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Crime and Madness in Modern Austria: Myth, Metaphor and Cultural Realities

Crime and Madness in Modern Austria: Myth, Metaphor and Cultural Realities (Hardback)

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Synopsis

This collection of essays explores the changing history, rhetoric, politics and representation of crime and madness in modern Austria. From the emergence of Viennese modernism to the post-modern moment, the myths, metaphors and realities of crime and madness have unfolded in the shadow of larger cultural questions regarding cultural norms, gender, war, and national identity. Historically based contributions illuminate such diverse cultural realities as the evolution of psychiatry as medical practice, asylum practices in the early twentieth century, and Austrian participation in and responses to terror and war crimes. From these investigations proceeds the clear insight that cultural responses to crime and madness are often steeped in mythmaking as much as objective policy and practice. Conversely, literary and metaphorical representations of crime and madness reveal attitudes and cultural realities about the Austrian society that produced them and which they reflect.

Specialists from the fields of Austrian history, literature and culture studies have collaborated to produce this truly interdisciplinary volume, which responses to crime and madness are often steeped in mythmaking as much as objective policy and practice. Conversely, literary and metaphorical representations of crime and madness reveal attitudes and cultural realities about the Austrian society that produced them and which they reflect.

Rebecca S. Thomas (Ph.D. The Ohio State University, 1992) is Associate Professor of German at Wake Forest University and member at large of the Executive Committee of the Modern Austrian Literature and Culture Association. Her research and publications focus on contemporary Austrian studies. In addition to Franz Kafka, she has published on numerous contemporary Austrian writers including Gerhard Roth, Elfriede Jelinek, Doron Rabinovici and Kathrin Roggla, and is currently translating Roggla's novel we never sleep [wir schlafen nicht] for Ariadne Press.

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