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Volume 113, Number 4, Winter 2021
Table of Contents


Beret Norman

Tectonic Shifts in Antje Rávik Strubel’s Kältere Schichten der Luft, Sturz der Tage in die Nacht, and In den Wäldern des menschlichen Herzens: Mapping Change

Following Antje Rávik Strubel’s declaration that her last three novels form a trilogy, this article traces Strubel’s use of geography and water in the three disparate novels and delineates connections that mark changes in our social landscape. The structural and narrative analysis of “tectonic shifts” uses queer and ecocritical perspectives—such as Jack Halberstam’s emphasis on “detouring and getting lost” as a queer strategy of inclusivity and transformation—to open up these elemental themes and metaphors of geology, atmosphere, and water. Strubel’s use of a frame story in the third installment activates readers to notice the shifting plates of our social understanding. And thus the trilogy marks new map coordinates that extend beyond monogamy and heteronormativity. (BN)


André Fischer

Es geht um den Antirealismus: Zu Alexander Kluges realistischer Methode und ihrer Poetik des Widerstands

As a contribution to recent debates about the concept of realism, this essay reconstructs Alexander Kluge’s understanding of realism as theory and analyzes it as poetic practice. Although Kluge’s concept of anti-realism is mainly understood in the theoretical context of Lukács, Brecht, and Adorno, this essay demonstrates how Kluge’s concept marks an independent position that eludes expectations of social mimesis as well as constructivist demands. Instead, Kluge’s realism is based on a poetically constituted idea of experience that develops the categories of a possible social theory in a heightened and differentiated mode of self-reflection. Rather than realism as a reflection of already acknowledged social contradictions, Kluge’s model of realism connects theoretical conceptualization and its poetic self-reflection as a form of resistance against claims to reality. Thus, Kluge’s texts become self-reflecting models of reality that produce a counter-image of what they describe. (AF, in German)


Didem Uca

“[A]ber Zitronen haben nicht geblüht”: Heimat, Agency, and the Adaptation of the Mignon Figure in Irmgard Keun’s Kind aller Länder

This essay argues that the protagonist of Irmgard Keun’s exile novel Kind aller Länder (1938) is an adaptation of Mignon from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre (1795/96). Through the development of a narratological approach that distinguishes between diegetic and narrative forms of agency, the essay analyzes intertextual connections between the novels that reveal important insights into how intersecting aspects of the characters’ identities, including gender identity, age, linguistic ability, and migration status, limit and control their access to their Heimat and self-narration. (DU)


Susanne Fuchs

Sorge and Faust: Toward a Literary Criticism of Denial

The following article rereads Goethe’s Faust as it seriously considers the text’s interplay with and the implications of the parentheses formed by Faust’s encounters with Sorge: Faust mentions Sorge during his suicide contemplations in the first scene of the play, and he denies his acquaintance with the phenomenon at the very end of his stage life. This denial, the article maintains, is facilitated by the distractions and contortions that Mephistopheles’ grand monde and its representational politics devise. The indeterminacy and flamboyance of signs marking the play’s contestation of capitalist logics reappear amplified in Karl Marx’s work and Marxist theories of the 20th century. In the surveyed texts, commodity production’s tampering with processes of signification arises as one of the root causes for modern societies’ proclivity for willful ignorance. Conceiving a literary criticism of denial, the article highlights the Faust-tragedy’s dramatic strategies for the depiction of the elusive phenomenon. (SF)


Christian Jany

„Die Verehrung des klassischen Alterthums […] ist ein grossartiges Beispiel der Don Quixoterie“. Zum Verhältnis von Kanon und Kritik in der Philologie

This article grapples with the relation between canon and critique in philology. Following introductory remarks about their currently somewhat strained relationship in higher education and the humanities at large, I conceptualize their connection in dialogue with Friedrich Nietzsche. In a nutshell, Nietzsche contends that the canon of “classical” antiquity ought to provide both the aesthetic means of and the ethical measure for an uncompromising critique of the present. The quote in the title, which marks a key moment in my reconstructions, is also his. In the two final sections, I consider the relevance of Nietzsche’s concept of canon for philology today, an inquiry into Nietzsche’s (un)timeliness that, following his critical example, does not shy away from controversy either. (CJ, in German)





Maureen O. Gallagher

Curb Your Indianthusiasm: Recent Works at the Intersections of German Studies and Indigenous Studies

(A. Dana Weber, Blood Brothers and Peace Pipes: Performing the Wild West in German Festivals, 2019—Hartmut Lutz, Florentine Strzelcyzk, and Renae Watchman, eds., Indianthusiasm: Indigenous Responses, 2020.)



Bartsch, Annika, Romantik um 2000. Zur Reaktualisierung eines Modells in deutschsprachigen Romanen der Gegenwart (Melissa Sheedy)

Conacher, Jean E., Transformation and Education in the Literature of the GDR (Katrin Bahr)

Cooper, Ian and John Walker, eds., Literature and Religion in the German-Speaking World: From 1200 to the Present Day (Jadwiga Kita-Huber)

Dodd, William John, National Socialism and German Discourse: Unquiet Voices (Marcel P. Rotter)

Eberhardt, Otto, Eichendorffs Dichtersprache. Wörter, Wendungen, Motive. Ein Lexikon (Marcus Bullock)

Echternkamp, Jörg and Stephan Jaeger, eds., Views of Violence: Representing the Second World War in German and European Museums and Memorials (Christoph D. Weber)

Fuchs, Anne, Precarious Times: Temporality and History in Modern German Culture (Heike Polster)

Gestermann, Jon, Vergegenwärtigung der Vergangenheit. Geschichtsbilder in W.G. Sebalds Prosa (Alan Itkin)

Görner, Rüdiger, Franz Kafkas akustische Welten (Rolf J. Goebel)

Höcker, Arne, The Case of Literature: Forensic Narratives from Goethe to Kafka (John B. Lyon)

Höhne, Steffen und Manfred Weinberg, Hrsg., Franz Kafka im interkulturellen Kontext (Iris Bruce)

Jaeger, Stephan, The Second World War in the Twenty-First-Century Museum: From Narrative, Memory, and Experience to Experientiality (Dora Osborne)

Lewis, Charles, The Law of Poetry: Studies in Hölderlin’s Poetics (Kristina Mendicino)

Liebrand, Claudia und Thomas Wortmann, Hrsg., Zur Wiedervorlage. Eichendorffs Texte und ihre Poetologien (Marcus Bullock)

Manova, Dariya, „Sterbende Kohle“ und „flüssiges Gold“. Rohstoffnarrative der Zwischenkriegszeit (Erhard Schütz)

Mayer, Paola, The Aesthetics of Fear in German Romanticism (Christopher R. Clason)

Müller, Ingo, Maskenspiel und Seelensprache. Zur Ästhetik von Heinrich Heines Buch der Lieder und Robert Schumanns Heine-Vertonungen. 2 Bände (Rolf J. Goebel)

Okiji, Fumi, Jazz as Critique: Adorno and Black Expression Revisited (Mark Christian Thompson)

Osborne, Dora, What Remains: The Post-Holocaust Archive in German Memory Culture (Stephan Jaeger)

Samper Vendrell, Javier, The Seduction of Youth: Print Culture and Homosexual Rights in the Weimar Republic (Robert Deam Tobin)

Sütterlin, Nicole A., Poetik der Wunde. Zur Entdeckung des Traumas in der Literatur der Romantik (Mattias Pirholt)

Whitehead, Paul, Im Abseits. W.G. Sebalds Ästhetik des Marginalen (Scott Denham)

Winkel Holm, Isak, Kafka’s Stereoscopes: The Political Function of a Literary Style (Marjorie E. Rhine)


INDEX VOLUME 113 (2021)