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Fictionalizing the World

Rethinking the Politics of Literature

Louisa Söllner and Anita Vržina

The book offers ten essays which explore the interaction between literature and politics. The authors investigate a variety of genres including young-adult fiction, national poetry, novels, autobiography, and performance art from different time periods ranging from the 18th up to the 21st century from the Americas, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Grouped in three sections, the essays focus on the relationship between fiction and identity; the creation of spaces of/in fiction; and the interplay of irony and fiction. They reveal that fiction has a fundamental potential not only to react to but also to affect and shape the world. This offers a possibility to negotiate and re-imagine the ways in which we perceive the world and position ourselves within it.
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Many of the contributions assembled in this volume are based on discussions that took place during two weeks in August in 2010, when a group of young scholars from different cultural and disciplinary backgrounds grappled with the theme “Fictionalizing the World?” at the international summer school hosted by ProLit, a PhD program in Literature at LMU Munich (Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität München). The 2010 program was the third and last in a summer school series titled “Fiction and Reality.” The first installment that took place in 2008 was themed “Resisting Texts” and it was followed by the second in 2009 with the theme “New Forms of Fiction.” The results of the first two summer schools are documented in two essay collections that were published in 2011. We are glad now to present this volume as the result of the last summer school.

The “Fiction and Reality” series was generously funded by the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD and the Munich University Society (Münchener Universitätsgesellschaft). We are very grateful to both institutions for their support.

Our sincere gratitude goes to ProLit coordinator Markus Wiefarn for organizing the 2010 event. We would also like to thank the former coordinator of the program, Brigitte Rath, who was the mind behind the whole summer school series and without whose initiative, energy, and dedication, the program that inspired this volume would not have been possible. We are grateful to Norbert Schürer and Maha El Hissy for their...

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