Bibliographie zur Weißen Rose


Culture in Times of Crisis: Auerbach, Czapski, Nafisi

Watroba, Karolina (2023): Culture in Times of Crisis: Auerbach, Czapski, Nafisi. In: Oxford German studies, Vol. 52, Nr. 1 : S. 120-129


This article considers three examples of engagement with cultural texts in times of crisis to show how the White Rose pamphlets fit into a broader tradition. The three examples are: Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature (1946), written in exile in Istanbul during WWII, Józef Czapski’s Lost Time: Lectures on Proust in a Soviet Prison Camp (1948), based on lectures given to fellow inmates in a Soviet camp during WWII, and Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran (2003), a memoir that describes clandestine classes on English literature given by Nafisi after the Islamic Revolution in Iran. The article shows how the uses to which cultural texts are put in such contexts are often ambiguous and contradictory: rather than telling an idealistic story of the redemptive power of culture in the face of political and social disasters, the aim is to articulate the role that cultural texts can play in inspiring intellectual resistance, while attending critically to the specificities of individual case studies.