Anne Duden: A Revolution of Words

Approaches to her Fiction, Poetry and Essays


Anne Duden’s reputation as one of the most innovative writers of her generation, established in 1982 with the experimental stories in Übergang, was confirmed in 1985 by Das Judasschaf, a novel interweaving an individual’s anguish with the cultural trauma of the German past. In her acclaimed poem cycles Steinschlag (1993) and Hingegend (1999) Duden pushes the limits of language in densely metaphoric evocations of landscapes and places of political and personal remembrance, mixing lament for ruined nature with grotesque comedy, mystic vision with horror. Duden is a distinguished practitioner of short forms. Her essays display the same intense engagement with the visual arts as informs her narrative texts. Her deep interest in music is echoed in the musicality of short prose poems.
This volume presents for the first time a comprehensive collection of approaches to Duden's fiction, poetry and essays by international scholars. Topics include: the ethics and aesthetics of Duden’s engagement with German history; her constructions of female subjectivity; her criticism of western dualistic thinking with its devaluation of the body and exploitation of nature; her position within a modernist tradition with roots in the Romantic Age; the visual arts and poetic influences such as Hölderlin and Celan; the dilemmas of translating Duden’s highly individual style. Three essays on Steinschlag constitute the first systematic reading of this difficult, much praised cycle.
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Review Quotes

Anne Duden has been awarded the Heinrich Böll Literaturpreis 2003.
“[The essays] attest to a very fruitful collaboration across two cultural backdrops.” in: Jahrbuch für Internationale Germanistik, XXXVIII, Heft 1, 2006
“…excellent contributions on the complex work of Anne Duden. […] the stimulating essays contribute in thought-provoking ways to the on-going discussion of Anne Duden’s challenging work.” in: German Studies Review, Vol. 28, No. 1, Feb. 2005, pp. 234-5
“…excellent introduction […] by Elizabeth Boa.” in: “important” in: Modern Language Review, 99.4, 2004

Table of contents

Anne DUDEN: ‘Herzgänge’. List of Abbreviations. Elizabeth BOA: Introduction: notes from a symposium; notes towards Hingegend. Dirk GÖTTSCHE: ‘Gestalt aus Bewegung’. Beobachtungen zu Anne Dudens Kurzprosa und Essayistik. Margaret LITTLER: Trauma und Terrorism: the problem of violence in the work of Anne Duden. Stephanie BIRD: Considering Ethics in the Short Prose of Anne Duden. Teresa LUDDEN: Material Movements in Texts by Anne Duden. Juliet WIGMORE: Visions of Nature in Texts by Anne Duden. Metaphor, Metonym, Morphology. Wiebke SIEVERS: Grenzen der Übersetzung. Anne Dudens Übergang in englischer und französischer Sprache. Georgina PAUL: An Easter of words. Steps towards a reading of Anne Duden’s Steinschlag. Claudia ROTH: ‘Bilder […] / aus einem Deutschland / das nie existiert hat’. Ein Lektürevorschlag zum Anfang von Anne Dudens Steinschlag. Heike BARTEL: ‘Steinatem’. Zur Metaphorik des Atmens in Anne Dudens ‘Steinschlag’. Bibliography. Index. Notes on Contributors.


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