Womens Writing and Historiography in the GDR

Hardcover | October 1, 2002

byHelen Bridge

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This study adopts an interdisciplinary approach to explore how literature by GDR women became a forum for critical approaches to history which challenged the official state discourse. An introductory chapter offers broad theoretical reflections on the modes of literature and historiography,and considers the significance of feminism as a tabooed critical discourse in the GDR. The question of why GDR literature and histororiography developed so differently in the 1970s and 1980s is then pursued through a series of comparative readings of texts by both prominent writers, such as ChristaWolf, Irmtraud Morgner, and Helga Konigsdorf, and less established authors, such as Helga Schutz, Sigrid Damm, Renate Feyl, and Brigitte Struzyk.This is not only the first study to offer a detailed comparison of historical and literary discourses in the GDR, but also the first to illuminate relations between three topics popular in East German women's writing: the National Socialist past; the lives of historical women; and the use ofmythical themes and forms to voice critiques of history.

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This study adopts an interdisciplinary approach to explore how literature by GDR women became a forum for critical approaches to history which challenged the official state discourse. An introductory chapter offers broad theoretical reflections on the modes of literature and historiography,and considers the significance of feminism as ...

Helen Bridge received her D.Phil. from the University of Oxford in 1999. She is currently a lecturer in German at the University of Exeter.

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Kobo ebook|Aug 27 2008

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:290 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.8 inPublished:October 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019925592X

ISBN - 13:9780199255924

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Table of Contents

IntroductionIntroductionI. 'Das Vergangene ist nicht tot': new approaches to National Socialism in literature of the 1970s1. Historical and literary treatments of National Socialism prior to the 1970s2. Shifting perspectives on the National Socialist past in 1970s literature and historiography3. 'Der gewohnliche Faschismus': Helga Schutz's Jette / Julia novels4. 'Wie sind wir so geworden, wie wir heute sind?': Christa Wolf's Kindheitsmuster and its reception in the GDR5. Developments in historians' and writers' approaches to National Socialism after KindheitsmusterII. 'ihre Geschichte ware noch zu schreiben': biographical fictions about women6. Women's lives as a challenge to Orthodox historical narratives7. Academic work on women's history in the GDR and feminist debates in the West8. Writing a woman's life: Christa Wolf; Sigrid Dumm and Renate Feyl; Brigitte StruzykIII. 'Die Welt der unendlichen Moglichkeiten neben dieser einen Realitat': fantastic approaches to history in literature of the 1970s and 1980s9. Literary treatments of myth in the GDR10. Fantastic approaches to history: Morgner's Trobadora Beatriz and Konigsdorf's Respektloser Umgang11. Myth as history and history as myth: Wolf's Kassandra and Morgner's AmandaConclusionBibliographyIndex