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An Examination of Power and Translation
Nicole Robertson
1 March 2022

The "amoral voice" of fin-de-siècle Vienna, Arthur Schnitzler (1862–1931) was one of the major figures of European modernist literature. Throughout his lifetime and posthumously, he enjoyed substantial domestic and international success, yet the arrival of his dramatic works in Great Britain was plagued by false starts, short runs and inconsistencies. Only with Tom Stoppard’s adaptations of Das weite Land and Liebelei, as Undiscovered Country (1979) and Dalliance (1986) respectively, were Schnitzler’s plays finally produced at the National Theatre. 

This fascinating new title enquires into the whys and wherefores of that dilatory dissemination to unearth evidence of power in...

Cornelia Wech
30 June 2020

This study examines how the literary works of Elisabeth Reichart, Charlotte Roche and Elfriede Jelinek challenge normativity both in their engagement with gender and sexuality and with aesthetic choices. The comparative analysis of texts published over a twenty-year period provides insights into the socio-political and cultural dynamics at the time of publication. It reveals the continuing relevance of feminist authorial voices to the present day, challenging the stable, normative understanding of feminism and feminist writing itself, and showing how literature can function as a form of intervention that provides a reflective space for readers to question norms in their own lives and to take the initiative to change these...

Rebecca May Johnson
9 August 2019

How has classical literature shaped culture, knowledge, the thinkable? What happens when a canonical text is translated from his gaze into her, and their, gaze(s)?  These are some of the questions Barbara Köhler pursues in her modern epic poem, Niemands Frau (2007), her response to The Odyssey. Translated and re-imagined over the centuries, Homer’s tale found critical resonance in intellectual traditions from Christianity through to Post-Colonialism. Odysseus has been viewed as an ideal, reputedly using reason rather than force to dominate, but in Niemands Frau Köhler takes inspiration from Penelope to weave a text that challenges the rationalist and patriarchal...

Marissa Munderloh
16 July 2017

German hip-hop culture is best known for its rap music and rappers’ portrayal of their life in Germany’s urban centres. Not many studies have looked at German hip-hop’s other main art forms, such as graffiti art, dance and music, in conjunction with rap, or considered their joint contribution to the creation and development of German popular culture and contemporary identity. This book breaks new ground by offering a comparative analysis of rappers, DJs, dancers, graffiti artists and their practices in the German cities of Hamburg and Oldenburg. In so doing, it reveals a variety of individual narratives on what it means to be German and to understand how...

Esther Laufer
25 November 2016
How can you fathom a bottomless abyss? How can you capture ineffable beauty in words? How do you narrate the master of all stories? These are the challenges that  seasoned poet Konrad von Würzburg set himself when at the end of the 13th century he composed his account of the Trojan War from a multitude of sources. 
Konrad has long been recognized as an exceptionally self-conscious author who frequently reflects on the nature, status and function of poetry, and who at times appears more concerned with the sparkling surface of his discourse than with the events he narrates. Taking these observations as a starting point, this study presents the first comprehensive treatment of metapoetics in the Trojanerkrieg....
Katharina Volckmer
1 July 2016

Society and its Outsiders in the Novels of Jakob Wassermann takes a fresh look at Wassermann’s depiction of society and its mechanisms of exclusion, specifically those affecting the Jew, the woman, the child and the homosexual man. Wassermann’s extensive oeuvre has not, until now, been considered as an attempt to portray German society at different historical stages, from the Biedermeier to the end of the Weimar Republic. At the same time, this analysis shows how Wassermann’s interest in outsider figures is intertwined with an interest in narrative technique and discusses how his perception of the world affects his depiction of character.

Kim Richmond
19 February 2016
One of the few major enquiries into women’s narratives of political incarceration, this volume examines first-person accounts written against a backdrop of momentous historical events in twentieth-century Germany. Rosa Luxemburg’s prison letters are the starting point for the study, which explores the ways in which writing is used as a response to incarceration: how does the writer ‘perform’ femininity within the de-feminizing context of prison? How does she negotiate a self-representation as a ‘good’ woman? Central to this investigation is an awareness of the role of language as a means of empowerment within the disempowering environment of prison. As a key female political figure in twentieth-century Germany, Luxemburg wrote letters...
Seiriol Dafydd
17 April 2015

This book investigates a specific aspect of travel literature – the fictional travel novel – and one practitioner of that sub-genre – the contemporary German author Michael Roes (b. 1960). The analysis focuses on two main areas of research. The first concerns Roes’s representation of intercultural encounters: how does Roes conceive and present an encounter between representatives of different cultures? And what constitutes a successful encounter, if such a thing exists? The second area of interest in this study concerns Roes’s intertextual methodology. This study identifies those intertextual references that are of greatest significance and examines how and why Roes refers to other writers and their texts as he composes his...

Catherine Smale
18 September 2013

Ghosts have made an unexpected reappearance in post-unification German literature. Catherine Smale reads this as symptomatic of writers’ attempts to renegotiate their personal and collective identity following the loss of the former East German state. Focusing on the recent work of Christa Wolf and Irina Liebmann, Smale outlines the ways in which these writers adopt notions of haunting in their engagement with the double legacy of National Socialism and the GDR.
The ghost has long been regarded as a vehicle for making manifest taboo or unauthorized memories. However, Smale goes further, demonstrating how the human subject is destabilized by the return of the phantom and is itself rendered insecure and spectral. Drawing on...

Benedict Schofield
6 June 2012

Nineteenth-century Germany witnessed many debates on the nature of the nation, both before and after unification in 1871. Bourgeois authors engaged closely with questions of class and national identity, and resourcefully sought to influence the collective destiny of the German people through works of popular fiction and cultural history. Typical of this trend was the realist writer Gustav Freytag (1816-1895), the most widely read novelist of his era. Innovatively exploring all of Freytag’s works (poetry, drama, novels, history, journalism, biography and literary theory), Schofield examines how his popular writing systematically re-imagined the social structures of German society, embedding political agendas within contemporary...

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