This book examines the role of the «utopian» in
Simultan (1972), Ingeborg Bachmann’s second collection of short stories. While individual stories from the volume have received some attention in recent studies, the impact of the volume in its entirety has not been adequately considered. A comprehensive study of the whole collection reveals the presence of a dialectic, which Bachmann associates with utopian possibilities in her theoretical writings. This book argues that the tendency in some recent studies to characterize the volume as pessimistic in its portrayal of language and reality is unsatisfactory; the
Simultan volume testifies, rather, to the fact that Bachmann never lost her utopian belief in the power of a «new» language to transform individual and collective consciousness.