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Our Nazis

Representations of Fascism in Contemporary Literature and Film

Petra Rau

eBook (PDF) i

An analysis of the resurgent cultural fascination with Nazism since 1989

Why has a fascination with fascism re-emerged after the Cold War? What is its cultural function now, in an era of commemoration? Focusing particularly on the British context, this study offers the first analysis of contemporary popular and literary fiction, film, TV and art exhibitions about Nazis and Nazism. Petra Rau brings this material into dialogue with earlier responses to fascism and demonstrates how, paradoxically, Nazism has been both mediated and mythologised to the extent that it now often replaces a critical engagement with actual, violent history.

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List of Illustrations
Introduction: ‘Having Your Nazi Cake and Eating It’
1. Nazi Noir: Hardboiled Masculinity and Fascist Sensibility from Ambler and Greene to Philip Kerr
2. The Fascist Corpus in the Age of Holocaust Remembrance: Harris’ Fatherland and McEwan’s Black Dogs
3. ‘Fascism’ as Excess and Abjection: Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones
4. The Good German: The Stauffenberg plot and its discontents
5. ‘Operation Kino’: Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds as meta-cinematic farce

About the Author

Petra Rau is Senior Lecturer in Modern Literature at the University of East Anglia. She is the author of English Modernism, National Identity and the Germans, 1890-1950 (2009) and has published on Freudian poetics, literature about the Second World War and travel writing.


This energetically written book will certainly make an important and timely contribution to current debates on the legacy of the Second World War.

- Dr Victoria Stewart, University of Leicester

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