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Weimar on the PacificGerman Exile Culture in Los Angeles and the Crisis of Modernism$
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Ehrhard Bahr

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520251281

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520251281.001.0001

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(p.xviii) (p.1) Introduction
Weimar on the Pacific

Ehrhard Bahr

University of California Press

The city of Los Angeles afforded the refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe a haven from persecution, and a place to live and work until the end of World War II. The presence of these German-speaking exiles conferred upon the city the moniker “Weimar on the Pacific.” Los Angeles became the battlefield for the wars of German exile modernism in the 1940s, with Bertolt Brecht, Lion Feuchtwanger, and Heinrich Mann on the left; Alfred Döblin and Franz Werfel on the right; and Thomas Mann and Arnold Schoenberg in the middle. This book is about this distinguished group of German artists and intellectuals and some of their works. It explores topics ranging from Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer's Dialectic of Enlightenment, to Brecht's lyric poetry and his drama Galileo, immigrant modernism versus exile modernism, the political factions among the exiles with respect to the rise of fascism in Germany, the role of dialectics as a structural element in Mann's novel Doctor Faustus, and the controversy between Mann and Schoenberg regarding the employment of twelve-tone composition in Doctor Faustus.

Keywords:   Los Angeles, refugees, exiles, exile modernism, Dialectic of Enlightenment, Bertolt Brecht, fascism, Germany, Doctor Faustus, Thomas Mann

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