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Contemporary German Writers, Their Aesthetics and Their Language


Arthur Williams, Stuart Parkes and Julian Preece

The aesthetic and linguistic concerns of German-language writers are explored against the backdrop of a readership in transition. Two essays examine intertextuality as a concept and as a phenomenon in the work of Christa Wolf, before the first main set (aesthetics) addresses narrative techniques (Jurek Becker, Wolfgang Hilbig, Hans Joachim Schädlich), formal experimentation (Ror Wolf, Helmut Heißenbüttel, Hanns-Josef Ortheil), allegory (Christoph Ransmayr), metaphor (Eveline Hasler), feminine aesthetics (Brigitte Kronauer, Anne Duden), and links between literature and photography (Rolf Dieter Brinkmann). The second main group presents a series of analyses of language as problem and practice: Sprachlosigkeit (Ilse Aichinger, Robert Schneider), logocentricity and etymology (Heinrich Böll, Elisabeth Reichart), and authenticity and cliché (Werner Schwab, Rainald Goetz), Ralf Schnell's concluding essay is an assessment of a situation which allows writers more freedom as the shackles of the past are cast off.