As the editors write in this volume, while the dichotomy of high and low, classical and popular, elitist and trivial has occupied theorists of culture for centuries, very few of them have paid more than scant attention to the various attempts at mediating between these two levels of cultural endeavor. The essays collected here, most delivered at the twenty-second Wisconsin Workshop in October, 1991, address exactly this aspect of cultural studies, using modern Germany as their canvas. The contributors range across the entire breadth of German cultural life, analyzing developments in the arts, literature, poetry, architecture, and cinema, as well as looking at contemporary writing by women and at changes in cultural depictions of sexuality. Germany's political paroxysms throughout the last hundred years figure prominently in the evolution of its cultural consciousness, so there is in these essays a strong sense of nation: invented, perfected, lost, and recovered, but always fascinating. A totally homogenized German culture, one devoid of any higher aspirations, will be the impoverished result of postmodernism, the editors warn. It is their goal to remind those who are all too eager to overlook the losses occurring in this process that this tendency can also besides its positive democratic aspect lead to one-dimensionality. "