By Erik N. Jensen
See the writer featured within the "New Books in heritage" podcast: http://newbooksinhistory.com/2011/04/01/erik-jensen-body-by-weimar-athletes-gender-and-german-modernity-oxford-up-2010/In physique by way of Weimar, Erik N. Jensen exhibits how German athletes reshaped gender roles within the turbulent decade after global struggle I and confirmed the foundation for a latest physique and sleek sensibility that stay with us to at the present time. an identical state of the art innovations that engineers have been utilizing to extend the potency of factories and companies within the Twenties aided athletes in boosting the productiveness in their personal flesh and bones. Sportswomen and males embodied modernity-quite literally-in its so much streamlined, aggressive, time-oriented shape, and their very own successes at the enjoying fields looked as if it would turn out the worth of monetary clarification to a skeptical public that frequently felt threatened by way of the method. Enthroned by way of the media as culture's trendsetters, champions in activities corresponding to tennis, boxing, and tune and box additionally supplied types of sexual empowerment, social mobility, and self-determination. They confirmed their enthusiasts the way to be sleek, and, within the strategy, sparked heated debates over the aesthetics of the physique, the bounds of physical exercise, the responsibilities of electorate to the nation, and the connection among the sexes. If the photographs and debates during this e-book strike readers as widely used, it could actually good be as the excellent physique of today-sleek, effective, and both to be had to males and women-received certainly one of its earliest articulations within the fertile tumult of Germany's roaring twenties. After greater than 80 years, we nonetheless wish the Weimar physique.
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See the writer featured within the "New Books in background" podcast: http://newbooksinhistory. com/2011/04/01/erik-jensen-body-by-weimar-athletes-gender-and-german-modernity-oxford-up-2010/In physique via Weimar, Erik N. Jensen exhibits how German athletes reshaped gender roles within the turbulent decade after global struggle I and confirmed the foundation for a contemporary physique and sleek sensibility that stay with us to today.
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Extra resources for Body by Weimar: Athletes, Gender, and German Modernity
In a 1920 issue of the gay magazine Die Freundschaft, for example, one man’s personals ad for a tennis partner hinted at the expectation of something more: “Tennis partner . . sought by 18-year-old beginner (1m, 62cm tall). 35 The sexualized image of the male tennis player placed him in the position of the pursued as well as in that of the pursuer, and this combination of active and passive roles further fashioned his articulation of a softened masculinity. 36 Not only does she literally call the shots on the tennis court—deciding when her partner has hit a ball deep—but she also directs their impending liaison in an internal monologue that forms the narration of the story.
A satirical piece in Der Querschnitt similarly downplayed the game’s athleticism when its author wrote that she would rather date a tennis player than an actual athlete. ”68 Even though this author considered the tennis player to be the antithesis of a strapping sportsman, she still wanted to date him. Only the player, after all, could devote himself to women and life’s other pleasures. ” According to the physiologist Fritz Giese, tennis appealed especially to men of refined, artistic tastes. “The Beau-Brummel-type, the dandy, the model of an Oscar-Wilde-esque orgy of colors .
Am Mittag presented an idyllic fantasy for its readers by 20 Body by Weimar describing a “typical” tennis vacation in 1928: “You don’t run and sweat yourself to death. ”18 The term Kaffeetennis captured precisely this ideal, with the emphasis decidedly on the après-match refreshments and conviviality. 19 How, he wondered, should the average cinemagoer know “that drinking coffee under a veranda decorated with flowers [and wearing] white pants . . are not the only pleasurable things about tennis,” given that most depictions of tennis in the movies consisted almost entirely of those images alone.
Body by Weimar: Athletes, Gender, and German Modernity by Erik N. Jensen