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New Perspectives on Contemporary Austrian Literature and Culture

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Edited By Katya Krylova

This volume brings together contributions arising from papers originally presented at the Contemporary Austrian Literature, Film and Culture International Conference held at the University of Nottingham in April 2015. It examines trends in contemporary Austrian literature, film and culture, predominantly over the past thirty years. This period has been one of great transformation in Austrian society, with the Waldheim affair of 1986–1988 marking the beginning of a belated process of confronting the country’s National Socialist past. The sixteen chapters of the volume analyse literary texts, films, memorial projects and Austria’s musical heritage, considering works by cultural practitioners operating both within and outside of Austria. The collection offers a multi-perspectival view on how contemporary Austria sees itself and how it is, in turn, seen by others from various vantage points.

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5 „Mit möglichst großer literarischer und intellektueller Qualität ein Sartre zu werden“. Parodie und (Selbst)-Bestätigung in Robert Menasses Gegenwarts- und Intellektuellenkritik (Valentina Serra)

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VALENTINA SERRA

5 „Mit möglichst großer literarischer und intellektueller Qualität ein Sartre zu werden“. Parodie und (Selbst)-Bestätigung in Robert Menasses Gegenwarts- und Intellektuellenkritik

ABSTRACT

Menasse is a writer and a critical intellectual who, through his fiction and non-fiction work since the 1990s, has subjected Austrian and European society to a thorough analysis. In this chapter, the author’s narrative strategies are analysed in order to trace his proposals for a new function for intellectuals. Against the background of the persistently declared crisis of the intellectual, in his fiction works Menasse parodies intellectual characters, who, as ‘bar teachers’ and devil’s advocates, fail to achieve the goal of re-shaping and dominating the world. In various non-fiction works, such as essays, speeches, interviews and newspaper articles, on the other hand, Menasse himself takes up the serious role of a critical intellectual of Austria and Europe. As a defender of the original project of an economic, political and social community, he describes the present state of the European Union as a caricature whose ‘postnational’ dimension as a ‘European Republic’ is yet to be realized.

„Mein Selbstverständnis als Autor ist der Versuch, in meiner Zeit, mit meinen Mitteln und mit möglichst großer literarischer und intellektueller Qualität ein Sartre zu werden“. Dieser Satz von Robert Menasse drückt das künstlerische Programm eines engagierten Autors aus, der die Wirkung des Schreibens in der Gesellschaft seiner Zeit erforscht...

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