This book examines Siegfried Lenz'
Das Vorbild (1973) and
Heimatmuseum (1978) and the «Historikerstreit» in West Germany. The analysis of retrospective narratives in Lenz' novels, a definitive literary statement on how a personal history is created, and the dialogue between the participants in the «Historikerstreit» links individual history with the public debate. Thus, parallels between retrospective narratives in fiction and narrative strategies in a professional exchange are exposed. Ultimately, this correlation establishes a powerful link between narrative structure, historical consciousness and ideology.