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The Extreme Gone MainstreamCommercialization and Far Right Youth Culture in Germany$
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Cynthia Miller-Idriss

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691196152

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691196152.001.0001

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Historical Fantasies, Fantastical Myths

Historical Fantasies, Fantastical Myths

Sacred Origin Narratives

(p.82) 3 Historical Fantasies, Fantastical Myths
The Extreme Gone Mainstream

Cynthia Miller-Idriss

Princeton University Press

This chapter undertakes a careful analysis of commercial iconography and accompanying slogans and textual references to Norse and Germanic mythology in T-shirts and other products. It combines the analysis with interview data explaining how youth interpret the meaning of these symbols and myths. The chapter argues that the fantasy of Nordic heritage—and all the positive traits associated to be a part of that heritage—including loyalty, purity, beauty, integrity, and honesty—appeal to youth as a strategy for handling the uncertainty of the postmodern era. It shows how fantastical myths and symbols are used to directly depict or evoke a sense of loss, a sense of a particular way of life “slipping away,” or a sense of urgency around a need for preservation, survival, resurrection, or rebirth of a particular kind of nation. The chapter argues that they help to crystallize a kind of “magical thinking” about the death (or potential death) of a blood-based ancestral group. In closing, the chapter links these arguments to new theoretical work about the appeal of Nazism and fascism as rooted in the loss of stability in the global, postmodern era.

Keywords:   allegorical references, aspirational nationhood, Nazism, Nordic heritage, Norse mythology, Germanic mythology, postmodern era, fascism, historical fantasies

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