Journey Through America

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Berghahn Books, 2012 - History - 159 pages
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Amerikafahrt by Wolfgang Koeppen is a masterpiece of observation, analysis, and writing, based on his 1958 trip to the United States. A major twentieth-century German writer, Koeppen presents a vivid and fascinating portrait of the US in the late 1950s: its major cities, its literary culture, its troubled race relations, its multi-culturalism and its vast loneliness, a motif drawn, in part, from Kafka's Amerika. A modernist travelogue, the text employs symbol, myth, and image, as if Koeppen sought to answer de Tocqueville's questions in the manner of Joyce and Kafka. Journey through America is also a meditation on America, intended for a German audience and mindful of the destiny of postwar Europe under many Americanizing influences.


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About the author (2012)

Wolfgang Koeppen (1906-1996) is one of the best known German authors of the postwar period. His most acclaimed novels include: Pigeons on the Grass (1951), The Hothouse (1953) and Death in Rome (1954).

Michael Kimmage is an Associate Professor of History at the Catholic University of America. He is the author of two books: The Conservative Turn: Lionel Trilling, Whittaker Chambers and the Lessons of Anti-Communism (Harvard University Press, 2009) and In History's Grip: Philip Roth's Newark Trilogy (Stanford University Press, 2012).

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