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Border and Border Experience

Investigations into the philosophical and literary understanding of a German motif


Suzanne Kirkbright

This interdisciplinary study aims to understand the complex experience of what is an essentially German debate on a philosophical and literary motif. It suggests Karl Jaspers' Existenzerhellung as a distinctive way of thinking about borders and thresholds. The threshold analogy, in particular, lends itself to the analysis of German literature on border and border experience in the second half of the twentieth century.
Contents: Karl Jaspers and the threshold of existence - Psychological thresholds: Jaspers on Kierkegaard - «German guilt» and accountability - Existential or political borders? - The aspect of Authenticity (Helmuth Plessner) - Authenticity and Existence (Plessner and Jaspers) - Interpreting the 'Border-line': Durs Grünbein on E.G. Winkler - Crossing the 'Border-line': E.G. Winkler on Ernst Jünger - Poetic Grenzgänger (Elisabeth Langgässer and Christa Wolf) - Uwe Johnson and the boundaries of dialogue.