German Literatures


German Literatures

Austrian Literature - Bachmann

West German Literature (BRD) - Gruppe 47, G. Grass

East German Literature (DDR) - Christa Wolf, Volkes Brown

German Swiss Literature - Dürrenmatt and Frisch

4 literatures our 4 different versions of regional literature

1989 / 1990 - West and East Germant unified

End of Cold War - dissolution of political blocks 

Relationships change between the 4 literatures 

Wenderoman: novel to describe the changes of the time, every novel questionned as to if it would be the Wenderoman but it never quite happened 

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German Literatures

Idea: Those who lived / wrote in East lost all of their work

  • literature so politically attatched to East
  • lost worth
  • no longer exists 

Literaturstreit - dispute about East German literature began with an attack on Christa Wolf

Change goes into writing bit substance (style) does not have to change

Films and books thematising changes in the East and West 

Thematic changes e.g. Goodbye Lenin, Das Leben der Anderen

Thematising a political rupture and immediate change 

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3 Developments

1. Internationalisation of German Literature

  • Authors on either side were often accused of always writing about the political situation
  • After reunification younger writers began writing in a way similar to the western literary scene - far less influenced by politics 
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3 Developments

2. Fräuleinwunder

  • Goes back to 1940 / 50s when US soldiers in Germany - impressed by young women and their confidence/self-esteem
  • 1990s - old males describing female writers (born in 70s) appearing on the literary scene
  • Admiring what was happening but trying to label and contain it
  • Styles and themes all rather different
  • Percieved as voices and tones which had not been employed before
  • Arbitary generalisation: shown by Schulze
  • = new generation of writers 
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3 Developments

3. Authoren, "mit Migrationshintergrund"

  • 1st and 2nd generation migration
  • 1990s starts at relatively large scale, later than other countries due to late colonialism
  • people not wanting to go to Germany, lots of Turkish people in Germany after 1970s, 1990s Polish, Russian, Jewish and Iranian political asylum seekers
  • Wladimir Kaminer and Trojanow - encounter of cultures and languages = thematised
  • Iranian - Navid Kermani (Cologne) - writes in German shaped by upbringing
  • Sudabeh Mohafez (female) moved to Berlin when 15 years old and doesn't want to be labelled migrant author - Das Zehn Zeilen Buch
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Mohafez - Fräulein

Beginning of crossover of internet and print literature

  • German mother and Iranian father
  • Mother tried to find freedom abroad in 1960s but didn't work and she returned to Germany with her
  • Particular experiences 
  • Autoren mit Migrationshintergrund
  • Internationalises German literature
  • Zehn Zeilen written as a blog, all written in 10 minutes, no more than 10 lines, 852 characters, are corrected twice then published

Human Relationships

  • relationships into 10 lines
  • crystallising particular moments in human relations: social issues, writing is a major theme of these texts
  • in the end different places to start 
  • everyday things 
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