This essay explores how Peter Weiss’s anticolonial, anti-imperialist analysis, developed in the 1960s in response to the advent of decolonization and the emergence of neocolonialism, is woven into Die Ästhetik des Widerstands’ story of political self-education. Two central features of this analysis were Weiss’s concern with how solidarity can be forged between groups separated by geographic distance or cultural difference, and with the difference between national liberation and the more thoroughgoing emancipation Weiss described in 1965 as the “abolition of the reigning injustices in the world.” Examining key scenes in the novel, including the narrator’s recurrent engagements with the problem of solidarity and his historical inquiry into the deeds of the folk hero Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson, this essay suggests that Die Ästhetik’s analysis of German fascism also incorporated Weiss’s long-standing concern with colonialism and imperialism and with how they were encountered and resisted.

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