One of our finest critics and a tireles advocate for the avant-garde….To have this memoir now is a boon.
—Andrew DuBois, Harvard Review

The Vienna Paradox

Nonfiction by Marjorie Perloff

The Vienna Paradox is the well-known literary critic Marjorie Perloff’s memoir of growing up in pre-World War II Vienna; her escape to America in 1938 with her upper-middle-class, highly cultured, and largely assimilated Jewish family; and her self-transformation from the German-speaking Gabriele Mintz to the English-speaking Marjorie––a new American girl who also happened to be the granddaughter of Richard Schüller, the Austrian foreign secretary under Chancellor Dollfuss and a special delegate to the League of Nations. Compelling as the story is, it is hardly a conventional memoir. Rather, The Vienna Paradox interweaves biographical anecdote and family history with speculations on the historical development of early 20th-century Vienna as it was experienced by her parents’ generation. Moreover, Perloff explores how the loss of their “high” culture affected the lives of these cultivated refugees in a democratic United States that was and remains deeply suspicious of perceived “elitism.” This is, in other words, an intellectual memoir, both elegant and heartfelt, by one of America’s leading thinkers, a narrative in which literary and philosophical reference is as central as the personal.

Editions: Paperback

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Paperback (published May 1, 2004)

ISBN
9780811215718
Price US
17.95
Price CN
21
Trim Size
5x8
Page Count
224

Marjorie Perloff

Contemporary American Literary Critic

One of our finest critics and a tireles advocate for the avant-garde….To have this memoir now is a boon.
—Andrew DuBois, Harvard Review