German Culture and the Uncomfortable Past: Representations of National Socialism in Contemporary Germanic Literature, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

German Culture and the Uncomfortable Past

Representations of National Socialism in Contemporary Germanic Literature, 1st Edition

Edited by Helmut Schmitz


192 pages

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Beginning with the question of the role of the past in the shaping of a contemporary identity, this volumes spans three generations of German and Austrian writers and explores changes and shifts in the aesthetics of Vergangenheitsbewältigung (coming to terms with the past). The purpose of the book is to assess contemporary German literary representations of National Socialism in a wider context of these current debates. The contributors address questions arising from a shift over the last decade, triggered by a generation change-questions of personal and national identity in Germany and Austria, and the aesthetics of memory. One of the central questions that emerges in relation to the Hitler youth generation is that of biography, as examined through Günter Grass' and Martin Walser's conflicting views on the subject of National Socialism. Other themes explored here are the conflict between the post-war generations and the contributions of that conflict to (West)-German mentality, and the growing historical distance and its influence on the aesthetics of representation.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Literary Portrayals of National Socialism in Post-Unification German Literature, Bill Niven; Views of History, Views of the State: Günter Grass and the German Past, Julian Preece; 'Deutsche Geschichte darf auch einmal gutgehen': Martin Walser, Auschwitz, and the 'German Question' from Ehen in Philippsburg to Ein springender Brunnen, Stuart Taberner; 'Das korsakowsche Syndrom': Remembrance and Responsibility in W.G. Sebald, Arthur Williams; 'Die Ungnade der späten Geburt?': the theme of national socialism in recent novels by Bernhard Schlink and Klaus Modick , Stuart Parkes; Elisabeth Reichart's Nachtmär -The enduring Nightmare of Austria in the 1990s, Juliet Wigmore; Soundscapes of the Third Reich - Marcel Beyer's Flughunde, Helmut Schmitz; Of Death, Kitsch and Melancholia: Aimée und Jaguar: ’Eine Liebesgeschichte, Berlin 1943’ or ’Eine Liebe größer als der Tod’? Anna M. Parkinson; Journey to an unknown destination: Gudrun Pausewang's Transgressive Teenage Novel Reise im August, Susan Tebbutt; Notes on Contributors.

About the Series

Warwick Studies in the Humanities

Warwick Studies in the Humanities
The Humanities Research Centre of the University of Warwick in collaboration with Ashgate has re-launched its book series. Warwick Studies in the Humanities aims to bring together innovative work of a high academic standard which crosses disciplinary borders in the Arts and Humanities. It provides a forum for volumes exploring new dimensions of cultural history from the early modern period to the present, and for works that investigate aspects of contemporary cultural production within and across national boundaries. The series reflects the breadth of the interdisciplinary work carried out at Warwick's Humanities Research Centre, and includes work of both European and extra-European scope.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Comparative Literature