of the film's production, distribution, and reception suggests that the film largely failed to achieve its propagandistic goals for a variety of factors, especially Goebbels' obsessive meddling with the script and editing process.
Sartre's play Les Mouches (The Flies), first performed in 1943 under German occupation, has long been controversial. While intended to encourage resistance against the Nazis, its approval by the censor indicates that the regime did not recognize the play as a threat. Further, its apparently violent and solitary themes have been read as irresponsible or apolitical. For these reasons, the play has been characterized as ambiguous or worse. Sartre himself later saw it as overemphasizing individual autonomy, and in the view of one critic, it conveys an “existentialist fascism.” In response to this reading, it is necessary to attend to the elements of the play that already emphasize duty to society. From this perspective, the play can be seen as anticipating the concern with collective responsibility usually associated with the later Sartre of the 1960s. More than this, the play's apparent “ambiguity” can be found to exemplify a didacticism that is much more complex than sometimes attributed to Sartre. It is not only an exhortation about ethical responsibility, but also a performance of the difficulties attendant to that duty.
This article is an interweaving of three strands: an account by Imre Kertesz of his experiences in Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War, which he published as the novel, Fateless; an account of a walking tour in Suffolk that the German Anglophile, W. G. Sebald, published as the travelogue, The Rings of Saturn; and my own account of visiting the Auschwitz memorial site, which has been constructed on the edge of the Polish city still bearing the same name. Linking the three strands is the issue of the phenomenology of walking: the consciousness that is capacitated by this activity and the accompanying power to interpret one's life and surroundings in imaginative ways. Kertesz would walk the Nazi lager without stopping for death; Sebald would walk the Suffolk landscape without admitting the passage of time; I would walk Auschwitz without falling victim to the systemic constructions of others. For all, the physical activity is linked to becoming conscious of certain symbolic patterns in time and space. Walking, this article concludes, entails both a phenomenological objectivity, which may be appreciated by virtue of a common human embodiment, and a phenomenological subjectivity: an individual consciousness engaging in imaginative projects of disembodiment and otherness.
How British Travel Writers Presented the Carpathians, 1862-1912
Thus responded Lion Phillimore to the English landscape, on a train to Folkstone in the summer of 1912. Phillimore was headed for Cracow, and a tour of the Carpathians, a mountain range that encompassed what was then Austrian Poland (including the regions of Galicia, Ruthenia and Moravia) and parts of Hungary and Romania. Her and her husband’s insistence on sleeping rough and travelling with only a horse and cart and a teenage guide may have perplexed the locals, much to the Phillimores’ delight, but the novelty would have been far less to the British public who would read her account of the tour. In the Carpathians has many of the hallmarks of the twentieth-century genre of travel writing identified by Paul Fussell (1981: 209–211) and Mark Cocker (1992: 157–9). Phillimore journeys eastwards on European rails to escape encroaching modernity, to shake off the ‘industrialism’ that plagues her vision every time she looks out of the train window right through Germany into Poland; her destination ‘the last capital in Europe untouched by civilisation and in which the glamour of the Middle Ages still lingered’ (Phillimore 1912: 12).
Confounded, Discomposed, Recomposed
This special issue of Journeys brings together writers whose origins and research expeditions lie in different parts of the world (United Kingdom, Germany, India, Africa, Japan and the Caribbean) to explore the relationship between different kinds of movement (walking, voyaging, bus-tours, animal-tracking) and the accompanying transformations in body and perception that emerge when journeying near and far from home. Journeys are indelibly associated with movement through lands and across seas, but like songs and stories, they also are works of composition, sometimes carefully crafted, other times improvised, often unique, and frequently unfinished. Although a journey, like any other work of composition, unfolds over time and can be thought to have a narrative structure of beginning, middle, and end, it is likely to contain many unstructured moments: unexpected detours, various contingencies and chance encounters, moments of social and cultural disorientation, and unresolved questions that are neither planned nor initiated by the author. Journeys, therefore, can often take us into strange “inner” places. Perhaps then we might say that journeys involve a process of discomposition, an unravelling and disordering of habitual thoughts, perceptions, feelings, and normative presuppositions, which are made explicit in the face of new lands and may become temporarily reconstituted amid the diversity of people one encounters there.
The Politics of William Le Queux
‘I am no alarmist.’ Appearing in the opening pages of his counter-espionage exposé German Spies in England (1915), this defensive appeal to authenticity and rationality is now likely to raise smiles among scholars of William Le Queux. 1 Writing
Occupation, Liberation, and Reconstruction
George Robb and W. Brian Newsome
atrocities as commonplace or as magnified by propagandists; the influence of the war on women’s work and relationship to the home; the extent to which food shortages in Germany were caused by the British blockade or by poor management of resources by German
War Novelist, Defence Publicist and Counterspy
Roger T. Stearn
, in 1884 decided he was ‘no good’ and threw his paint-box and palette into the Seine. 7 He then ‘tramped for two whole years through France and Germany, meeting with many strange experiences’. According to his memoirs he became a clerk in a silk