How did Austrian writers grapple with their country’s problematic twentieth-century history? Nine scholars investigate how the complex role of the national past changed the content and context of Austria’s literature. Contributions range from Klaus Zeyringer’s aggressive argument for an authentically Austrian literature, to the late Harry Zohn’s autobiographical insights of a transplanted Viennese. Probing essays examine the Liberal and the National-Socialist era writers in exile and in their roles as post-war social critics.
Shadows of the Past also puts the authors themselves in the spotlight: A «mini-reader» of hard-hitting as well as humorous narrative texts complements the literary history that begins the volume. Written by Barbara Frischmuth, Elisabeth Reichart, and Erich Wolfgang Skwara, these six texts are accompanied by helpful introductions to each author. As a further aid for English-speaking readers, the original in German literary and critical texts are translated for the first time. Shadows of the Past allows students of European culture and comparative literature to experience a dramatic century in Austrian literature and history.