Finding a Voice

Problems of Language in East German Society and Culture


Edited by Graham Jackman and Ian F. Roe

Finding a Voice explores aspects of the use and function of language in East Germany which resulted from Party control of public discourse during the period of the German Democratic Republic. A distinctive feature of the volume, which brings together essays by British and German scholars, is the wide variety of areas which are incorporated in this survey - from political and public discourse, through aspects of sociolinguistics and the teaching of German, to a spectrum of artistic forms ranging from rock music and film to poetry and the novel. In particular, the relationship between public discourse and the events of the ‘Wende' is explored in a number of contributions. Most of the works and issues considered are discussed in English here for the first time, and the volume as a whole should be of interest to scholars concerned with the GDR and with contemporary German culture, to undergraduate and postgraduate students, and also to others interested in the history and culture of Germany since 1945. Nine of the essays are in English and four in German.

Franz Fühmann: Innovation and Authenticity

A study of his prose-writing


Dennis Tate

This is the first full-length study of the life and works of Franz Fühmann (1922-1984) to be published in English. It provides a complete reassessment of his importance as a prose-writer, informed by the extensive corpus of Fühmann's writing which has only appeared posthumously or is now accessible in the archives of the Akademie der Künste in East Berlin.
Dennis Tate argues that, from the middle 1950s onwards, Fühmann's prose writing is both stylistically innovative and committed to the authentic representation of his experience, thereby challenging the conventional wisdom that little writing of international significance could be produced in the ideological context of the GDR until Honecker introduced his `no taboos' cultural policy in 1971. Fühmann's widely praised later texts (ranging from the autobiographical Zweiundzwanzig Tage oder Die Hälfte des Lebens and Vor Feuerschlünden to mythical and satirical short stories such as `Marsyas' and `Drei nackte Männer') can now be seen as the culmination of an impressive creative development rather than as the result of a late conversion to literary truthfulness.
The volume will be of interest to students and teachers of post-1945 German literature as well as to general readers aware of the vitality of Central European culture throughout the period of East-West ideological division.

Women without a Past?

German Autobiographical Writings and Fascism


Joanne Sayner

Who remembers, and how? Debates about the role of memory as history – and of literature as memory – have increasingly come to fascinate those interested in how we look at our pasts as a means for understanding the present. Women without a Past? brings together for the first time autobiographies written by seven women who experienced Nazism from different perspectives: Elfriede Brüning, Hilde Huppert, Greta Kuckhoff, Elisabeth Langgässer, Melita Maschmann, Inge Scholl, and Grete Weil. Their autobiographies provoke diverse and challenging answers to questions about who remembers what, when, where, how and on behalf of whom.
This book foregrounds the positive political potential of re-reading well-known texts and seeking out reasons why others have been marginalized. It examines autobiography as a form of writing at the very centre of contemporary debates on the ‘self’, ‘truth’ and ‘history’. Women without a Past? offers new insights into the politics of memory and autobiography, and will be of particular interest to researchers and students engaging with women’s writing and memories of Nazism.

Medieval German Voices in the 21st Century

The Paradigmatic Function of Medieval German Studies for German Studies


Edited by Albrecht Classen

As witnessed by a tremendous upsurge in medieval research, academic meetings, innovative interpretive approaches, enrolment numbers, and public interest, Medieval Studies are proving once again to be a vibrant field of investigations both inside and outside of academia. Nevertheless, there is a tendency among colleagues and administrators in the field of Germanistik/German Studies to exclude the earlier period as an exotic and irrelevant subject matter. The contributors to this volume, all of whom teach at North American universities, make a strong case for the paradigmatic function of medieval German literature for the general field of Germanistik, and argue that many of the most recent changes in our discipline related to the German Studies paradigm have been foreshadowed by Medieval Studies where interdisciplinarity, comparative approaches, the consideration of Mentalitätsgeschichte, theology, history, art history, even gender studies, and the history of everyday life have often constituted the conditio sine qua non. Some of the authors in this volume argue for the relevance of medieval German literature by investigating concrete cases taken from the Middle Ages, others show how modern German literature has been deeply influenced by medieval texts. The purpose of this volume is not to privilege medieval literature over modern literature, but instead to reclaim the premodern period as an important and relevant field of investigation within contemporary German Studies.

'Stimme der Wahrheit'

German-Language Broadcasting by the BBC


Edited by Charmian Brinson and Richard Dove

The essays contained in this volume were originally delivered as papers to a conference on the German-language broadcasting of the BBC, held in London in 2002. For over sixty years, the BBC German Service was Britain's most authoritative voice to the German-speaking world, representing a virtual paradigm of British cultural and political attitudes towards Germany and Austria - and helping to define their perceptions of Britain and the British.
Despite the BBC's enormous cultural standing and influence, however, this volume is the first to evaluate the Corporation's German-language broadcasting since the BBC German Service was closed down in 1999. The essays fall into three broad categories: German-language broadcasting during the Second World War, broadcasting to Germany and Austria during the Cold War, and finally a series of personal accounts from former employees of the Service. The volume will be of interest to scholars and students of broadcasting (including media studies) as well as those involved in German Studies and in German and Austrian Exile Studies.


Christina Ujma


Anna Seghers was the only female participant in the so-called Expres­sionism debate. She was among the artists and writers who voiced their concerns openly. She defends Modernism in two open letters to Georg Lukács, who originally provided theoretical justification of the Doctrine of Socialist Realism. Although a loyal communist Seghers was not to be deterred from using Modernist techniques in Transit and Das Siebte Kreuz, her most important exile novels. Especially in Transit she depicts the plight of the refugees by using montage, fragmentation and stream of consciousness technique.