Review of Die Alchemie des Exils: Exil als schöpferischer Impuls

William H. Carter,

This is a book review from German Studies Review 30 (2007): 436. Posted with permission.


Die Alchemie des Exils: Exil als schopferischer Impuls offers a number of diverse perspectives on exile, approaches that might, at first glance, seem incompatible. Beginning with essays titled "Pestalozzi in Dewey's Realm: Bauhaus Master Josef Albers at Black Mountain College (193 3-1949)" (Karl-H. Fi.issl) and "Hannah Arendt's Elaboration of an Existential Republicanism" (Wolfgang Heuer), the volume also includes a piece by David Kettler on "'Weimar and Labor' as Legacy: Ernst Fraenkel, Otto Kahn-Freund, and Franz L. Neumann" and one by Laureen Nussbaum addressing "Robert(o) Schopflocher's Adaptive Response: Via the Argentine Soil Back to His German Roots." These distinct contributions, however, combine with careful readings of literary, philosophical, and cultural texts to generate a thought-provoking engagement with the questions of how, when, where, and to what extent the impetus of exile meets the boundlessness of creativity.