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By Jill Suzanne Smith

During the overdue 19th century the town of Berlin built one of these popularity for lawlessness and sexual licentiousness that it got here to be often called the "Whore of Babylon." Out of this recognition for debauchery grew an strangely wealthy discourse round prostitution. In Berlin Coquette, Jill Suzanne Smith exhibits how this discourse transcended the standard clichés approximately prostitutes and really explored complicated visions of other moralities or sexual countercultures together with the “New Morality” articulated by way of feminist radicals, lesbian love, and the “New Woman.”

Combining broad archival study with shut readings of a wide spectrum of texts and photographs from the overdue Wilhelmine and Weimar classes, Smith recovers a stunning array of effective discussions approximately extramarital sexuality, women's monetary autonomy, and respectability. She highlights specifically the determine of the cocotte (Kokotte), a particular kind of prostitute who capitalized at the phantasm of decent or upstanding womanhood and as a result confounded effortless categorization. through exploring the semantic connections among the determine of the cocotte and the act of flirtation (of being coquette), Smith’s paintings offers flirtation as a kind of social interplay during which either prostitutes and non-prostitutes in Imperial and Weimar Berlin might convey extramarital sexual wish and agency.

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Berlin Coquette: Prostitution and the New German Woman, 1890–1933 (Signale: Modern German Letters, Cultures, and Thought) by Jill Suzanne Smith


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