Irmgard Keun, Das kunstseidene Mädchen

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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 general conditions, her naivety and common sense render…

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Citation: Argyle, Gisela. "Das kunstseidene Mädchen". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 August 2016 [, accessed 11 December 2023.]

35503 Das kunstseidene Mädchen 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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