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Sexual Murder in Weimar Germany
Maria Tatar

Book Description | Table of Contents


"Tatar investigates the chilling motives behind representations that aestheticize violence, and that turn the mutilated female body into an object of fascination. . . . Above all, she explores the complex relationship between gender roles, sexuality, violence and representation. . . . Tatar's book is particularly relevant today, amid the heated debates over violence, even as the images become more brutal and sensational, and the camera more voyeuristic and merciless. The story of sexual murder is all too common--and not just during the brief period of the Weimar Republic. It's precisely the commonplace nature of such brutal and misogynistic crimes that Maria Tatar seeks to expose."--Barbara Kosta, The Women's Review of Books

"This volume is intriguing, puzzling, illuminating, and depressing."--Andrew Lees, The Historian

"A remarkable book. [It] is both a study of German avant-garde and modernist art and a sustained reflection on the relationships between gender, crime, violence and representation. . . . Lustmord breaks new ground in our understanding of German art and culture during this turbulent period between the two world wars. . . . A brilliant book of art and cultural criticism. . . . "--Patrice Petro, Art in America

"A brilliant and energetic exploration of a subject that has gone for too long ignored, a profound and provocative contribution to our understanding of sexual combat and the aestheticization of violence in modern culture."--Leslie Kitchen, The Bloomsbury Review


"Taking the representation of sexually motivated murder (Lustmord) as a site where questions of gender, social order, and culture converge, Maria Tatar demonstrates the symptomatic social and cultural importance of sex crimes in pre-Hitler Germany. She successfully weaves historical facts (the murders that happened) and their artistic representations into a fascinating new story that emphasizes the dark and suppressed side of Weimar culture. This story has amazingly far-reaching consequences not only for legal and sociological discussions, but also for considerations of gender relations, social control, modernity, and urban pathology in general."--Anton Kaes, University of California, Berkeley

"Maria Tatar's book on the culture of serial murder in Weimar Germany breaks new ground in interdisciplinary studies. An important book for all who are interested in the nightside of Weimar. A must book for art historians and literary and cultural historians."--Sander Gilman, University of Chicago

"Maria Tatar has written a compelling book about Weimar's obsessions: sexual psychopaths, serial murder, homosocial desire, and violence toward women. We have come to understand the crisis of male identities after the lost war as a breeding ground for German fascism, but Lustmord raises fascinating new questions about the relationship between the trauma of warfare and a sexualized imaginary of violence and mutilation that haunted Weimar art, literature, and film. A major contribution to cultural studies."--Andreas Huyssen, Columbia University

"Maria Tatar offers a compelling illumination of Weimar culture's fascination with sexual murder, as this produced visual and narrative representations that turn the criminal perpetrator into a cultural hero while the victim--usually feminine--is eclipsed. With an unflinching eye she astutely negotiates the duplicity of aversion and attraction that representations of violence elicit. Her stunning analysis keeps returning to the fluid boundaries between real-life murderers and their cultural renditions, forcing the reader continually to address his or her own complicity with fantasies of violence."--Elisabeth Bronfen, University of Zurich

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File created: 4/21/2017

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