German literature about America has consistently occupied a marginal position in both German and American studies. This study attempts an overall interpretation of such nineteenth-century literature by charting its most significant narratives. Narratives are thus shown to be embedded and generated in a bicultural or multicultural setting derived from historical givens as well as from the possibilities inherent in fabrication. The result is the illumination of an area previously neglected in literature, revealing not only intricate literary creations, but also significant insights about culture, canonicity, and the construction of national identities.
A Study of the "Lebensbilder aus der westlichen Hemisphäre
This study examines the work of Charles Sealsfield (1793-1864), the Moravian-American writer, whose fiction marked the first serious literary treatment of America in the German language. More specifically, Sealsfield's work is discussed in the light of his experience in America and, above all, in the light of his change of identity from Karl Anton Postl - Moravian monk to Charles Sealsfield - American writer. It employs two concepts - frontier and utopia - to show how Sealsfield was influenced by the antebellum tradition in America, and how he, in turn, used the governing myths and symbols of his time to create an important statement about the relationship between ideology and power in the Age of Jackson.
Variations on Holocaust Testimony
The 1990s saw the appearance of many new works that have redefined and embellished the canon of Holocaust literature. While many of these works have quickly become classics, some have raised new questions about the processes of canonicity. This study concentrates particularly on works in German by Jewish Holocaust survivors written and published approximately fifty years after the fateful cataclysm, focusing on such crucial issues as genre and testimony. Despite the long shadow cast by the Holocaust on subsequent generations, the author shows that narratives on the Holocaust have continued to thrive, offering inventive interpretations of questions that have been thought to defy explanation.
This study is a comprehensive scholarly treatment of Norman Mailer’s entire œuvre, including not only his fiction and non-fiction, but also his correspondence, his early journal articles and his interviews. It outlines Mailer’s Entwicklungsgeschichte, illuminating the lines of continuity and discontinuity in his literary achievement and shows Mailer’s work to be firmly ensconced in the tradition of Modernism and inspired by the Pound-Eliot axis. It argues that Mailer’s literary opus is intertwined with his worldview, which, despite its inconsistencies and contradictions, contains a systematic structure.