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The critical reception of Herta Müller in the German and English printed media before and after the Nobel Prize for Literature 2009

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After being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2009, Herta Müller attained great prominence around the world. Commentators, especially in English-speaking countries, seemed shocked by the decision. One of the primary concerns was that Müller was relatively unknown. This

After being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2009, Herta Müller attained great prominence around the world. Commentators, especially in English-speaking countries, seemed shocked by the decision. One of the primary concerns was that Müller was relatively unknown. This thesis seeks to address this and other concerns by looking at reviews of her works in German- and English-language publications both before and after the Nobel Prize was awarded. This thesis analyses chronologically the reception of her books beginning with Niederungen in 1982 and ending with the reception of her novel Atemschaukel in 2009. It compares the reception of the original German text to that of the English translation; therefore only works which have been translated and published in English are discussed. The study also shows that while Müller's work did not top the bestseller charts, at least before the Nobel Prize, she was hardly the completely unknown author that some in the English-language media believed. This thesis seeks to present trends in the reception as well as provide a basis for further study of the reception of Herta Müller.

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2011

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And the "victims" had the last laugh: an analysis of Jewish dark and gallows humor in Nazi Germany

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In the time of Nazi Germany the systematic targeting of Jews for persecution and extermination was rampant. Although this was a dark time for the Jewish people in Europe, they did not simply stand idly by and let this happen

In the time of Nazi Germany the systematic targeting of Jews for persecution and extermination was rampant. Although this was a dark time for the Jewish people in Europe, they did not simply stand idly by and let this happen to them. The Jewish people found a way to make a mockery of the situation that they wee in, as well as a way to poke fun at the people who persecuted them. The Jews used dark humor to mock the situations that they found themselves in. The interesting point here, though, is that they did not use all the aspects of dark humor that exist. The Jews used situational humor, critical humor, and gallows humor-humor about death-according to the incongruity theory of humor, to make a mockery of the plight that they were in. They did not use all of the different aspects of dark humor, but only the parts that would merge with their need to mock their situation, in order to be able to deal with the reality of what was happening in their lives. For the analysis in this thesis, I researched various collections of Jewish humor in Nazi Germany. I analyzed the jokes in relation to the different humor theories, and gave my conclusion on why these jokes were effective. Based on the evidence, I have come to several conclusions. The Jews that made these jokes only used the aspects of dark humor that would fit in with the atmosphere that they were trying to create. They would not use sexual jokes of any kind because of this. They used jokes that could be used as a shield, to comfort not only themselves but also their compatriots given their situation. The use of humor was a coping measure and a sign of defiance, that helped some of the victims of the Holocaust survive the attempted extermination of the Jews. Given the opportunity, I would widen my focus on this topic to include collective memory, as well, however the scope of such a project would be more fitting for a doctoral paper.

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2011

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An analysis of two World War II propaganda films [electronic resource]: the German Feuertaufe and the Polish-British This is Poland

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At the beginning of the 20th century, the introduction of the motion picture as a medium changed the way people disseminate information between each other and to the masses. The magnitude of this change was supplemented and amplified first by,

At the beginning of the 20th century, the introduction of the motion picture as a medium changed the way people disseminate information between each other and to the masses. The magnitude of this change was supplemented and amplified first by, the addition of sound, then color, and finally (possibly most importantly) the invention of the technology to send and receive motion picture signals along with their corresponding sound tracks. This would eventually all be combined in the production of the first television sets. Some of the most stunning illustrations of the power brought about by this medium can be observed in the way that Germany was able to utilize film during (and before) World War II. The idea of using cinema as a propaganda tool led to the creation of UFA during WWI (1914-1918). Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels' fascination with film and its propaganda potential led to the development of many successful public communication techniques and numerous tactics used to influence the people's thoughts and actions. This thesis provides background information pertaining to the outbreak of World War II including the German propaganda machine, and examines the role that motion pictures played in the distribution of anti-Polish messages before and during the early stages of the war. It focuses specifically on the film Feuertaufe as an example illustrating six major tenants of Nazi film propaganda namely: oversimplification, appeal to emotions, harnessing the power of the visual image, intentional blurring of lines between entertainment and facts, repetition, and the use of graphics combined with music. Next, this essay explores how each of the abovementioned characteristics were used by the Poles and the British in their pro-Polish film This is Poland in order to sway public opinion and spread messages aligned with their political views respectively. This thesis concludes by stressing the importance of being aware of these techniques so that one may be able to separate fact from hype, and by looking at the possible utilization of the six tenants in the years to come as smart mobile-devices usher in yet another metamorphosis of the art of information distribution.

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2014