Writers and Politics in West Germany: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Writers and Politics in West Germany

1st Edition

By K. Stuart Parkes


248 pages

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Hardback: 9780367856205
pub: 2020-02-12
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Originally published in 1986, this book is an interpretative survey of the development of political writing in the former Federal Republic of Germany. It illustrates how intertwined writing is with politics, whether by the political commitment of writers like Grass or the analysis of Böll, by the exclusion of writers from political debate under Adenauer or their insistence on involvement in the years of the SPD. So many themes central to German life are themselves political – the division of the German state, the interpretation of the German character, the Green Movement. This wide-ranging and thorough study discusses a central issue of European politics and culture.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Causes 1. Many Call But None Are Chosen – The Post-War Years 2. Restoration Tragedy – The 1950s 3. Party Talk – The 1960s 4. To Your Marx, Get Set, Go – Writers and Students 5. Retrenchment Warfare – The 1970s 6. How Green Are Our Writers? – The 1980s Part 2: Case Studies 7. Günter Grass – The Campaigner 8. Heinrich Böll – The Good Catholic 9. Hans Magnus Enzensberger – The Will o’ the Wisp 10. Martin Walser – The View from the Lake Part 3: Conclusion Forty Years on.

About the Author

K. Stuart Parkes was Senior Lecturer in German at the former Sheffield City Polytechnic.

About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: German Literature

Originally published between 1938 and 1996, the volumes in this set provide a survey of German poetry, prose and fiction from the Middle Ages to the late 20th Century. In many cases no prior knowledge of German is necessary, as translations into English are provided. Many of the books focus particularly on German writers and literature from an international perspective.

The books:

  • Analyse Naturalism, Impressionism, Neo-romanticism and Expressionism as well as dealing exhaustively with Surrealism, Magic Realism and Existentialism.

  • Include discussion of post-war Anglo-American and French literature.


  • Provide guidebooks through the masses of periodicals and allows the English side of the Anglo-German literary relationship to be explored in detail.

  • Present a detailed analysis of the major literary movements in Austria and Germany from the end of the nineteenth century to the collapse of the Third Reich


  • Examine two of the central themes of medieval German mythology, the Dietrich and Nibelung legends

  • Survey the development of political writing in the former Federal Republic of Germany, Illustrating the connections between literature and politics


  • Elucidate the concealed meanings in some of the more obscure writings of great authors such as Goethe

  • Provides a full survey of the best and most significant work of German writers to the First World War.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / European / German