Recent modernism studies have largely ignored the literature of the workers' movement. They perpetuate a historically influential dichotomy between modernism and workers' movement literature that can be traced back to the Weimar Republic. The article situates Anna Seghers's Revolt of the Fishermen of St. Barbara at the intersection of modernism and workers' movement literature and argues that such literature should be understood as part of a broadly conceived literary modernism. Reorienting modernist aesthetics toward a poetics of collectivity and viewing modernity through a spatial poetics resonant with contemporary minority studies, The Revolt of the Fishermen constructs alternative representations of proletarian masses, social transformation, and gender. The story subtly undermines masculine visions of revolutionary agency and pays special attention to the role of working-class women in the struggle. This sets the text simultaneously apart from most workers' movement authors and many Weimar women writers who focused on individual white-collar workers.
Christoph Schaub; Aesthetics, Masses, Gender: Anna Seghers's Revolt of the Fishermen of St. Barbara. New German Critique 1 February 2015; 42 (1 (124)): 163–188. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0094033X-2824261
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