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Sneeringer on Tatar, 'Lustmord: Sexual Murder in Weimar Germany' | H-German | H-Net
Maria Tatar. Lustmord: Sexual Murder in Weimar Germany. Princeton, N. Reviewed by Julia E. Maria Tatar's study is part of a recent and most welcome wave of interdisciplinary scholarship that situates representations of gender in Weimar's sociopolitical context. Tatar, a professor of German at Harvard, finds it disturbing that the standard cultural histories of Weimar confront neither the mass murderers who loomed so large in public consciousness in the s nor the portrayals of sexual murder that litter the Weimar cultural canon. Alarmed by the frequency with which mutilated female bodies appear in Weimar art, Tatar argues that works such as Fritz Lang's film M , paintings by Otto Dix and George Grosz, novels by Alfred Doeblin, and even contemporary press accounts of sex murders, reveal Lustmord to be at the heart of a modernist project of aestheticizing violence and "managing certain kinds of sexual, social and political anxieties" p.
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Tatar begins by claiming that the fairy tales in Nursery and Household Tales were already violent before Jacob and Wilhelm altered them. However, they became even more violent when the brothers added explicit detail to certain scenes. These portions of the tales were originally left for the reader to imagine what violent acts occurred during them.