'Ich will Leben, auch wenn Ich tot bin': Valeska Gert's autobiographical legacy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The German-Jewish dancer, cabaret artist, and actor Valeska Gert wrote four autobiographical texts that span the time from the height of her fame in the Weimar Republic to her exile in New York and on to her post-war experiences in the Federal Republic of Germany. An examination of Mein Weg (1931), Die Bettlerbar von New York (1950), Ich bin eine Hexe (1968), and Katze von Kampen (1973) reveals the ways in which Gert revisits and revises her life story. While each text recycles material from the previous ones, Gert continually reframes her narrative according to the changing audiences and historical contexts. Ultimately, through her drive to tell her story repeatedly, Gert succeeded in writing herself back into the history of modern dance, cabaret, theatre, and film in Germany, thus enacting the 'spiritual reparations' she felt she had been denied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-54
Number of pages16
JournalGerman Life and Letters
Volume66
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

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