Irmgard Keun: Das kunstseidene Mädchen (1765 words)


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Irmgard Keun’s second novel was published in 1932. A bestseller, it was even more successful with critics and readers than her first novel, although some reviewers called it immoral and “un-German”. It is still regarded as her best fiction. The action is contemporaneous, running from 1931 to 1932, a period of mass unemployment and a rush to the extremist politics of Communism and Nazism (Nazi rule in Germany started the following year). Loosely structured as the heroine’s journal, the story tells of the attempts of an ill-educated young woman—Doris—to improve her chances in life, first in a provincial city, then in the capital, Berlin. While there is much pathos in both Doris’s own experiences and her observations of …

Citation: Argyle, Gisela. "Das kunstseidene Mädchen". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 August 2016 [, accessed 28 October 2020.]

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