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Bonds and Bondage

Daughter-Father Relationships in the Father Memoirs of German-Speaking Women Writers of the 1970s


Gisela Moffit

This book analyzes daughter-father relationships in five father books written by daughters in the late 1970s: Elisabeth Plessen's Mitteilung an den Adel, Ruth Rehmann's Der Mann auf der Kanzel, Brigitte Schwaiger's Lange Abwesenheit, Schutting's Der Vater, and Barbara Bronnen's Die Tochter. Moffit investigates each daughter's relationship to her father on three separate levels: on the personel level within the context of family dynamics, on the metaphorical level of gendered socialization in a patriarchical society, and on the socio-political level of the father's involvement in National Socialism. Although these daughter memoirs deal with personal family stories, they are considered collective autobiographies that uncover larger cultural patterns in German-speaking countries and thus represent a counterpart to official history.
Contents: This is a study of daughter-father relationships in German-speaking families of the 20th century based on the father books written by daughters. Psychological, socio-historical, and feminist theories provide the theoretical framework.