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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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12 Historische Traumata, Vergessen und Erinnerung. Literarische Vergangenheitsdiskurse in der zeitgenössischen österreichischen Literatur (Magdolna Orosz)

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MAGDOLNA OROSZ

12 Historische Traumata, Vergessen und Erinnerung. Literarische Vergangenheitsdiskurse in der zeitgenössischen österreichischen Literatur

ABSTRACT

Historical traumata of the twentieth century – the First World War, the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, National Socialism, the Second World War, and the Holocaust – confronted Austrian society and culture with shocks and transformations whose influence continues to be felt today. This chapter aims to show the contradictory manner in which processes of commemorating and forgetting are reflected in some representative works of contemporary Austrian literature, and how novels by Peter Henisch, Eva Menasse and Elena Messner reveal different strategies of dealing with ‘family history’, which demonstrate certain changes in commemorating twentieth-century Austrian history, with its discrepancies, silences, attempts at embellishment and confrontations. The analysis of the texts of these authors also demonstrates their different aesthetic ‘tools’ and ethical attitudes towards individual and national history, and also gives an insight into current trends in contemporary Austrian literature.

Vergangenheitsdiskurse: Erinnerung und Vergessen

Die Thematisierung von Erinnern und Vergessen in verschiedenen kulturellen Diskursen und ihre Zusammenhänge mit dem kulturellen Gedächtnis bekommen durch aktuelle historische Entwicklungen immer wieder neue Impulse.1 Die tiefgreifenden historischen Einschnitte der letzten 100 Jahre ← 295 | 296 → haben traumatische Schockerlebnisse und Veränderungen auch in der österreichischen Gesellschaft und Kultur ausgelöst, deren Verarbeitung in der Literatur der letzten Jahre – neben allen Gegensätzen – ziemlich intensiv wurde, indem „[l]iterarische Österreich-Bilder […] als mehrfache Spiegelbilder zu sehen“2 seien,...

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