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Monatshefte

Volume 94, Number 4, Winter 2002 Table of Contents

From the Editor

Texts and Documents

Thomas Brussig
American Wilderness

Thomas Brussig was born in 1965 in East Berlin, at that time the capital of the German Democratic Republic, this is also where he grew up and still lives today. After graduating from high school (Abitur), Brussig was trained as a construction worker, then served subsequently in the military, and had various jobs. From 1990 on, he studied sociology and theater. From about 1995 on, he became an independent author of mainly prose and drama. In 1991, he published his first novel—Wasserfarben (Water Colors)—under the pseudonym Cordt Berneberger. However, he first became famous with his 1995 novel Helden wie wir (Heroes Like Us; English translation 1996), a satirical and grotesque novel about “Everything you always wanted to know about the fall of the wall, but never dared to ask” (Le Monde). In 1999, Brussig published Am kürzeren Ende der Sonnenallee (The Shorter End of Sonnenallee), and in 2001, Leben bis Männer (Life through Masters), the satirical monologue of a soccer coach who grew up in the GDR and coached his teams through socialist as well as post-wall times.The movie versions of Sonnenallee and Helden wie wir were also very successful, and the stage adaptation of Helden wie wir, has also been highly praised, having been performed on more than 30 stages in Germany. Brussig’s works have been translated into many languages, such as French, Greek, Dutch, Korean, and various others. Thomas Brussig is one of the first German authors from the “neuen Bundesländer” to receive acclaime for his work both in East and West Germany. It is his mastery of language and unbeatable satirical humor that have made him famous. (HA) (In German)

 

Articles

Michael Lackey
Poetry as Overt Critique of Theology: A Reading of Paul Celan’s “Es war Erde in ihnen”
Abstract:
Contra the standard interpretations of Paul Celan’s poetry, which argue that the poems provide a theological explanation for the horrors of the Shoah, I argue that the poems expose how theology is the cause of the Shoah. Put more boldly, for Celan, belief in a God, one who loves His people, is responsible for the Shoah. Conversely, without a belief in God, the Shoah would never have occurred. To argue my case, I analyze “Es war Erde in ihnen,” though I reference other poems in order to clarify my position. My approach is distinctive because I focus on the theology of Hitler’s Mein Kampf. In the first part of the essay, I examine the genocidal theology of the Bible. In the second, I illustrate how Hitler appropriated Christian genocidal theology. In the final section, I do a close reading of “Es war Erde in ihnen” in light of Hitler’s theology. (ML)

 

David John
The First Black Gretchen: Fritz Bennewitz’s Faust I in New York
Abstract:
In May 1978, prominent GDR director Fritz Bennewitz brought Goethe’s Faust I to an American audience on the stage of the renowned La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club on New York’s lower east side. The multi-racial production included the first black Gretchen recorded in theater history, itself an international landmark. Far from being merely a racial token, in preparing for and performing her role, Christine Campbell as Gretchen underwent a remarkable transformation of consciousness which I describe using Richard Schechner’s performance theory. The associations she invoked were innovative and moving, culminating in songs by Billie Holiday. Campbell’s performance had resonance for American race relations and the history of the black movement, and this production is just one piece of evidence for reassessing Bennewitz’s role in modern German theater and placing him among its leaders in intercultural performance. (DGJ)

 

Review Article

Rolf J. Goebel
Unveränderlichkeit der Schrift und Gleichzeitigkeit der Methoden-Ungleichzeitgkeiten: Neue Beiträge zur Kafka-Forschung

 

Personalia

Introduction, German Departments in the U.S.A., German Departments in Canada, Promotions, New Appointments, Visitors, Retirements, Necrology, Doctoral Dissertations, Summary

 

Book Reviews

Albrecht, Michael and Eva J. Engel, Hrsg., Moses Mendelssohn im Spannungsfeld der Aufklärung (David Dowdey)

Beniston, Judith, Welttheater: Hofmannsthal, Richard von Kralik, and the Revival of Catholic Drama in Austria, 1890–1934 (Margarete Lamb-Faffelberger)

Brockmann, Stephen, Literature and German Reunification (Michelle Mattson)

Chase, Jefferson S., Inciting Laughter: The Development of “Jewish Humor” in 19th Century German Culture (Egon Schwarz)

Dürbeck, Gabriele, Einbildungskraft und Aufklärung: Perspektiven der Philosophie, Anthropologie und ästhetik um 1750 (Michael Morton)

Fox, Thomas C., Stated Memory: East Germany and the Holocaust (Wallace Lagerwey)

Freeman, Thomas P., The Case of Hans Henny Jahnn: Criticism and the Literary Outsider (Inge Stephan)

Fuchs, Anne, A Space of Anxiety. Dislocation and Abjection in Modern German-Jewish Literature (Jonathan Skolnik)

Harbers, Henk, Hrsg. Postmoderne Literatur in deutscher Sprache: Eine Ästhetik des Widerstands? (Sunka Simon)

Jackman, Graham, ed., Christoph Hein in Perspective (Rachel J. Halverson)

Jackson, David A., Theodor Storm. Dichter und demokratischer Humanist. Eine Biographie (Frederick Betz)

Jackson, David A. and Mark G. Ward, eds., Theodor Storm—Narrative Strategies and Patriarchy / Theodor Storm—Erzählstrategien und Patriarchat (Frederick Betz)

Japp, Uwe, Die Komödie der Romantik. Typologie und Überblick (Brigitte E. Jirku)

Jonsson, Stefan, Subject without Nation: Robert Musil and the History of Modern Identity (Felix W. Tweraser)

Koepnick, Lutz, Walter Benjamin and the Aesthetics of Power (Klaus Mladek)

Konejung, Silke, Produktive Differenz: Leserinnen treten aus dem weiblichen Spiegelbild (Heidi M. Schlipphacke)

Kreuzer, Helmut und Karl Wilhelm Schmidt, Hrsg., Dramaturgie in der DDR (1945–1990) (Joachim Fiebach)

Maiwald, Klaus und Peter Rosner, Hrsg., Lust am Lesen (Susanne Strätling)

McGlathery, James M., Wagner’s Operas and Desire (James L. Zychowicz)

Menke, Timm, Die Goethe-Rezeption Arno Schmidts (Volker Langbehn)

Porter, James I., Nietzsche and the Philology of the Future (Hans-Peter Söder)

Roche, Mark William, Tragedy and Comedy: A Systematic Study and a Critique of Hegel (Max Statkiewicz)

Schiewe, Andrea and Jürgen Schiewe, Witzkultur in der DDR: Ein Beitrag zur Sprachkritik (Richard J. Rundell)

Schürer, Ernst und Sonja Hedgepeth, Hrsg., Else Lasker-Schüler. Ansichten und Perspektiven (Bernhardt Blumenthal)

Shandley, Robert T., Rubble Films: German Cinema in the Shadow of the Third Reich (Yogini Joglekar)

Simon, Ralf, Hrsg., Theorie der Komödie—Poetik der Komödie (Brigitte E. Jirku)

Smith, Peter D., Metaphor and Materiality: German Literature and the World-View of Science 1780–1955 (Heather I. Sullivan)

Stoehr, Ingo R., German Literature of the Twentieth Century: From Aestheticism to Postmodernism (Keith Bullivant)

Strehl, Wiebke, Theodor Storm’s Immensee. A Critical Overview (Frederick Betz)

Ward, Janet, Weimar Surfaces: Urban Visual Culture in 1920s Germany (Theodore F Rippey)

Index Volume 94 (2002)