Grand Hotel Additional Summary

Hedwig Baum


(Critical Survey of Literature for Students)

Baum, Vicki. It Was All Quite Different: The Memoirs of Vicki Baum. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1964. A fascinating account of Grand Hotel’s evolution and Baum’s original conception of it as an experiment in the New Objectivity. Chronicles its success and its eventual transformation into both stage and film versions.

King, Lynda J. Best-Sellers by Design: Vicki Baum and the House of Ullstein. Detroit, Mich.: Wayne State University Press, 1988. Essential reading of Baum by a prolific scholar of her work. Explores Baum’s position within the critical tension between serious literature and middlebrow best sellers, and examines the enormous pressures of Baum’s commercial success.

_______. “Menschen im Hotel / Grand Hotel: Seventy Years of a Popular Culture Classic.” Journal of American and Comparative Cultures 23, no. 2 (Summer, 2000): 17-23. This journal article focuses on Grand Hotel’s immense popularity and on the relationship between serious and popular literature.

McCormick, Richard W. Gender and Sexuality in Weimar Modernity: Film, Literature, and “New Objectivity.” New York: Palgrave, 2002. An excellent overview of the new realism pioneered by Baum that places that movement within the context of its turn from expressionism. Particular emphasis on the movement’s realization of the figure of the New Woman.

Valencia, Heather. “A First-Rate Second-Rate Writer.” In German Novelists of the Weimar Republic: Intersections of Literature and Politics. Rochester, N.Y.: Camden House, 2006. A major reading of Baum—the title comes from Baum’s own description of herself. Looks at the irony in Grand Hotel, often overlooked, and Baum’s experimental use of character types.