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German Literature in a New Century: Trends, Traditions, Transitions, Transformations

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German Literature in a New Century

Trends, Traditions, Transitions, Transformations

Edited by Katharina Gerstenberger and Patricia Herminghouse

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272 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-547-7 25% OFF! $120.00/£85.00 $90.00/£63.75 Hb Published (October 2008)

ISBN  978-0-85745-168-2 25% OFF! $34.95/£24.00 $26.21/£18.00 Pb Published (September 2011)

eISBN 978-1-84545-866-9 eBook

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This book contains many thoughtful essays on contemporary German literary culture, with an interesting mixture of chapters focusing on analyses of individual authors as well as the consumption and marketing of literature…Read as a whole, the book provides a refreshing variety of perspectives on ;key questions of contemporary cultural and literary trends in Germany.”  ·  Modern Language Review

The great majority of these essays are well-written and well-researched…they provide an abundance of pertinent information, including an extensive index, which makes this book altogether a very valuable resource for further investigations.  ·  German Studies Review

“This outstanding collection of insightful and thought-provoking articles marks a significant advancement of scholarship on contemporary literature. While contributions (remarkable for their consistently high quality) are valuable on their, all benefit from being read in conjunction with the others.”  ·  German Studies Review

“Taken as a whole, this is an important contribution to scholarship on contemporary German-language literature. Its emphasis on younger authors, on literary marketing, and on female and Turkish-German authors confirms that literature continues to provide an important forum for discussions of German identity, but that in the new century the contours of that identity are rapidly changing.”  ·  Monatshefte


While the first decade after the fall of the Berlin wall was marked by the challenges of unification and the often difficult process of reconciling East and West German experiences, many Germans expected that the “new century” would achieve “normalization.” The essays in this volume take a closer look at Germany’s new normalcy and argue for a more nuanced picture that considers the ruptures as well as the continuities. Germany’s new generation of writers is more diverse than ever before, and their texts often not only speak of a Germany that is multicultural but also take a more playful attitude toward notions of identity. Written with an eye toward similar and dissimilar developments and traditions on both sides of the Atlantic, this volume balances overviews of significant trends in present-day cultural life with illustrative analyses of individual writers and texts.

Katharina Gerstenberger is Professor of German and Head of German Studies at the University of Cincinnati. She earned her PhD from Cornell University in 1993. She is the author of Truth to Tell: German Women’s Autobiographies and Turn-of-the-Century Culture (2000). She also publishes on contemporary literature and identity.

Patricia Herminghouse is the Karl F. and Bertha A. Fuchs Professor emerita of German Studies at the University of Rochester. She has written widely on nineteenth- and twentieth-century German literature, the social contexts of women’s writing, German identity, and German émigrés in nineteenth-century America.

Subject: Postwar History General Cultural Studies
Area: Germany



Introduction: German Literature in a New Century: Trends, Traditions, Transitions, Transformations
Katharina Gerstenberger and Patricia Herminghouse

Patricia Herminghouse

Chapter 1. The Literary Public Sphere: A Case for German Particularity?
Sean McIntyre

Chapter 2. Intellectuals in the Public Sphere: An Interview
Josef Joffe

Chapter 3. Literatur findet... nicht nur auf Papier statt”: The Eventization of Literature in Hamburg
Donovan Anderson

Chapter 4. The Deutsches Literaturinstitut Leipzig and the Making of an Author: Tobias Hülswitt Hits the Road for Literature and Ends Up a Writer
Rachel J. Halverson

Laurel Cohen-Pfister

Chapter 5. Degrees of History in Contemporary German Narratives
Patricia Anne Simpson

Chapter 6. Luftkrieg Revisited: Contemporary Responses to the Allied Bombings of German Cities
Sydney Norton

Chapter 7. An Aesthetics of Memory for Third-Generation Germans: Tanja Dückers’s Himmelskörper
Laurel Cohen-Pfister

Chapter 8. The Continuation of Countermemory: Emine Sevgi Özdamar’s Seltsame Sterne starren zur Erde
John Pizer

Katharina Gerstenberger

Chapter 9. A Path of Poetic Potentials: Coordinates of German Lyric Identity in the Poetry of Zafer Şenocak
Erika M. Nelson

Chapter 10. Performing GDR in Poetry?: The Literary Significance of “East German” Poetry in Unified Germany
Birgit Dahlke

Chapter 11. Feridun Zaimoglu’s Performance of Gender and Authorship
Gary Schmidt

Patricia Herminghouse

Chapter 12. From Frauenliteratur to Frauenliteraturbetrieb: Marketing Literature to German Women in the Twenty-first Century
Julia Karolle-Berg and Katya Skow

Chapter 13. Social Alienation and Gendered Surveillance in Julia Franck’s Works
Beret Norman

Chapter 14. Small Stories: The Novels of Martina Hefter
Katharina Gerstenberger

Chapter 15. The Young Author as Public Intellectual: The Case of Juli Zeh
Patricia Herminghouse

Notes on Contributors

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