Author

Hannah Walker

Date of Award

2019

First Advisor

Peter Filkins

Second Advisor

Asma Abbas

Abstract

This thesis seeks to explore a relatively unknown genre of literary writing, that of the Urban Miniature, through translation and literary analysis. The first half of the project is a collection of translated essays taken from Siegfried Kracauer’s book Straßen in Berlin und anderswo (Streets in Berlin and Elsewhere). This selection comes from the first and third sections (of five) in the book, “Straßen” (“Streets”) and “Dinge” (“Things”). Following these translations I have included a brief section of biographical, cultural, historical, and political background on Kracauer and the Weimar Republic. I conducted a literary analysis of the essays that I translated, focusing on Kracauer’s use of his descriptions of urban spaces and his experiences within those spaces to illustrate his feelings of discomfort and disquiet in an age of modernity. I focused on Kracauer’s perceptions of built urban space and the people that he encounters in those spaces, as well as examined his own position as a narrator who exists both within and apart from the urban spaces about which he writes.

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