THE GERMAN STUDENT MOVEMENT AND THE LITERARY IMAGINATION
Transnational Memories of Protest and Dissent
By Susanne Rinner
“This is a thoughtful study of the current discourse surrounding the important role of literature in shaping cultural memory…The case of the literary representation of the German ‘1968’ is particularly interesting as it reveals a continuing preoccupation with the traumatic effects of Germany’s past.”
- Ingo Cornils, University of Leeds
Hardback: 180 pages, bibliog., index
Publisher: Berghahn Books (January 2013)
University of North Carolina, Greensboro
ABOUT THE VOLUME.
Through a close reading of novels by Ulrike Kolb, Irmtraud Morgner, Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Bernhard Schlink, Peter Schneider, and Uwe Timm, this monograph traces the cultural memory of the sixties student movement in German fiction, revealing layers of remembering and forgetting that go beyond conventional boundaries of time and space. These novels engage this seemingly German memory contest by constructing a palimpsest of memories that reshape the readers’ understanding of the sixties with respect to the end of the Cold War and to the legacy of the Third Reich and the Holocaust.
Topographically, these novels refute assertions that East Germans were isolated from the political upheaval that took place in the late Sixties and Seventies in the West and the East. Through their aesthetic appropriations and subversions, multicultural contributions challenge conventional understandings of German identity and at the same time lay down claims of belonging within a German society that is more openly diverse than ever before.
"[T]the most extensive study of literature's multi-faceted negotiation of the historical moment symbolized by the date 1968 and of the discursive struggle over competing inscriptions of it into collective memory. […] Rinner manages to weave various strands of her analysis together into a stimulating palimpsest of provocative insights into literary discourse's significance for the construction of the cultural
memory of 1968."
– Sabine von Dirke, H-Soz-u-Kult
“Rinner’s study is theoretically sophisticated but also quite lucid, and her unique approach to 1968 cultural memory novels is usually convincing...[it] makes a striking, original contribution to current discourse on 1968 novels, and how they, and the period they represent, can be productively engaged in the contemporary German transnational sphere.”
– John Pizer, German Studies Review
“Without doubt, Rinner’s study constitutes a noteworthy addition to the publications about the literary responses to an important phase of postwar German history. By casting her net wide both chronologically and geographically, she succeeds in reaffirming the significance of literary contributions to the cultural memory of 1968.”
– Siegfried Mews, Monatshefte
“[an] insightful analysis [that] Rinner provides in a brief, well-ordered text.”
“Rinner’s book stretches the scope of 1968 with the works she analyzes. She engages also in a thoughtful discussion of secondary literature, recent studies, and she addresses a range of spatial and temporal considerations. Rinner presents her readers with convincing and insightful views on texts that cut across abroad geography and time span, thus providing a fresh look at the memories of 1968.”
– German Quarterly
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Introduction. Trans/National Memories of 1968
Chapter I. Remember? 1968 in German Fiction
Chapter II. Forget it? 1968 in East Germany
Chapter III. Transatlantic encounters between Germany and the United States as Intercultural Exchange and Generational Conflict
Chapter IV. Transnational Memories: 1968 and German-Turkish Authors
Conclusion. Continued Taboos, Confirmed Canons
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