German Reunification and the Legacy of GDR Literature and Culture

Series:

Since the tumultuous events of 1989/1990, writers, cultural practitioners and academics have responded to, reconstructed and reflected upon the process and enduring impact of German reunification. This bilingual volume provides a nuanced understanding of the literature and culture of the GDR and its legacy today. It explores a broad range of genres, combines perspectives on both lesser-known and more established writers, and juxtaposes academic articles with the personal reflections of those who directly experienced and engaged with the GDR from within or beyond its borders. Whether creative practitioners or academics, contributors consider the broader literary and intellectual contexts and traditions shaping GDR literature and culture in a way that enriches our understanding of reunification and its legacy.

Contributors are: Deirdre Byrnes, Anna Chiarloni, Jean E. Conacher, Sabine Egger, Robert Gillett, Frank Thomas Grub, Jochen Hennig, Nick Hodgin, Frank Hörnigk, Therese Hörnigk, Gisela Holfter, Jeannine Jud, Astrid Köhler, Marieke Krajenbrink, Hannes Krauss, Reinhard Kuhnert, Katja Lange-Müller, Corina Löwe, Hugh Ridley, Kathrin Schmidt.
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Biographical Note

Deirdre Byrnes, PhD (University College Dublin), is Senior Lecturer in German at the National University of Ireland, Galway. She has published extensively on Monika Maron, including the monograph Rereading Monika Maron: Text, Counter-Text and Context (2011).

Jean E. Conacher, PhD (University of Aberdeen), is Senior Lecturer in German at the University of Limerick. Her research focuses on GDR/post-1989 literature and film; she is currently completing a monograph on transformation and education in GDR literature.

Gisela Holfter, PhD (Universität Köln), is Senior Lecturer in German and Joint Director of the Centre for Irish-German Studies at the University of Limerick. In 2017 she published (with Horst Dickel) An Irish Sanctuary: German-speaking Refugees in Ireland 1933-1945.

Table of contents

Contents

Acknowledgements
Notes on Contributors
List of Figures

The Enduring Legacy of GDR Literature and Culture: An Introduction
Jean E. Conacher, Deirdre Byrnes and Gisela Holfter

Part 1: Responding


“Like a Dream”: Film, Fears, Fantasies and Nightmares of the Wende
Nick Hodgin
“Wir alle blicken jetzt auf uns zurück”: Revisiting the Portrayal of the Wende in Botho Strauß’s Drama Schlußchor
Marieke Krajenbrink
Rückblick auf die Grenzfallgedichte: Volker Brauns Weg vom „Nachruf“ (1990) zur dramatischen Dichtung „Demos“ (2015)
Anna Chiarloni
Capturing the Zeitgeist: On Human Experience and Personal Historiography in Helga Königsdorf’s 1989 oder Ein Moment Schönheit
Jean E. Conacher
Wir waren die Geschichte“: Erinnerungen an die DDR und den Herbst 1989 in zwei kinder- und jugendliterarischen Texten
Corina Löwe

Part 2: Reconstructing


“Nach einem Lenz, der sich nur halb entfaltet”: Aspects of the Reception of Uwe Johnson’s Ingrid Babendererde
Hugh Ridley
Gillett and Köhler Tarzan im zerborstenen Rückspiegel: Gedächtnis und Gedenken bei Adolf Endler
Robert Gillett and Astrid Köhler
Zwischen Kyffhäuser und Plattenbau: Rückblicke und Vergangenheitskonstruktionen in Hörspielen und Features von Jens Sparschuh
Frank Thomas Grub
The Radio Transcending Boundaries and Historical Narratives in Lutz Seiler’s Poetry and in his Novel Kruso
Sabine Egger

Part 3: Reflecting


Frank Hörnigks Erinnerungen an die Neuformierung der Berliner Wissenschaftslandschaft nach 1989
mit einer Einführung von Jochen Hennig
Es war, als hätte man eine große Käseglocke von uns genommen“
Reflexionen von Kathrin Schmidt
Theater in einem uneinig vereinigten Land
Reflexionen von Reinhard Kuhnert
Es wird vieles verklärt und nostalgisch geschönt oder scherzhaft verharmlost“
Reflexionen von Katja Lange-Müller
( Selbst)kritischer Rückblick auf den Umgang mit der DDR-Literatur – und Plädoyer für deren Aktualität
Reflexionen von Hannes Krauss
Der Schlüssel liegt im kleinen Engagement“
Jeannine Jud im Gespräch mit Therese Hörnigk

Index

Readership

This volume will appeal to students and scholars across a range of disciplines, including German literature, German history, theatre studies and film studies.

Index Card

Collection Information