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Rereading Monika Maron

Byrnes, Deirdre

Rereading Monika Maron

Text, Counter-Text and Context

Series: Britische und Irische Studien zur deutschen Sprache und Literatur / British and Irish Studies in German Language and Literature - Volume 50

Year of Publication: 2011

Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2011. X, 193 pp.
ISBN 978-3-03911-422-1 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.320 kg, 0.705 lbs

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Book synopsis

This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the writing of Monika Maron. Her biography charts a complex relationship with the GDR state, from initial ideological identification to sustained, radical rejection. Situating its reflections on her work against the backdrop of a changing critical landscape, this analysis takes account of the re-contextualisation of her writing necessitated by the collapse of the GDR.
The author charts the development of a number of seminal themes in Maron’s œuvre. The search for an authentic form of expression in her earliest texts gave way to a focus on the writing and the rewriting of history. The demise of the political system in 1989 led to an exploration in her work of more intimate themes. Maron’s post-Wende writing makes an important East German contribution to debates on memory transmission and generational forgetting. Her most recent novels are concerned with the rupture and the ultimate refashioning of biographies in a post-GDR age.
Rereading her texts in a post-Wende light, the author explores the complexity of Maron’s relationship with the state from which she emerged and demonstrates how this complexity manifests itself in her writing before and after 1989. This study offers new perspectives on Maron’s work and illuminates the significance of her contribution to contemporary German literature.


Contents: Writing herself out of the System: The Early Texts – Transgressing in Style: Das Mißverständnis and Die Überläuferin as Counter-Texts – Writing and Rewriting: The Problem of History in Stille Zeile Sechs – Love and Loss after the Wall: Animal triste – Exposing the Gaps in Memory: Forgetting and Remembering in Pawels BriefeLebensentwürfe, Zeitenbrüche: Biographers and Biographies in Endmoränen and Ach Glück.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

Deirdre Byrnes teaches German at the National University of Ireland, Galway. She was awarded her PhD from University College Dublin. Her research and teaching interests include GDR literature, the literature and architecture of the Berlin Republic, and memory discourses.


«The great strengths of Byrnes’ monograph are its evenness, coherence and clarity. It is carefully presented and elegantly written, providing a very good introduction to readers interested in Maron’s work and its relationship to the post-Wende context. For this reason, it will be a welcome source for those teaching contemporary German-language texts in third-level institutions.» (Gillian Pye, Germanistik in Ireland)
«Die Studie zum Gesamtwerk Monika Marons gibt einen guten Überblick über die Entwicklung der Prosa M.s, die im Kontext zunehmender Desillusionierung der Autorin im ehemaligen DDR-Staat zu sehen ist. [...] Dieses Buch [ist] ein willkommener und nützlicher Beitrag zum Verständnis des Werkes in seiner Gesamtheit.» (Silke von der Emde, Germanistik 53, 2012/1-2)


British and Irish Studies in German Language and Literature. Vol. 50
Edited by H.S. Reiss and W.E. Yates