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"New Man," Eternal Woman: Expressionist Responses to German Feminism

Barbara D. Wright
The German Quarterly
Vol. 60, No. 4 (Autumn, 1987), pp. 582-599
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Association of Teachers of German
DOI: 10.2307/407320
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/407320
Page Count: 18
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"New Man," Eternal Woman: Expressionist Responses to German Feminism
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Abstract

Despite the enduring popularity of Expressionism in critical circles, surprisingly few feminist interpretations of the movement have appeared in recent years. Drawing on the nonfiction prose published between 1910 and 1920 in periodicals such as Die Aktion and Der Sturm, this paper argues that for many-though not all-Expressionists, the relationship between "Mensch" and "Weib" was rigidly polarized and deeply hostile. This polarization, though not its attendant antifeminism, is attributed to the influence of academic Neo-Kantianism. The author then surveys Expressionist views of women's nature and positions on women's issues, and closes with an assessment of the contradictions and inconsistencies in the Expressionist vision of social change.

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