Ambivalent literary farewells to the German Democratic Republic : what is lost / John David Pizer.  (Text) (Text)

Pizer, John David
Call no.: PT405 .P59 2021Series: Interdisciplinary German cultural studies: v. 30.Publication: Berlin : De Gruyter, c2021Description: viii, 199 pISBN: 3110724081; 9783110724080Subject(s): German literature -- 20th century -- History and criticismPolitics and literature -- Germany -- History -- 20th centuryLiterature and society -- Germany -- History -- 20th centuryGermany -- History -- In literature. -- Unification, 1990LOC classification: PT405 | .P59 2021
Contents:Introduction -- Chapter 1 Literary Resistance to Reunification Perceived as Colonization in Novels by Günter Grass, Christa Wolf, and Volker Braun -- Chapter 2 Europe in East Berlin: Emine Sevgi Özdamar's Ostalgic Constructions -- Chapter 3 Non-Simultaneity and its Corrective: Thomas Brussig's Ambivalent Engagement with Reunification -- Chapter 4 Performing Reunification as Tragicomedy: Ingo Schulze -- Chapter 5 Time out of Joint in Uwe Tellkamp's The Towe -- Coda: Contra Grass: The Embrace of Reunification by Martin Walser, Monika Maron, and Fritz Rudolf Fries as well as the Beginning of the End of Autobiographical Literary Farewells to the GDR -- Bibliography -- Index.
Summary: This study reverses the question implicit in title of Christa Wolf's now-canonical 1990 novella Was bleibt (What remains), looking instead at what was lost during the process of German reunification. It argues that, in their work during and after the Wende, most literary authors from both East and West Germany responded ambivalently to the reunification. Many felt, on the one hand, a keen sense of loss as the GDR dissolved and an expanded Federal Republic summarily absorbed former Eastern Germany. They mourned the ideals of democratic socialism, tolerance, and internationalism that the GDR had held dear, as well as the country's rich cultural life. On the other hand, however, they recognized that the GDR was a fundamentally corrupt surveillance state whose industry weighed heavily on the environment while failing to buoy the country's economy. By looking at works by some of the most important authors from either side of the border, this study shows that those who unequivocally embraced the reunification were clearly in the minority.
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Includes bibliographical references and index.

Introduction -- Chapter 1 Literary Resistance to Reunification Perceived as Colonization in Novels by Günter Grass, Christa Wolf, and Volker Braun -- Chapter 2 Europe in East Berlin: Emine Sevgi Özdamar's Ostalgic Constructions -- Chapter 3 Non-Simultaneity and its Corrective: Thomas Brussig's Ambivalent Engagement with Reunification -- Chapter 4 Performing Reunification as Tragicomedy: Ingo Schulze -- Chapter 5 Time out of Joint in Uwe Tellkamp's The Towe -- Coda: Contra Grass: The Embrace of Reunification by Martin Walser, Monika Maron, and Fritz Rudolf Fries as well as the Beginning of the End of Autobiographical Literary Farewells to the GDR -- Bibliography -- Index.

This study reverses the question implicit in title of Christa Wolf's now-canonical 1990 novella Was bleibt (What remains), looking instead at what was lost during the process of German reunification. It argues that, in their work during and after the Wende, most literary authors from both East and West Germany responded ambivalently to the reunification. Many felt, on the one hand, a keen sense of loss as the GDR dissolved and an expanded Federal Republic summarily absorbed former Eastern Germany. They mourned the ideals of democratic socialism, tolerance, and internationalism that the GDR had held dear, as well as the country's rich cultural life. On the other hand, however, they recognized that the GDR was a fundamentally corrupt surveillance state whose industry weighed heavily on the environment while failing to buoy the country's economy. By looking at works by some of the most important authors from either side of the border, this study shows that those who unequivocally embraced the reunification were clearly in the minority.

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