Marven, Lyn

Body and Narrative in Contemporary Literatures in German : Herta Müller, Libuse Moníková, Kerstin Hensel

Marven, Lyn - Body and Narrative in Contemporary Literatures in German : Herta Müller, Libuse Moníková, Kerstin Hensel, ebook


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This book is the first to compare three contemporary women writing in German: Herta M--uuml--;ller (from Romania), Libuse Mon--iacute--;kov--aacute--; (from Czechoslovakia), and Kerstin Hensel (from the GDR). Drawing on psychoanlytical, feminist, and performativity theory, it looks at images of the body and their relationship to the structures of their writing as well as analysing the social, cultural, and political contexts. - ;This book examines the relationship between representations of the body and narrative strategies in the work of three contemporary women writers from the former Eastern Bloc countries: Herta M--uuml--;ller, an ethnic German from Romania; Libu%se Mon--iacute--;kov--aacute--;, who emigrated from Czechoslovakia to West Germany and chose to write in German; and Kerstin Hensel, from the GDR.

Marven shows how the content and form of their works are interlinked, and how these challenge the hegemonic discourses within repressive socialist regimes. The introduction contextualizes the writers' socially, culturally, and historically, and outlines the theoretical basis of the approach, drawing on psychoanalysis, performativity theory, and feminist critical theory. Chapters on the individual authors offer new interpretations of the writers' works, focusing on the structures of trauma (in
M--uuml--;ller's work), hysteria (in Mon--iacute--;kov--aacute--;'s) and the grotesque (in Hensel's). The images of the body analysed in the first half of each chapter show the effects of violence; challenge the understanding of the body as natural or authentic; and raise questions about identity and gender. The analysis in the
second half of each chapter covers a range of formal features, from the fantastic and collage, through parody and intertextuality, to irony, plot, and story telling. The book also traces developments in the work of all three authors, taking account of the historical changes in the Eastern Bloc countries since 1989.

Body and Narrative in Contemporary Literatures in German will be valuable for anyone researching contemporary German literatures, as well as those interested in feminist theory, minority literatures, and trauma. - ;...overall a good collection of essays, some of them very good...will certainly stimulate further interest in her writing. - Stephanie Bird, Modern Languages Review, vol 102, part 1;...detailed and original textual readings... - The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, vol. 67

Keywords: HISTORY / General HIS000000

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