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Asian Fusion

New Encounters in the Asian-German Avant-Garde

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Caroline Rupprecht

This book contributes to a historically evolving conversation about immigration as a facet of globalization in the European context. Focusing on literary and artistic works from the post–World War II era, the author uses a «call-and-response» structure – as in African-American slave songs, Indian kirtans, and Jewish liturgy – to create a series of dialogues between Asian-German authors, including Yoko Tawada, Pham Thi Hoài, and Anna Kim, and an earlier generation of German-speaking authors and artists whose works engaged with «Asia,» including W. G. Sebald, Peter Weiss, and Joseph Beuys.

Considering the recent successes of the New Right, which have brought about a regression to Nazi anti-Semitic discourses grounded in the equation between Jews and «Orientals,» the author advocates a need for solidarity between Germans and Asian-Germans. Using «fusion» as a metaphor, she revises the critical paradigms of Orientalism and postcolonial studies to show how, in the aftermath of the twelve-year Nazi dictatorship, Germany has successfully transformed itself into a country of immigration – in part due to the new and pioneering Asian-German voices that have reshaped the German-speaking cultural landscape and that are now, for the first time, featured as coming together in this book.

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Works Cited

Extract

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Adorno, Th. W. “Was bedeutet Aufarbeitung der Vergangenheit?” [1959], in Eingriffe: Neun kritische Modelle (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1963).

Adriani, Götz, Winfried Konnerts and Karin Thomas, Joseph Beuys: Life and Works, trans. Patricia Lech (New York: Barron’s, 1979).

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Arnold, Heinz Ludwig, ed., Text + Kritik: Zeitschrift für Literatur, 158, Sebald-Sonderheft (April 2003).

Arnold, Heinz Ludwig, ed., Text + Kritik: Zeitschrift für Literatur, 191/192, Tawada-Sonderheft (July 2011).

Artaud, Antonin, The Theatre and Its Double [1938], trans. Mary Caroline Richards (New York: Grove, 1958).

Asbrink, Elisabeth, “The Swedish Dream Was Always Too Good to be True, And Now the Far Right Is Back,” The Guardian (May 14, 2019).

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