Epic and Exile

E-book – $45.00

ISBN 978-0-8101-3149-1

Paper Text – $45.00

ISBN 978-0-8101-3148-4
Publication Date
September 2015
Page Count
344 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

Epic and Exile

Novels of the German Popular Front, 1933-1945
Hunter Bivens

The antifascist exile beginning in 1933 led to a cooling among the émigrés of the artistic and literary modernist experiments of the Weimar Republic and to a return to realism and the traditional novel form. Epic and Exile examines the Popular Front– oriented cultural initiatives of the 1930s less in terms of their political strategy than in their function as a cultural and literary program for the exiles, implying a specific relationship to questions of artistic form, historical conceptions, and indeed the political as such. A popular front aesthetics is, Bivens argues, realist and modernist at once, and, in its focus on the opacities and contradictions of everyday life as a historical formation, it is particularly concerned with problems of the epic form.

About the Author

HUNTER BIVENS is an assistant professor of literature and German studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.


"Epic and Exile focuses on the Popular Front political discourse of the 1930s and how it triggered a crisis of representation among leftist writers exiled from Germany. Bivens's finely honed analyses make a compelling argument that these writers' epic strategies contribute to the larger context of modernist representation as a mode of historical understanding." —Marc Silberman, University of Wisconsin, Madison

"Hunter Bivens gives us a thought-provoking and engaging book that will be of particular use for advanced graduate students and experts in the intersecting fields of German studies and socialist history. The book is theoretically dense and full of detailed analyses, which makes it a stimulating and challenging read." —H-Net Reviews