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Book Review

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Literatur, Politik, Identität showcases thirty-five of Leslie Bodi’s writings published between 1959 and 2001, ranging from chapter-length articles to three-page notes. Framed by an introductory essay explaining the organization of the volume, and a biographical essay and interview at the book’s conclusion, Bodi unequivocally emphasizes the links between his life and his scholarship. Bodi spent his youth and early adult life in Budapest as a multilingual, assimilated Jew with a passion for German literature and intellectual exchange. He lived through the Nazi occupation of Hungary and left Budapest after the failure of the revolution; by 1957, he was in Melbourne, Australia, where he built a career as an interdisciplinary Germanist and established a thriving German studies department at Monash University. Bodi’s scholarly interests are almost as wide-ranging as his biography, but common themes connect his entire oeuvre. Whether he is writing about Georg Forster, James Cook, or Heinrich Heine, enlightened absolutism in Austria, contemporary Austrian literature, or modern Austrian identity, Bodi constantly points to the links between the concepts that compose the volume’s title: literature, politics, and identity.

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Copyright © 2004 H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online. This article first appeared on H-German, H-Net Reviews (2004).

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