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Gudrun Pausewang in Context

Socially Critical 'Jugendliteratur', Gudrun Pausewang and the Search for Utopia


Susan Tebbutt

The historical development of German socially critical 'Jugendliteratur' is outlined, in order to put the work of Pausewang, one of its leading contemporary exponents, into context. A review of her life and the reception of her literary work precede the analysis of her work against its social, political and literary background. The theme of utopia and the relationship between language and ideology form the framework for the evaluation of Pausewang's work, focussing on two main thematic areas, firstly Latin America, poverty and 'Alterität', secondly war, peace and the environment. A correlation is evident between the use of dystopian images, as in Die Wolke, and the degree to which narrative techniques can be seen as interrogative.
Contents: 'Jugendliteratur' and its study - Gudrun Pausewang and the reception of her literary work - Language and ideology and interrative children's literature - The themes of Latin America, poverty and 'Alterität', war, peace and the environment in Pausewang's work - Comparisons with other contemporary German writers of children's literature.