Women Writers and National Identity: Bachmann, Duden, Özdamar (Cambridge Studies in German)

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  1. Women Writers and National Identity: Bachmann, Duden, Özdamar (Cambridge Studies in German)
  2. Project MUSE - Books Received
  3. Gender Studies
  4. Women Writers and National Identity: Bachmann, Duden, Ozdamar

Ironically, all the protagonist achieves during her trip is to unwillingly endanger the lives of children and to tell farmers what they already knew The Bridge: They create divisions that can apparently be only overcome by building bridges. In other words, it assumes that bridges need to be built. This approach to the designated Other is implicitly Levinasian.

Em- manuel Levinas emphasizes that there is an irreducible otherness that re- sists being understood, grasped and comprehended and thus assimilated as part of the same. On the surface of things, both acting and being part of an ideological group seem to consist of memorizing, repeating, putting on costumes and props, but also chang- ing them again. However, as outlined above, the members of the student movements actually identified with their ideology, took it so seriously that their costumes became uniforms.

This defamiliarization is essential in order to provoke critical thought and thus to effect a learning process that can translate into action. The latter are unable to maintain a critical distance between themselves and their character and thus put on uniforms, change their language and cease questioning their ideo- logy and idiolect.

Due to the critical distance between actor and character, complete identification is prevented and one is forced to ask if things ought to be otherwise. Their faces and bodies and mouths absorbed the faces and bodies and dialects of the others, became accustomed to them. The Bridge: 28 Even though the women do not speak the same idiolects, their meaningless imitation effectively allows them to co-exist among and next to each other.

Not taking them- selves and their differences too seriously, the members of the Arbeiter- verein do not assume some shared identity in the way in which the socialist students do. This notion of distanced performance allows one better to understand two key scenes in the novel: firstly, the point at which the protagonist decides to have an abortion and secondly, the chapter detailing her intense love affair in Paris. Surprisingly little attention has been paid to the fact that both instances involve a curious doubling of the protagonist and consti- tute the only moments in the novel that employ third-person narration.

The actress came out of my body, she pushed a man and a child in front of her and threw them from the ship into the Sea of Marmara. Significantly, it is the actress within the protagonist who makes the important decision not to marry and to terminate her pregnancy. In order to pursue her dream of the theatre, her potential future self that is, the actress rejects her alternative self as wife and mother.

Realizing that she is free to choose the role she wants to adopt and thus carries full responsibility for her actions, she liberates herself from the unwanted pregnancy in the space opening up on the Sea where nothing is fixed and determined and thus everything is changeable. Throughout their time together, the pro- tagonist is doubled, othered within her self, and able to look at herself and her actions critically.

Whether it is in the restaurant, during their trip to Ver- sailles, or while sleeping with each other, the protagonist is two people: one watching the actions of the other, describing them from a distance. Con- sidering that the protagonist and Jordi are scarcely able to communicate since their only common language is broken English, it becomes apparent that this doubling prevents both the characters and the reader from identi- fying any utopian communion or communication in love.

Women Writers and National Identity: Bachmann, Duden, Özdamar (Cambridge Studies in German)

Rather, the distance that allows the protagonist freely to choose her future as an actress now aids her in experiencing an interpersonal relationship that forgoes consumption and possession. Thus, she opens a space in which to meet the other language and to become acquainted with it, rather than being overwhelmed and threatened by its alterity.

It is untilled. It is not dominated. There, one cannot learn any languages, one can heal no wounds, solve no riddles. There, one meets from all points of the compass. Adelson, Leslie, A. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. She convincingly argues that the notion of an in-be- tween presupposes cultures as ahistorical, homogenous, and stable entities, and implies that migrants are suspended between these. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. NY: Hill and Wang. Rochester: Camden House.

Cheesman, Tom and Karin E. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.


Project MUSE - Books Received

Alison Martin. New York: Routledge. Levinas, Emmanuel Basic Philosophical Writings. Adriaan T. Peperzak, Simon Critchley, and Robert Berlasconi eds.

Gender Studies

Martin Chalmers. Leslie A. This book looks at eighteenth-century German writers, particularly Goethe, through a queer theory lens, and assesses the impact that they had on later literature and theories of sexuality. Covers a wide range of different authors, including Thomas Mann, so could be of use for multiple finals papers.

Ingeborg Bachmann, Malina Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, Set in late twentieth century Vienna, this novel explores the existential condition of the female narrator, who reflects on her situation as a woman and as a writer in her contemporary society in an emotional, subjective narrative style. The plot revolves around her relationship to two men: her partner Ivan, and his thoughtful housemate Malina.

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The story deconstructs her psychological and emotional state, and Bachmann herself saw it as an unconventional autobiography. In Haderlap was awarded the Ingeborg-Bachmann prize for this work.

Q&A with Dr Awino Okech, convenor of the MA in Gender Studies at SOAS University of London

Judith Hermann, Alice Frankfurt: Fischer, This set of five linked short stories explores a series of bereavements experienced by the titular Alice, slowly uncovering her psychology while examining her relationships with various men throughout her life. Mora is a contemporary Hungarian-German author. Seltsame Materie is a collection of ten short stories about people living in Hungary, close to the Austrian border, in the s.

The stories bring issues of national identity and belonging to the fore while dealing with the everyday problems, feelings and lives of these people: children, farmers, drunks or murderers. This novel recounts the fictional experience of seventeen-year-old Leopold Auberg in a labour camp in the Soviet Ukraine, bringing to public attention the historical persecution of German-Romanians under Stalin.

The debut novel of Nedov, who was born in the Soviet Union in and has grown up in various cities of central and Eastern Europe. This novel describes the life of a young Turkish girl whose family is driven by poverty to move from Malatya to Istanbul, Bursa and Ankara.

It is a dynamic book with a simple plot that has given German readers insight into the lives of people growing up in Turkey; a country Germany is deeply connected with due to its dense immigrant population. Charlotte Roche, Feuchtgebiete Cologne: Dumont, A very popular and controversial work of contemporary German fiction; this novel deals with eighteen-year-old Helen Memel, who is very open about her body and her sexuality. Hence the content of this book is extremely graphic: she discusses her masturbation practices, as well as her relationship to menstrual blood and other bodily fluids.

Through this work the author deals with both taboo topics such as female masturbation and unconventional sexual practices, and social issues surrounding the family.

Women Writers and National Identity: Bachmann, Duden, Ozdamar

This complex novel, by a leading contemporary German-Turkish intellectual, uses a protagonist of Turkish and German-Jewish origins to explore questions of identity. An unconventional, funny and poignant autobiography told through a series of anecdotes recording Jewish life during the interwar period.

Ilja Trojanow, Der Weltensammler Munich: dtv, This novel is based on the biography of Richard Francis Burton and focuses his travels as an official for the East India Company, as one of the first Europeans to venture on the pilgrimage to Mecca, and on a journey to central Africa to find the source of the Nile. It focuses on the notion of transcultural identity, and in was awarded the Leipziger Buchmesse prize and was a finalist for the Deutscher Buchpreis. You are commenting using your WordPress.