Crime Stories: Criminalistic Fantasy and the Culture of by Todd Herzog

By Todd Herzog

The Weimar Republic (1918-1933) used to be a very important second not just in German historical past but additionally within the historical past of either crime fiction and felony technological know-how. This examine methods the interval from a distinct standpoint - investigating the main infamous criminals of the time and the public's response to their crimes. the writer argues that the advance of a brand new kind of crime fiction in this interval - which became literary culture on its head through targeting the legal and leaving behind religion within the powers of the rational detective - is intricately relating to new methods of realizing criminal activity between pros within the fields of legislation, criminology, and police technological know-how. contemplating Weimar Germany not just as a tradition in predicament (the ordinary view in either renowned and scholarly studies), but in addition as a tradition of problem, the writer explores the ways that crime and problem turned the root of the Republic's self-definition. An interdisciplinary cultural reviews undertaking, this ebook insightfully combines background, sociology, literary experiences, and movie experiences to enquire an issue that cuts throughout all of those disciplines.

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Extra resources for Crime Stories: Criminalistic Fantasy and the Culture of Crisis in Weimar Germany (Monographs in German History)

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By exploring this realm, crime fiction offered a means of understanding modernity as a period of perpetual crisis and undecidability. In the German crime narrative, the interplay between the detective (if there even is one) and the criminal is ultimately less an interplay between good and evil, or law and outlaw, and more an interplay between order and disorder, reason and chaos, understanding and undecidability. And disorder, chaos, and undecidability always triumph in the end. ’”44 Like the critics I quoted earlier, Schad clearly recognized the crucial element of cool reportage in these bizarre stories.

19 Rather, they are intentionally disorganized and often self-contradictory archives that contain multiple perspectives and varied approaches to their objects of investigation. Both in the individual volumes (each of which is ultimately the work of a single author) and in the series as a whole (which, in a sense, stands as the work of a corporate “author”), the views expressed in the Outsiders volumes simply cannot be reconciled with one another. And this multivalence is precisely what the series strives to attain as it demonstrates the impossibility of clearly locating causality and guilt, seeking instead to map the contradictions between the various discourses that endeavor to make the criminal visible as a distinct and deviant individual.

Just as a scale has two dishes, this text—and the form of the case—has two parts. In the second half of the text the process of judging is turned around: instead of allowing the law to weigh or judge the act, it allows the act to weigh or judge the law itself. In other words, the actions of the thieves are not the only issue being judged here; their actions themselves are also, in turn, judging the law. The resulting text (which only in its entirety is a case) is thus no longer a one-sided example of a law, but rather an interrogation of it.

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