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Monatshefte

Volume 103, Number 2, Summer 2011 Table of Contents

Special Issue: H.G. Adler — Dichter Gelehrter Zeuge

Jeremy Adler
Welcome / Grußwort

Klaus L. Berghahn, Rüdiger Görner
Vorwort

Franz Hocheneder
Zu H.G. Adlers Die Geschichte des Prager Jüdischen Museums

H.G. Adler
Die Geschichte des Prager Jüdischen Museums

Articles

Rüdiger Görner
Zwischen Freiheit und Fremdbestimmung. Überlegungen zu H. G. Adlers ontologischer Panoramatik
Abstract:
Since the early 19th century the panorama has attracted much attention in terms of the pictorial rendering of experiencing the world. This interest continues to be epitomized by Walter Benjamin’s reflections on this subject matter, mainly in the context of his studies on the Parisian passages. This article argues though that H.G. Adler’s use of the panorama in his major novel of the same title, and the way in which he put the panoramatic to use as a narrative structure, represents one of the major applications of this symbol in post- war fiction. It discusses the ontological relevance of this motif in Adler’s fiction and essayistic oeuvre against the backdrop of the Shoah. Furthermore, it argues that another of Adler’s key motifs, the wall, offers the possibility of panoramatic projections of all shades of suffering, anxiety, and ambivalence about the meaning of identity. (RG, in German)

 

Ruth Vogel-Klein
H. G. Adler: Zeugenschaft als Engagement
Abstract:
The concentration camp survivor H. G. Adler from Prague presented his testimony in different forms: in documentary and literary works as well as in essays, articles, lectures, and radio broadcasts. In the late forties, he chose—despite severe material difficulties—to dedicate his life to the memory of the victims of Nazi persecution and was among the first German-speaking authors to write about the Holocaust. Especially his first documentary book about Theresienstadt had an important impact on the development of Holocaust memory in the Federal Republic of Germany. His ambitious novels Eine Reise (1962), Panorama (1968) and Die unsichtbare Wand (1989) did not find a publisher for many years and, when published, did not attract the attention they deserved. Besides the representation of the camps and persecutions, one of the themes of these novels is the difficulty of the survivors to make themselves heard. Adler also engaged in the International Auschwitz Committee and contributed to the preparation of the Auschwitz Trials. One of his main concerns was to develop an ethics of remembering. (RV- K; in German)

 

Klaus L. Berghahn
“Ordentliche Regulierung des Außerordentlichen.” Beobachtungen zu H. G. Adlers Eine Reise
Abstract:
H(ans) G(ünter) Adler (1910–1988), the author of the monumental history of the Theresienstadt ghetto (1955/1960), also wrote several novels or fragments of novels, of which three were published during his life. The novel Eine Reise (1962/1999) is considered his best. Praised by authors like Elias Canetti, Heinrich Böll, and Heimito von Doderer as a modernist novel in the tradition of the Prague School, it has so far received only scant attention by literary critics (with the exception of Jeremy Adler and Ruth Vogel-Klein). This article concentrates on the narrative structure and technique of the novel, and it follows Adler’s intention to represent the tragic journey of one family from Prague to Theresienstadt and Auschwitz as a universal parable of Jewish suffering during the Nazi period. This almost timeless and universal representation of the Holocaust and anti-Semitism, in which Adler intentionally avoids speaking of Jews and Germans, victims and murderers, is critically evaluated at the end of the article. (KLB; in German)

 

Katrin Kohl
H.G. Adlers Poetik der dichterischen Stimme
Abstract:
This article focuses on the role of voice in H.G. Adler’s poetics. An early theoretical essay indicates a concern with rhetorical concepts of oral delivery at a time when Adler was writing poetry as part of an active community of German speakers in Prague. Internment at Theresienstadt, for all its horror, still offered rich opportunities for reading poetry in a communal context. During the decades of exile in London, there is no longer a cohesive audience and the importance of rhetorical impact recedes in Adler’s poetics. However, voice continues to be central to his poetry as he explores it in metaphorical terms and develops a powerful poetic medium that will bear witness beyond the limitations of time and place. (KK; in German)

 

Peter Filkins
Stimme und Stimmung: Translating H.G. Adler
The translation of H.G. Adler’s novel Eine Reise makes particular demands upon the translator that require one to consider how to render what is not being said as much as, if not more than, what is spoken in the text itself. Given Adler’s urge to “bear witness to the existence of the lost ones” in the tale of his own journey to Theresienstadt, and eventually Auschwitz, the translator faces the dilemma of how to render the interior world of nameless characters whose interior lives are neither validated nor recognized by their oppressors. Hence, one is forced to both render each separate voice (Stimme) that narrates the text, as well as the state of mind or mien (Stimmung) that sets those voices to speaking. The result is a “reading” of the original that performs the effect of Adler’s writing as much as translates the words themselves. (PF)

 

Lynn L. Wolff
H.G. Adler and W.G. Sebald: From History and Literature to Literature as Historiography
Abstract:
This article places an emphasis on Adler as both an historian and a poet. Highlighting Adler’s engagement with both the past and the possible ways of (re) presenting the past, this article also considers the range of Adler’s scholarly and artistic texts and how they push the boundaries of form and method to document and bear witness not only to the atrocities of National Socialism but also to the vicissitudes of humanity, thereby assisting as well as challenging our understanding and imagination. The article then draws out the connections between H.G. Adler and W.G. Sebald, including Sebald’s commemoration of Adler’s scholarly work within the fictional prose text Austerlitz (2001). Writing in a tradition forged by Adler and motivated by similar concerns, Sebald’s oeuvre fuses historiography and literature, providing new ways to reconsider the contentious relationship between the two discourses. Reading Sebald’s fictional prose as a new form of literature- as- historiography, or “literary historiography” as I term it, reveals his poetics of engagement that involves the reader in an ethical negotiation of the past, Germany’s past and the Holocaust in particular, through aesthetic questions of literary discourse and epistemological questions of the representation of history. (LLW)

 

Marcel Atze
„Los schnell“. Peter Weiss liest H. G. Adler
Abstract:
This essay documents the importance of the book Auschwitz — Zeugnisse und Berichte (Auschwitz—Documents and Reports), published in 1962, planned and edited by H.G. Adler, Hermann Langbein, and Ella Lingens- Reiner. On the one hand, the article points out how significant this irreplaceable volume with its numerous texts by Holocaust survivors was for the attorneys who prepared the first Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt, Germany (December 20, 1963–August 20. 1965). On the other hand, and based on Peter Weiss’s personal copy, now in possession of the Berlin Academy of the Arts, this article analyzes the hitherto barely realized role of this document for the genesis of Weiss’ oratorio Die Ermittlung (The Investigation). (MA; in German)

 

Book Reviews

Baumgartner, Karin, Public Voices: Political Discourse in the Writings of Caroline de la Motte Fouqué (Helen G. Morris- Keitel)

Brednich, Rolf Wilhelm, Hrsg., Erzählkultur. Beiträge zur kulturwissenschaftlichen Erzählforschung (Josef Schmidt)

Breuer, Ingo, Hrsg., Kleist-Handbuch. Leben—Werk—Wirkung (Nancy Nobile)

Cambi, Fabrizio, Hrsg., Gedächtnis und Identität. Die deutsche Literatur nach der Vereinigung (Stephen Brockmann)

Düsterberg, Rolf, Hrsg., Dichter für das “Dritte Reich”. Biografische Studien zum Verhältnis von Literatur und Ideologie. 10 Autorenporträts (Marcel Rotter)

Forster, Michael N., Kant and Skepticism (Peter Gilgen)

Gilfillan, Daniel, Pieces of Sound: German Experimental Radio (Hans-Christian von Herrmann)

Guyer, Paul, Knowledge, Reason, and Taste: Kant’s Response to Hume (Peter Gilgen)

Heady, Katy, Literature and Censorship in Restoration Germany: Repression and Rhetoric (Katherine Arens)

Kocziszky, Eva, Hölderlins Orient (Shafiq Shamel)

Kremer, Detlef, Hrsg., E.T.A. Hoffmann. Leben—Werk—Wirkung (Dominik Müller)

Laak, Lothar van, Medien und Medialität des Epischen in Literatur und Film des 20. Jahrhunderts. Bertolt Brecht—Uwe Johnson—Lars von Trier (Erdmut Wizisla)

Lack, Elisabeth, Kafkas bewegte Körper. Die Tagebücher und Briefe als Laboratorien von Bewegung (Lara Pehar)

Lieb, Claudia, Crash. Der Unfall der Moderne (Erhard Schütz)

Mulligan, Kevin und Armin Westerhoff, Hrsg., Robert Musil—Ironie, Satire, falsche Gefühle (Jennifer Jenkins)

Optiz, Wilfried, “Literatur ist demokratisch.” Kontinuität und Wandel im politischen Denken Thomas Manns (Hans Rudolf Vaget)

Peitsch, Helmut, Nachkriegsliteratur 1945–1989 (Katharina Gerstenberger)

Reck, Alexander, Friedrich Theodor Vischer—Parodien auf Goethes Faust (Walter Pape)

Reichmann, Wolfgang, Der Chronist Alexander Kluge. Poetik und Erzählstrategien (Claire Doughty)

Riedel, Volker, Literarische Antikerezeption zwischen Kritik und Idealisierung (Jeffrey Morrison)

Sprengel, Peter, Der Dichter stand auf hoher Küste. Gerhart Hauptmann im Dritten Reich (Gesa von Essen)

Stöckmann, Ingo, Der Wille zum Willen. Der Naturalismus und die Gründung der literarischen Moderne 1880–1900 (Gregor Streim)

Teichert, Matthias, Von der Heldensage zum Heroenmythos. Vergleichende Studien zur Mythisierung der nordischen Nibelungensage im 13. und 19./20. Jahrhundert (Bernhard R. Martin)

Volmar, Axel, Hrsg., Zeitkritische Medien (Peter Krapp)

Weitin, Thomas, Zeugenschaft. Das Recht der Literatur (Ralph Grunewald)

Books Received