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The work of Christa Wolf post-unification in the Light of the 'Deutsch-Deutscher Literaturstreit' and Wolf's Stasi revelations

Dolle, JM 2014, The work of Christa Wolf post-unification in the Light of the 'Deutsch-Deutscher Literaturstreit' and Wolf's Stasi revelations , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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This thesis is an examination of the extent to which the work of Christa Wolf post-unification can be interpreted as Wolf's response to the attacks on her in the 'deutsch-deutscher Literaturstreit' of 1990 and to the negative publicity generated by her Stasi revelations in January 1993. This thesis will also consider Wolf's post-unification work in the context of her characteristic aesthetic of 'subjektive Authentizität'. Chapter One examines the nature of the accusations levelled against Wolf in both the 'Literaturstreit' and the media furore following her Stasi revelations, notably the allegations of complicity with the SED regime and prolonged allegiance to socialist ideals. The chapter also discusses criticism, expressed in these controversies, of Wolf’s writing as 'littérature engagée'. Chapter Two analyses the collection 'Auf dem Weg nach Tabou' (1994) which, with its emphasis on Wolf's own sense of changing status as a writer in post-unification Germany and her concern with 'Vergangenheitsbewältigung', can be read as Wolf's explicit response to issues raised in the controversies. Chapter Three considers the collection 'Hierzulande Andernorts' (1999), where Wolf's concern with 'Vergangenheitsbewältigung', in the sense of both personal and collective experience of the GDR, continues but where her responses to issues in the controversies are conveyed more subtly, whilst additionally providing insight into Wolf's reflections on 'littérature engagée' and its relevance to her own distinct narrative concept of 'subjektive Authentizität'. Chapter Four analyses the novel 'Medea. Stimmen' (1996) which, with its focus on the 'rehabilitation' of a mythical figure and the theme of victimisation, continues Wolf's preoccupation with the broader theme of going back to the past in order to confront unresolved issues in the present. Chapter Five examines the narrative 'Leibhaftig' (2002) which, with the reworking of Wolf's memories of the GDR as well as the Third Reich and the treatment of the theme of guilt for the failure of the utopian socialist project in the GDR, constitutes not only Wolf's continued concern with 'Vergangenheitsbewältigung' at a personal level but also a reassertion of Wolf's concept of 'subjektive Authentizität'. The conclusion will propose a detailed study of Wolf's final novel 'Stadt der Engel oder The Overcoat of Dr. Freud' (2010) as the natural progression for future research, and in the context of a contribution to the nascent field of memory studies.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Hollis, AA (Supervisor)
Themes: Memory, Text and Place
Schools: Schools
Depositing User: JM Dolle
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2014 17:24
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2014 17:24

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