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Monatshefte

Volume 99, Number 1, Spring 2007 Table of Contents

Articles

Susan Gustafson
Asymbolia and Self-Loss: Narratives of Depression by Young Women Writing in Germany
Abstract:
Contemporary writings by women in German revolve uncannily often around issues of isolation, failed relationships, corporeal fragmentatin, self-loss, and the failure of narration. What distinguishes these female writers’ stories is their persistent depiction of depressed characters (often narrators or authors) trapped in states of asymbolia and detached from language and narration. Using Kristeva’s Black Sun as a framing theoretical text, this article traces out the female depression expressed in fiction by Judith Hermann, Karen Duve, Tanja Dückers, Alexa Henning von Lange, Elke Naters, Zoë Jenny, Inka Parei, and Birgit Vanderbeke. Equally important is the fact that while Kristeva maintains the possibliity of overcoming depression through the semiotic features (gaps, rhythms, tones) of narration and literature, these contemporary women authors are much less optimistic. They depict an ongoing struggle on the part of female protagonists to disentangle and free themselves from oppressive narratives. (SG)

 

Kai Hammermeister
Romantic Globalization: Martin Kippenberger’s Metro-Net
Abstract
This article proposes a conceptual framework for an emerging aesthetics of globalization by analyzing a sculptural installation created by Martin Kippenberger (1953–1997). Metro-Net is a global sculpture the elements of which can be found in Germany, Greece, Japan, and the USA and which also includes segments without a fixed location. Consisting of nonfunctional subway entries, Metro-Net celebrates a global connectedness and simultaneously frustrates the visitor’s desire to be elsewhere. These mutually contradictory modes of reception evoke the notion of Romantic irony which declares a nonconceptual truth to emerge out of the infinite back and forth between equally tenable positions, thus becoming fruitful for a concept of aesthetic globalization. (KH)

 

Jeroen Dewulf
Hubert Fichte vorweggenommen. Die afrobrasilianischen Religionen bei den Exilautoren Richard Katz und Ulrich Becker
Abstract:
When a European comes in contact with an Afro-Brazilian religion such as Candomblé, s/he encounters a different world, a world for which in her/his language there is no word except a vague expression such as “magic.” No other German author has pointed out the challenge of catching in words the “magic” moment of trance as convincingly as Hubert Fichte. It would, however, be unfair to associate Afro-Brazilian religions in a German context exclusively with Fichte. As a matter of fact, two German authors in exile, Richard Katz and Ulrich Becher, who were quite successful during their lifetimes, but whose work has ever since been neglected in German Studies, had faced the same challenge long before Fichte and presented solutions that anticipated the two basic ideas of Fichte’s “ethno-poetics.” (JD; in German)

 

Marc Miller
The Judaization of Wilhelm Busch
Abstract:
At first glance, it may seem surprising to note the inclusion of Wilhelm Busch in the canon of modern Yiddish literature. Busch, the well-known nineteenth-century satirist of German life, was considered not only iconoclastic, but also anti-Semitic by many of his readers. Known for his negative portrayals of Jews—as well as numerous other groups—Busch was, in fact, a writer who attacked many cultural, religious, and national institutions and figures. Similarly, his Yiddish translator, Der Tunkeler (pseudonym of Yoysef Tunkel), was a satirist of Jewish life in his native Eastern Europe. In his efforts to produce satirical literature, Der Tunkeler not only translated the German author’s works into Yiddish, but rather “judaized” them, making them more accessible to his Eastern European Jewish reading audience, thereby reinventing Wilhelm Busch in the annals of Yiddish literature. (MM)

 

Sylvain Guarda
Hölderlins Kinderspiel Hyperion: Ideologiekritik oder Wahnvorstellung?
Abstract:
This study explores Hölderlin’s epistolary novel Hyperion in light of late eighteenth-century concepts of childhood utopia, of which J.J. Rousseau’s Emile provides a vivid illustration. After tying Hölderlin’s ontological concept of beauty to Rousseau’s reflections on nature and equality, the article proceeds to unveil Hyperion’s repeated regressions into the timelessness of his heroic childhood by analyzing the three mythical characters surrounding the main protagonist. Key to an understanding of Hyperion’s childhood phantasmagoria is his androgyny, an expression of the pre-reflective unity that was once the trademark of ancient Greece. The androgynous motif not only serves as a symbol for absolute love but also articulates an identity crisis that manifests itself through political action. The epilogue, with its ironic and playful resolution, is then understood as a bridge arching over the abyss of nihilism. (SG; in German)

 

Review Article

Lynn Wolff
“Das metaphysische Unterfutter der Realität.” Recent Publications and Trends in W.G. Sebald Research

Book Reviews

Adelson, Leslie A., The Turkish Turn in Contemporary German Literature: Toward a New Critical Grammar of Migration (B. Venkat Mani)

Albrecht, Andrea, Kosmopolitismus. Weltbürgerdiskurse in Literatur, Philosophie und Publizistik um 1800 (Bernd Fischer)

Dassanowsky, Robert von, Austrian Cinema: A History (Gerd Gemünden)

Eigler, Frederike, Gedächtnis und Geschichte in Generationenromanen seit der Wende (Stephen Brockmann)

Garber, Jörn und Heinz Thoma, Hrsg., Zwischen Empirisierung und Konstruktionsleistung. Anthropologie im 18. Jahrhundert (Carl Niekerk)

Henn, Marianne, Irmela von der Lühe und Anita Runge, Hrsg., Geschichte(n)—Erzählen. Konstruktionen von Vergangenheit in literarischen Werken deutschsprachiger Autorinnen seit dem 18. Jahrhundert (Waltraud Maierhofer)

Herrmann, Hans-Christian von, Das Archiv der Bühne. Eine Archäologie des Theaters und seiner Wissenschaft (Marianne Streisand)

Knobloch, Hans-Jörg und Helmut Koopmann, Hrsg., Das verschlafene 19. Jahrhundert? Zur deutschen Literatur zwischen Klassik und Moderne (Gail Finney)

Krug, Michaela, Auf der Suche nach dem eigenen Raum. Topographien des Weiblichen im Roman von Autorinnen um 1800 (Pia Schmid)

Lehnert, Herbert and Eva Wessel, eds., A Companion to the Works of Thomas Mann (Ellis Schookman)

Long, J.J. and Anne Whitehead, eds., W.G. Sebald—A Critical Companion (Lynn Wolff)

Maierhofer, Waltraud, Hexen—Huren—Heldenweiber. Bilder des Weiblichen in Erzähltexten über den Dreißigjährigen Krieg (Gerhild Scholz Williams)

Marven, Lyn, Body and Narrative in Contemporary Literatures in German: Herta Müller, Libuše Moníková, Kerstin Hensel (Helga G. Braunbeck)

McCulloh, Mark R., Understanding W.G. Sebald (Lynn Wolff)

Niehaus, Michael und Claudia Öhlschläger, Hrsg., W.G. Sebald. Politische Archäologie und melancholische Bastelei (Lynn Wolff)

Peterson, Brent O., History, Fiction, and Germany: Writing the Nineteenth-Century Nation (Jeffrey L. Sammons)

Stenzel, Jürgen und Roman Lach, Hrsg., Lessings Skandale (Beate Allert)

Tautz, Birgit, Colors 1800/1900/2000: Signs of Ethnic Difference (Nina Berman)

Vogel-Klein, Ruth, Hrsg., Mémoire. Transferts. Images/Erinnerung. Übertragungen. Bilder. W.G. Sebald (Lynn Wolff)

Ziolkowski, Theodore, Clio the Romantic Muse: Historicizing the Faculties in Germany (John H. Zammito)