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Hermynia Zur MühlenThe Guises of Socialist Fiction$
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Ailsa Wallace

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572113

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572113.001.0001

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Early Exile Novels

Early Exile Novels

(p.157) 6 Early Exile Novels
Hermynia Zur Mühlen

Ailsa Wallace

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the early exile literature that Zur Mühlen published after arriving in Austria, and how she continued to experiment with content and form in her search for a balance between political instruction and entertainment that publishers would accept in that political climate. Contrary to much secondary literature, it contends that Unsere Töchter, die Nazinen is more than just a flawed Zeitroman, and examines the ways in which she alerted her readership to the dangers of the Third Reich and tried to promote resistance. Her humorous novel, Nora hat eine famose Idee shows how she continued to appropriate popular genres for a political purpose, and demonstrates the limitations of the Humoreske for this use. Ein Jahr im Schatten uses many familiar elements from her Mädchenliteratur to discuss the rise of fascism in Germany from an Austrian perspective. In these three early exile novels, her politics are defined by anti-fascism and by an increasing move from Communism towards the Catholic Left. In advocating resistance she continued to champion collective action, but this was founded on basic human decency and individual responsibility, rather than Communist politics.

Keywords:   exile literature, anti-fascism, Humoreske, Austria, Third Reich, political, popular, Communism

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