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Feridun Zaimoglu


Edited By Tom Cheesman and Karin E. Yeşilada

Feridun Zaimoglu made a spectacular entrance onto the German cultural scene in 1995 with Kanak Sprak: a volume of incendiary texts based on interviews with disaffected Turkish German youths, using an invented, stylized literary language, a hybrid of multiple varieties of German with a hip hop beat. A prolific and acclaimed novelist, dramatist, newspaper columnist, visual artist and live performer, Zaimoglu has remained in the public eye through controversy and reinvention. His more recent work appropriates German literary traditions in radically new ways, adapting Romantic styles, narrative forms and motifs to postmodern conditions.
This volume features the suppressed original first chapter of Leyla, Zaimoglu’s critically and commercially most successful novel, first published in 2006, as well as an extensive interview with the author. Critical essays on his writing by major scholars in the field cover issues of gender, language and power, the politics of ethnicity, religion, Romanticism and anti-modernism, and the challenges of translating his work. This is the first volume of criticism in any language dedicated to Zaimoglu’s literary work.


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Kristin Dickinson, Robin Ellis and Priscilla Layne Linguistic Rebellion in Koppstof


f Und das Imperativ, da gibt es diese Ahhs und Ohhs, wenn das Imperativ dahergrölt und sich im Rausch einstimmen kann, dieser falsche Artikel ist übrigens so eine Art Kunstgrif f von mir, ich sage das Imperativ, damit diesen öligen Clubphilosophen das Gesicht abrutscht, damit sie diese Gramfärbung, dieses Kummerrot, diesen Richtigsstellerdünkel herauskehren können — Gönül, 25, Philosophie-Studentin, in Koppstof f (108) [And a imperative, then there’s these ahhs and ohhs, when a imperative bellows forth and can join in booing in intoxication, by the way, this incorrect article is a kind of gimmick of mine, I say a imperative so that the faces of these oily club philosophers slip of f, so that they can display that grief-coloring, that worry-red, that corrector-arrogance.] — Gönül, 25, philosophy student1 What is the significance of this linguistically rebellious act? How could such a minor grammatical mistake induce such a forceful reac- tion? Like the other twenty-five fictionalized female voices in Feridun Zaimoglu’s  Koppstof f: Kanaka Sprak vom Rande der Gesellschaft [≈ Heidgear: Women-Spik-speak from the edge of society] (1998), Gönül foregrounds language as a crucial site of antagonism. Yet whereas other voices in the collection do so through the use of non-standard German stylistics – such as hip-hop call and response, slang, or Turkish-inf lected 1 All English translations in this article are our own, incorporating some suggestions from Tom Cheesman. The article further develops arguments presented in our com- mentary (2008a) to our translations (2008b...

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