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.
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2009. XII, 272 pp.
Contents: Klaus Zeyringer: Austrian Literature: A Concept – Karl Wagner: Early Modernism: Austrian Literature in the Liberal
Era – Karl Müller: The Two Faces of Austria between the World Wars – Paul Michael Lützeler: Literature by Austrians in Exile
from 1933 to 1945 – Helga Schreckenberger: Suffering from Austria: Social Criticism in Prose Fiction of the Seventies and
Eighties – Caroline Markolin: Too Early to Seek - Too Late to Find? Aspects of Contemporary Austrian Fiction – Marc-Oliver
Schuster: On the Culture of Feeling in Austrian Poetry since 1945 – Jacqueline Vansant, Facing Austria’s National-Socialist
Past: Film Adaptations of Literature – Barbara Frischmuth: «The Dalai Lama’s Laughter» – Gerald Chapple: Towards Mapping Barbara
Frischmuth’s Intercultural Works – Elisabeth Reichart: From Nightmare Tale – Karl Müller, Visual Understanding: Observations
on Elisabeth Reichart’s Prose – Erich Wolfgang Skwara: From Tristan Island and The Secret Kings – Klaus Zeyringer:
Études for a Lefty: On the Literature of Erich Wolfgang Skwara.