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Realism and Reality in Helga Schubert, Helga Königsdorf and Monika Maron

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Julia Petzl

This book analyses the neglected short prose of Helga Schubert, Helga Königsdorf and Monika Maron, concentrating on their pre- Wende writing. In addition to in-depth analysis of themes, the use and non-use of realism is examined. Each author is preoccupied with a stagnating society, but communicates differently. Schubert is covertly political, limiting herself to snapshots of life in the GDR. Königsdorf diagnosed society’s illnesses as a distortion of values linked to industrialization and Maron consciously attacks the regime in her work, exposing the corruption of the State. By focussing on women, this study furthers the establishment of female writers in mainstream academic discourse, and reflects not just the women’s political but also their philosophical and social approaches to life. Analysis of their short fiction provides a more complete overview of the authors’ development, thereby complementing studies, of their novels.
Contents: Helga Schubert - Short Story as Social Document, Recurring Themes, The Nazi Dictatorship – Helga Königsdorf - Death and its Dialectical Relationship to Life, Search for Individuality, Individuals as Competitors – Monika Maron - Fantasy, Das Mißverständnis: vier Erzählungen und ein Stück.