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Contentious Memories

Looking Back at the GDR


Jost Hermand and Marc Silberman

Who is remembering the German Democratic Republic, and how do they go about it? This volume of «contentious memories» brings together essays and critical responses in a look back at three aspects of GDR studies. It presents an opportunity for self-reflection on German Studies' past and ongoing engagement with the GDR and post-unification transformations. It seeks to evaluate old questions and raises new ones concerning the historical knowledge of GDR culture and our interpretations of it. Finally, it examines blindspots and self-deceptions of the past as well as those forming all too quickly in the present. Characterized by a self-awareness and historical understanding that is often neglected in the current tendency to write of the GDR, this collection marks a milestone in the (re)assessment of GDR studies in North America.
Contents: Frank Hörnigk: My friend Gert Neumann - Gert Neumann: Blackout - Marc Silberman: Gert Neuman: Bio-bibliography - Marc Silberman: Whose Story Is This? Rewriting the Literary History of the GDR - Jay Rosellini: Response - Julia Hell: Critical Orthodoxies, Old and New, or The Fantasy of a Pure Voice: Christa Wolf - Nancy Kaiser: Response - William Maltarich, Alan Ng, Nancy Thuleen: Literature as Contested Ground: A Retrospective of GDR Studies in the United States - Jost Hermand: Looking Back at Heiner Müller - Helen Fehervary: Response - David Bathrick: From UFA to DEFA: Past as Present in Early GDR Films - Sabine Groß: Vergangenheitsbewältigung the gentle way? A Response to David Bathrick - Frank Hörnigk: Reconstructing the GDR Canon of the 1960s and 1970s - Hans Adler: Response - Frauke Meyer-Gosau: Outing to Jurassic Park: «Germany» in Post-Wall Literature. An Essay against Tiredness - Carol Poore: Comments.