Das kunstseidene Mädchen

Das kunstseidene MädchenBefore Sex And The City There Was Bridget Jones And Before Bridget Jones Was The Artificial Silk Girl In , A Young Woman Writer Living In Germany Was Inspired By Anita Loos S Gentlemen Prefer Blondes To Describe Pre War Berlin And The Age Of Cinematic Glamour Through The Eyes Of A Woman The Resulting Novel, The Artificial Silk Girl, Became An Acclaimed Bestseller And A Masterwork Of German Literature, In The Tradition Of Christopher Isherwood S Berlin Stories And Bertolt Brecht S Three Penny Opera Like Isherwood And Brecht, Keun Revealed The Dark Underside Of Berlin S Golden Twenties With Empathy And Honesty Unfortunately, A Nazi Censorship Board Banned Keun S Work InAnd Destroyed All Existing Copies Of The Artificial Silk Girl Only One English Translation Was Published, In Great Britain, Before The Book Disappeared In The Chaos Of The Ensuing War Today, Than Seven Decades Later, The Story Of This Quintessential Material Girl Remains As Relevant As Ever, As An Accessible New Translation Brings This Lost Classic To Light Once Other Press Is Pleased To Announce The Republication Of The Artificial Silk Girl, Elegantly Translated By Noted Germanist Kathie Von Ankum, And With A New Introduction By Harvard Professor Maria Tatar

Irmgard Keun 1905 1982 was a German novelist She is noted for her portrayals of the life of women in the Weimar Republic as well as the early years of the Nazi Germany era She was born into an affluent family and was given the autonomy to explore her passions After her attempts at acting ended at the age of 16, Keun began working as a writer after years of working in Hamburg and Greifswald.

✹ [BOOKS] ✭ Das kunstseidene Mädchen By Irmgard Keun ❃ – Stockbag.info
  • Paperback
  • 216 pages
  • Das kunstseidene Mädchen
  • Irmgard Keun
  • English
  • 03 August 2019
  • 9781590514542

10 thoughts on “Das kunstseidene Mädchen

  1. says:

    It was all thanks to the German feminist movement in the late 1970s that this novel got rediscovered and reissued decades after being blacklisted by the Nazis back in the early thirties Keun was one of many writers including Stefan Zweig and Joseph Roth who were in exile from their homelands in Belgium and the Netherlands, from where she published three novels, before returning to Germany, riding out the war in hiding, and only getting minor success thereafter before her early novels resurfaced This is apparently one of the last novels of normal everyday life in the Weimar Republic before the Nazis rise to power, and it does show all the hallmarks of a society who are clueless about politics and just don t take any interest, because they are too busy living it up in the Golden Twenties One such person is Doris, the narrator here, a material girl who worked on the small stage in Cologne before leaving for the glitz of Berlin, dreaming of being the next screen idol But the life she had hoped for didn t exactly arrive on a nice silver platter, as her desires for materialistic things and her frantic search for romance somewhat derailed those big ambitions Doris is sucked in by the daily papers and glossy magazines mandating her to mould a life after many a glamorous movie star She is constantly searching for happiness, but generally ends up drunk, broke, and waking up in the wrong bed Being obsessed with personal appearance is turning her into an emotional wreck, with the odd spot, even on her derri re, causing her a great deal of grief She believes the only life worth living is the one being sold in the media flawless, beautiful, and famous Although culturally things may have moved on, the message is the same, that women have entered the professional world and are expected to stand on their own two feet, but that standard of high living and acceptance still depended on getting a man to commit long term For Doris, finding that Mr Right with a big fat wallet was proving to be the stumbling block to success None of her various bed hopping affairs pay off, and she considers walking the streets as a prostitute Her most consistent candidate for true love is a man named Hubert, but he just wanders in and out of her life whenever it suits him Doris then gives life in the theatre a go, before a problematic love affair ends that particular venture Doris s feverish and frank, sometimes rude, sometimes outrageous comments on the shortcomings of her various suitors was the novel s high point, that did at least keeping things entertaining for a while, but over time I found the story started to wear thin I wanted to feel for Doris, as the down on their luck unlucky in love type of character, especially women, like the ones portrayed by say Jean Rhys, I usually take to heart stronger But this time it didn t work quite as well I would have given her a quick drink and sent her on her way, rather than offer my warm and sympathetic company She was just a little too sheepish for my liking.

  2. says:

    Like her first novel Gilgi Irmgard Keun s bestselling, 1932 follow up centres on the so called new woman young women who entered Germany s job market in large numbers in the years that followed WW1 The superficial image of the new woman was that of an insouciant, party girl, rather like Lulu portrayed so magnificently by Louise Brooks in Pabst s Pandora s Box But Pabst s film is a morality tale, very much a male perspective on women Lulu s harshly punished for her transgression, her sexual freedom s represented as a threat to the social order which must be curbed, ultimately bringing about her downfall Keun s women also suffer but their difficulties are not brought on by their individual failings but the outcome of the limited options available to them in the restrictive social, and faltering economic environment of Weimar Germany s final years The heroine of The Artificial Silk Girl is Doris and the narrative s an account of her everyday life she starts out as an office worker in Cologne, dodging her harassing boss, flirting in cafes and dreaming of a glamorous future as a movie star On the surface Doris is a nonchalant, fashion obsessed young woman who s out for what she can get from her many male admirers but her air of would be sophistication and feigned indifference to the world are quickly revealed to be a fa ade jilted by her first love for a chaste heiress, she s learnt that romantic love is not to be trusted, and that where sex is concerned double standards abound, So he gets all red in his face and embarrassed, and that already gets me up in arms, When a man marries he wants a virgin, and I hope, my little Doris and he was talking as if he had licked out an entire can of cold cream My dear child, he said, I hope you ll become a decent girl, and as a man, I can only advise you not to sleep with a man until you re married to him I have no idea what else it was he wanted to say, because something came over me as he was blowing himself up, so impressed with himself, with his chest pushed out, and his shoulders pulled back, like a general talking from the pulpit To tell me that To me who had seen him in his underwear and less almost 300 times with his freckled belly and his hairy bow legs At least he could have told me as a good friend that he wanted money, and that s why he didn t want me But to wallow in his own morality, not because I m too poor but because I m not decent enough Doris moves to Berlin to pursue her ambitions but her already precarious existence becomes even so, as she sinks lower and lower Penguin s marketing for their edition of Keun s novel is highly misleading, pitching it as a forerunner to Bridget Jones Diary and Sex and the City unlike those conservative, consumerist tracts this is a far political, deeply feminist work, it s not surprising that her writing was banned by the National Socialists, and most copies of her work destroyed Previous comparisons to Jean Rhys are apt here, Doris reminded me of any one of Rhys s heroines living out their days in rented rooms, eking out their dwindling resources, although, like Gigli before her, Doris strives against lapsing into fatalism like Lorelei in Loos s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Doris lives by her wits, and her blunt, uninhibited observations are often wryly amusing This is an absorbing story, surprisingly frank in its recognition of female ambition and sexual desire a sometimes unnerving, and often moving, depiction of women s struggle against misogyny and their limited choices in a particular historical moment, although I thought it was let down by the translation which is often clumsy in its attempts to reproduce Keun s direct, conversational style for a contemporary audience.

  3. says:

    I am sure that I will read this book again In fact, I will probably buy a copyhopefully some entity like Folio Society will publish this gem Written in the 1930s, this book could only have been published in Europe, North American social s and sexual repression being what they were Some of the thoughts expressed herein concern frank and open but not specific sexuality, particularly from the female viewpoint Female desire and sexual fulfillmentwho knew such things existed So the book was published in Germany and was very popular for a couple of years until it was banned by the Nutzies Thereafter it was a regular feature at German street bonfires It seems that the fascists were opposed to sex and also took issue with the protagonist s mild criticism of the state of affairs prevalent in Germany at that time.This book is presented as the rambling monologue or memoir of a girl who has assumed the name of Doris There is little likable about her she is a thief, a liar, and she ll screw you for a sandwich She uses men to get by as she pursues her dream of becoming a star A dream that, the reader realizes, is unlikely to come to fruition In spite of all that, it is impossible to dislike Doris There is something a little off about herunhingedmaybe mentally challenged I couldn t put my finger on the reason for this exactly, but while reading it I was constantly thinking of Sylvia Plath and Louise Brooks Lulu from Pandora s Box She is instinctive but not overly bright, making her way through decadent and impoverished Berlin as best she can I couldn t help but root for her, a sad and lonely underdog merely wanting to be noticed Eventually she gets a chance at love, but you ll have to read the book to see how that turns out.I don t know why Keun is not widely known every page was a delight to read, and Doris is a poet and philosopher without knowing ithell, without even knowing what it means I ll leave you with a favourite quote there are Many So they have courses teaching you foreign languages and ballroom dancing and etiquette and cooking But there are no classes to learn how to be by yourself in a furnished room with chipped dishes, or how to be alone in general without any words of concern or familiar sounds. p.118

  4. says:

    Why I decided on Irmgard Keun s The Artificial Silk Girl for my next reading is because when reading Bobby Underwood s I Died Twice he had mentioned a book After Midnight by Martha Albrand which I looked up and came across Irmgard Keun s book by the same title I decided to read her first novel but read the second one thinking it was her first I find it extremely fascinating reading books from the past especially during certain times in history In this book written in 1932 which is fiction yet it is not because Irmgard Keun describes to us Germany through Doris eyes This is not a political book but it has politics noted because really life has a tinge of politics everywhere The forward quote below basically says this While there can be no doubt about Keun s anti Nazi sentiment, her artificial silk girl doesn t really have any political convictions In fact, she is completely clueless when it comes to politics, and therefore a perfect example for so many Germans of that time who realized what they had gotten caught up in only when it was too late to do much about it In that sense, The Artificial Silk Girl can be read as an historical document, an entertaining and disturbing account of what it was like to be a young woman in Berlin as the Golden Twenties were drawing to a close The translator s note in this edition I must disagree with something she stated about Doris features a predecessor of Bridget Joneses, the Carrie Bradshaws, and the shopaholic Rebecca Bloomwoods of our day First of all Doris circumstances are dire as many during that time post world war 1 in Germany Yes, the modern times of today with regard to sex are so whatever you want I will not get into my thoughts on modern times regards to this but Doris was not just looking for fun with men but looking to obtain things that she needed She was not the so called material girl or bystander as the translator noted Yes, Doris wants to have a watch or have some nice clothes to wear and how to get them but through the men she meets She does not seem just any man but takes what she can She works but the income is small and certain amount must go to her parents She uses sex to obtain things and fun is not the factor She is not living the high life but trying to survive with some respect I think this story is akin to Ayn Rand s We the Living Even though the countries are different, poverty and many circumstances are similar but the ending in Keun s has hope Doris sees prostitutes and thinks how terrible that situation is but what she does could be counted as such Yes, she gets to chose but she is still selling herself I suppose she needs to think there is a difference because otherwise she would think she is sinking deeper into loss of self respect And yesterday I was with a man who came on to me and took me for something that I m not that I m not, even now But there are whores standing around everywhere at night so many of them around the Alex, so many, along the Kurf rstendamm and Joachimsthaler Strasse and at the Friedrichstrasse Station and everywhere And they don t always look the part at all either, they walk in such a hesitant way It s not always the face that makes a whore I am looking into my mirror it s the way they walk, as if their heart had gone to sleep This story is told by Doris who writes all that happens to her in this book and even though she does not want to show her inner feelings like a diary would, she shows use glimpses of herself Her writing is stream of consciousness which goes off into another subject but returns to her main story I found it quite interesting but with a sadness that almost every word emits and I feel it too Her friendship with the neighbor who was blinded during world war 1 told us about the differences from someone that lived before the war and someone born during and after She told him what she saw in Germany and after taking him to many places and describing, he does not see as she does in excitement but a gloomy depressing time She knows only this and after his reaction she starts to see a little differently The city isn t good and the city isn t happy and the city is sick, he says but you are good and I thank you for that I don t want him to thank me I just want him to like my Berlin And now everything looks so different to me The story we follow Doris and all that happens to her before she leaves Cologne and after she arrives in Berlin We get to see Berlin and the people through her eyes and the disappointments and her change of attitude from all that happens to her.

  5. says:

    Irmgard Keun 1905 1982 , around 1928I ve made no report of my rapt exploration of the culture, history and literature of the Weimar Republic which I have been anxiously scanning for parallels to the current rise of antidemocratic forces in the USA and Europe partially motivated or at least enabled by a serious, global economic setback since last December, but most definitely not because I haven t found anything worthwhile.However, an extremely funny and perceptive novel told from the first person perspective of an eighteen year old daughter of a thoroughly proletarian family in the last years of the Republic is sufficiently unique to motivate me to pull out the keyboard and propel another unnecessary missive into the electronic ethers.Like her first, Gigli, eine von uns 1931 , Irmgard Keun s second novel Das kunstseidene M dchen 1932, available in English translation under the title The Artificial Silk Girl was a bestseller in a Germany teetering on the brink of a nightmare set to last twelve years and cost millions of people their lives In fact, it was the last of Keun s novels to be published in Germany until long after the war the Nazis burnt her books Asphaltliteratur mit antideutscher Tendenz and she fled into exile where her subsequent texts were released by refugee publishing houses in Amsterdam Max Pechstein, 1925One might think that a young girl whose ambition is Ich will so ein Glanz werden, der oben ist Mit wei em Auto und Badewasser, das nach Parf m riecht, und alles wie Paris Und die Leute achten mich hoch, weil ich ein Glanz bin I want to be such a shine, way above With white car and bath water that smells like perfume and everything like Paris And the people respect me because I m a shine might be of rather limited interest, but not only is Doris simultaneous naivet and shrewdness completely convincing, as is her mixture of vulnerability and resolve her courageous and desperate efforts to flourish in a world designed to keep persons of her gender and class on the street corners or in the factories very engaging and her matter of fact attitude towards sex, shorn of all moralistic and romantic idealizations, quite unexpected in a text from the 1930 s but the entire text is told in Doris voice, and her clumsy and colorful German, oftentimes becoming quite telegraphic, is a remarkable spice in a book already full of strong flavors As Doris scrambles and slips time and again on the nearly vertical walls erected by the patriarchy, the monied and the educated, one realizes how subliminally critical Das kunstseidene M dchen actually is Despite Graham Greene s now laughable assertion that In five years time it will be unreadable, Das kunstseidene M dchen is being read again, and it is good enough that I ve moved two of her other books close to the top of my TBR pile When I wrote about Erich Maria Remarque s Der schwarze Obelisk. Remarkably, after her untimely death was prematurely reported in the European press, Keun returned to Germany with false papers in 1940 and lived quietly with her mother in Cologne until the end of the war Keun s collected works have been recently published in Germany, but Keun wasn t rediscovered until the late 1970 s, too late to be of much use to her personally Her last decades were spent in financial desperation, alcoholism and, for a time, in a psychiatric institute.

  6. says:

    There is nothing fake or artificial about the heroine of this surprising work of fiction First published in 1932 in Germany, it was followed very quickly by its English translation in 1933 It was an immediate hit for a young author s second novel praised for its pointed sense of humour as well as the underlying critique of society The story, written in the form of the central character s musings and diary, blends a young woman s daily struggles to make ends meet with an at times sarcastic yet always witty commentary on daily life among the working classes during the dying days of the Weimar Republic Irmgard Keun cleverly uses her memorable character Doris who is as na ve as she is shrewd to convey her own astute observations and critique of social and economic conditions of the time While many aspects of the impending political disaster could not be predicted, Keun conveys her presentiments through Doris s experiences Despite the less than rosy picture it draws for Doris, the story is written in a deceptively light hearted style, using the regional and working class colloquial language of her character with some Berliner phraseology and idioms thrown in Keun s vivid imagery and metaphors are unexpected as they are hilarious Not having read yet the new English translation, I cannot comment on the way in which Keun s peculiar language, grammatical mistakes and all, is being conveyed in another language.Running out of options to subsidize her meagre income as a less than competent typist, Doris dreams of making it big in the movies I want to be a shine Ich will ein Glanz sein is her ambition She has the looks for it and her choice of boyfriends is aimed at having them provide the necessary accessories for her status as a glamour girl Options appear to open when she lands a one line action part against stiff competition Unfortunately she gets carried away with her brief moment of Glanz , and walks off with a fur coat that wants me and I want it and now we have each other Sensuality is prominent when Doris describes fabric, often linking it to smell, objects and the people she meets Her closeness and loyalty to her former colleague and friend Therese is touching, relying on her as much as wanting to support her in turn To escape being discovered with the fur coat, she leaves her mid size town for Berlin, the centre of fashion, the arts and the movie business Her luck goes up and down, depending on the circumstances and generosity of the current boyfriend All the while she pines for her first and only love, Hubert As soon as she feels settled into an almost normal life of some luxury with one partner, events force her to leave quietly or secretly Yet, unflinchingly, she pursues her dream and the search for a Mister Right Will she find him As we follow Doris through a year s seasons, we realize that we take in much Keun s rich and detailed portrayal of Berlin and brilliant characterization of some of its multi faceted people, always seen, of course, from Doris s perspective.Not surprisingly, given Keun s topics and social critique, Keun s books were blacklisted and all available copies confiscated in 1933 No longer able to publish Keun went into exile to Holland, where she continued to enjoy great popularity among other German exile friends When Holland was invaded in 1940 she had to flee again Reports of her suicide enabled her to return under cover to Germany, where she survived until the end of the war Unfortunately, Keun could not rekindle the public s interest in her writing she died in 1982, lonely and poor Her books were rediscovered decades later and have also benefited from recent re translations Read today, The Artificial Silk Girl Das kunstseidene M dchen has lost nothing of its charm and relevance as a portrait of a working girl s life then and now.

  7. says:

    I first encountered Irmgard Keun when I read After Midnight, her critique of Nazi Germany expressed in the first person narrative of Sanna, a young German woman who doesn t overtly criticise the Nazis at all In this, Keun s first novel, the protagonist is Doris, another na ve young German woman First published in 1931, Keun wrote the novel with the idea that it would be a German version of the hugely successful Gentlemen Prefer Blondes The novel is mostly set in Berlin in the late 1920s, where working class Doris heads from her hometown after she steals a fur coat Doris longs for love, fame and fortune preferably as a movie star and tells the story of her life in Berlin in the first person Less a journal and a series of almost stream of consciousness scenes from her life, Doris goes from one sexual relationship to another in an effort to survive and to succeed The work provides an interesting insight into the glitziness and superficiality of Berlin in the late 1920s Doris is an endearing character, who retains vulnerability and compassion despite the desperate circumstances in which she lives It s particularly poignant to read about Doris knowing what was to come for people like her and those she cared about in a few short years And knowing that Keun s work went on to be banned by the Nazis, it s instructive to read something she wrote both before they came to power However, for all of the strengths of the work and its inherent interest as a historical artifact, I didn t connect with Doris as I did with Sanna in After Midnight and her plight didn t move me as much as I wanted it to Neither Doris nor the glimpses of Berlin in the 1920s she gave me were enough to keep me really engaged That said, I still want to read some of Keun s work.

  8. says:

    Looking for something to read for a long plane trip, I picked up this book not knowing the author, nor did I know the novel The Artificial Silk Girl is a remarkable book on being a woman and in Berlin during the early 1930s Irmgard Keun has wit and incredible eye on the life of that city.

  9. says:

    Giretto in libreria, luned , pioviggina, ma la poltroncina comoda e mi faccio quattro chiacchiere con la signora Entra un signore brevilineo sui cinquanta con telefono all orecchio Prende un libro al volo, lo posa sul banco davanti alla signora, mette la mano ha solo una mano in uso in tasca, tira fuori 20 euro preciso preciso il costo del libro e mette pure quelli sul banco La signora batte, scarica, infila il libro in una busta non biodegradabile e la porge all uomo che la prende e se ne va Ovviamente senza perdere n linea n battuta.Anche in questo romanzo ci sono molti uomini i cui rapporti umani sono simili a quello instaurato dal brevilineo.Secondo ritratto femminile dopo Gilgi Anche questa una ragazzina nel Berlino del 1932, ma non ha molti sogni Vive le giornate e le nottate che si susseguono uguali e diverse Doris come il tessuto a cui si deve adeguare chi non ha molti mezzi e che destinato a stropicciarsi, al contrario della vera seta Chiss se Capote lesse questo romanzo, perch Doris ricorda un poco Holly Golightly Una Holly europea in una citt che all epoca brillava della luce smagliante di una stella nte, prima che venga il buio.Il racconto in prima persona e la scrittura ancora pi interessante dell altro romanzo Un tono leggero sempre in bilico tra commedia e dramma, con belle immagini e piccoli commenti fulminanti Tra incontri occasionali, brevi miserie, rapporti senza sorprese e insospettabili relazioni passa una giovinezza che sembra non sgualcirsi e della quale non sapremo il futuro.Tiffany Qui non c , ma c il suo pellicciotto adorato, morbido rifugio nel freddo della citt.16.01.2018

  10. says:

    I only recently came across this book when I became aware that an acquaintance of mine required it for a class he teaches on the Weimar Republic It is a remarkable book The narrator, Doris, is a working class girl and a bit of a ditz who narrates her story and describes her surroundings in a way that appears shallow and laughable even as it reveals both insight and folksy wisdom Doris has stolen a fur coat and finds herself alone in Berlin just trying to get by That means that she mostly mooches off men, whom see invariably sees through If you want to strike it lucky with men, you have to let them think you re stupid 60 Through Doris s camera like observations, we begin to get a picture of the decadent, sometimes cruel society around her and even glimpse the political currents swirling about, currents that leave Doris for the most part baffled For example, a man asks Doris if she is a Jew, and thinking he hopes for a positive response, she says, Yes He then drops her, which leaves her entirely baffled After all, a man should know in advance whether he likes a woman or not So stupid At first they pay you all sorts of compliments and are drooling all over you then you tell them I m a chestnut and their chin drops oh, you re a chestnut yuk, I had no idea And you are exactly the way you were before, but just one word has supposedly changed you 38 The German novelist Irmgard Keun was a major talent It s too bad she is not better known.

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