Rhine Crossings

France and Germany in Love and War

Edited by Aminia M. Brueggemann & Peter Schulman

Subjects: German Culture, French Studies, Comparative Literature, History
Paperback : 9780791464380, 312 pages, June 2006
Hardcover : 9780791464373, 312 pages, May 2005

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Table of contents

Part I. Introduction

France and Germany: A Tempestuous Affair
Aminia M. Brueggemann and Peter Schulman

Part II. Pre-Romantic Currents

1. Re-constructing a “Gendered” Bildung: Mme de Staël’s and Sophie von la Roche’s Epistolary Fiction
Beatrice Guenther
2. “Vous appellés cela betrügen?”: Slippery French Morals and German Bourgeois Virtues in Selected Writings by G. E. Lessing
Heidi M. Schlipphacke
3. The Dying Poet: Scenarios of a Christianized Heine
Sarah Juliette Sasson

Part III. From Fin de Siècle to Modernist Connections

4. Girls, Girls, Girls: Re-Membering the Body
Terri J. Gordon
5. Hygiene, Hard Work, and the Pursuit of Style in Baudelaire and Nietzsche
Andrea Gogröf-Voorhees
6. Pierrette, assassine assassinée: The Portrait of Lulu in Two Tableaux
Jennifer Forrest
7. Benjamin Between Berlin and Paris: The Metaphorics of the City
Michael Payne
8. À fleur du dialogue: Georges Bataille, Karl Blossfeldt, and the Language of Flowers
Kimberley Healey

Part IV. World War II and Its Legacy

9. An Unwanted Connection: Aristide Maillol and Nazism
William J. Cloonan
10. Of Heroes and Traitors: Two Early Films by René Clément
Philip Watts
11. Between Collaboration and Resistance: Ernst Jünger in Paris, 1941–44
Elliot Neaman

Part V. Postmodern Reflections

12. Romy Schneider, La Passante du Sans-Souci: Discourses of Vergangenheitsbewältigung, Feminism, and Myth
Nina Zimnik

13. History/Paris-Berlin/History
Sande Cohen


Explores the unique and volatile relationship of these two nations and cultures over the past two centuries, as expressed in literature, film, and philosophy.


Rhine Crossings explores the conflicts and resolutions that have characterized the relationship between France and Germany over the past two centuries. Despite their varying outlooks on life and style (the French esprit and the German wesen), and despite three bloody wars (the Franco-Prussian and the two world wars), there has always been and still is a vital intellectual, political, and cultural exchange between these former "archenemies." The essays in this book detail the admiration and antagonism in French and German attempts to seek each other out while keeping their individual senses of self. Focusing on representative works of literature, film, and philosophy, the contributors identify the problems vexing these countries (war, economic competition) as well as possible solutions (the Maastricht treaty, increasing youth exchange). From the literary salons of the eighteenth century to the trenches of the twentieth, from a love-hate relationship to one of cooperation and peace, this book investigates the unique and volatile dialectic between these two nations and cultures.

Aminia M. Brueggemann is Visiting Assistant Professor of German Studies at Brown University and the author of Chronotopos Amerika bei Max Frisch, Peter Handke, Günter Kunert, und Martin Walser. Peter Schulman is Associate Professor of French and International Studies at Old Dominion University. He is the author of The Sunday of Fiction: The Modern French Eccentric and the coeditor (with Frederick A. Lubich) of The Marketing of Eros: Performance, Sexuality, Consumer Culture.